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Question Number: 26999

Law 5 - The Referee 11/10/2012

RE: Rec Adult

Dani of Gahanna , Ohio Us asks...

I got a couple questions actually.
Situation that happened in last game I played. I got pushed by a guy that was 250 pounds into a wall. Ref took his good old time of getting over to me to even see if I was okay. No call at all on pushing with the ball back to other team. Second time he ends up pushing me no call again. I asked the ref why no call. His response 'oh I didn't see it'. I'm on the ground somehow. I don't fake an injury or a fall to get a call.
First question: Why didn't he call anything (pushing)?
2) why don't he pay enough attention both times I was on the ground?
3) why did the other team get the ball?
4) what if I was badly hurt on the first push when I hit the wall after being push and no call still?
5) should he even be a ref if he takes his time to see if I'm okay or if he doesn't even know the rules of indoor coed Rec soccer league team?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dani
In indoor soccer it can be difficult to see everything, indeed in any game. Angle of view is vital to seeing fouls and a referee directly looking at the back of a large player may not see a push.
FIFA has recognised that with the appointment of two game officials to referee Futsal, its indoor game and they constantly change their angle of view to try to get a side on view of challenges. Indoor soccer by its size of the floor does not afford the lone referee the opportunity to move easily to get the best angle of view as perhaps the movement can be into the way of players or players can be in the way. So the single view that the referee is all that there is. An arm push viewed from the side would be an easy spot but not so easy from the blind side. Angle of view in the outdoor game is explained here with this download. It applies equally indoor
Indoor soccer by its nature does have a lot of players going to floor and many times it is not a foul. In addition play can change direction very quickly which means that the referee's attention gets diverted away from the previous area just as quickly. A player on the floor may be expected to be uninjured and will resume play immediately. I would also question your team mates and opponents for not bringing to the referee's attention a player that is on the ground injured. The call or no call is only one part of dealing with these situations. Your team mates and opponents also have a responsibility for player safety. The player that has pushed you into the wall also has responsibilities here. All referees need help in the game and the referee would welcome a call from a player/s that there is a player down and may need treatment. Also teams can exert pressure on players to conform to the accepted behaviour in games.
Finally this official is giving of his time to do indoor soccer which is not the easiest game to officiate. Yes he missed a number of incidents and honestly stated that he did not see the them which as I have explained can and does happen. If he has done his best than that is all one can expect. The alternative might be no referee for the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

The referee doesn't know you personally, so will not have any idea whether you are an honest player like you stated, or one who dives or tries to buy calls unfairly. What does matter is the referee's ability to see what happens. Perhaps

Getting mad at the referee generally is counterproductive. Asking the referee to please watch for pushing by the 250 lb. Goliath, because you don't want to be injured might garner a bit of extra attention.

Players fall all the time. Most of the time they get right back up or up within a few seconds. Refs don't generally run right over when adults hit the ground, so I'm sure it wasn't anything personal. If the referee didn't see the pushing, he has no reason to wonder why you're on the ground unless you're clearly out, bleeding or injured.

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