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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 28650

The Technical Area 8/9/2014

RE: Select Under 15

Gary of Culpeper, VA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 27521

In regards to the coach becoming involved in the 'verbal deception' during the corner-kick 'trick...' I can't find where in the USSF docs, ATR, etc, that this is mentioned, specifically. Maybe I am just not looking in the right places. Could you please provide a reference or link so I may have some supporting documentation? I may need support if I have to argue this point with a local coach who disagrees with me.
Thank you!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Gary,
still a bit of a gray area but I think USSF says no coach may involve himself in deception against an opponent!

UNSPORTING BEHAVIOR. One of the items in
that section is: * Verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart

IN THE OPINION OF THE REFERE looms large here!
A concern on these type of plays is many referees use a whistle restart in a ceremonial role at corners so they will not recognize a quickly taken corner if sorting out opposing players inside the PA .

Plus like the calling out of, (my ball or leave it,) it CAN be considered as USB during play so perhaps even before a restart it could be viewed the same depending on how it was worded but what if you do not speak the language ? What key tells you the ball is in play or not. As referee YOU know it if you see it!
While I can grasp some find the tactic repulsive I can see this deception as conceivable if done in an acceptable manner! I believe it is a big big stretch to think asking a teammate to take the ball either before any restart or after is usb given that is what will occur anyway! A pass to a team mate is all the corner feint is! I don't feel so bad for the defenders if they get "tricked" because of inattention. I feel REAL bad for a defender who upon recognizing the ball is in play rushes forward within ten yards only to be chastised by a referee who did not know the ball was in play because the trick fooled him!

FIFA states CLEARLY in law 5 and in info on the technical area and in the additional information

The referee takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surroundings

The coach and other occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner

If a coach(team official) enters the field of play: • the referee must stop play (although not immediately if the team official does not interfere with play or if the advantage can be applied) • the referee must have him removed from the field of play and if his behaviour is irresponsible, the referee must expel him from the field of play and its immediate surroundings

Granted coaches are permitted to relay tactical information to their players so what is meant by the term 'responsible manner'? The key is ITOOTR!

The technical area from which coaching instructions can occur is limited. IF the behavior of the coach clearly distracts and misleads the opponents, or is loud, sudden, or abusive to anyone (his/her team’s players, the opponents, or the officials), that is misconduct.

The kicking team taking a corner is allowed to use deceptive tactics like a corner kick (who me? no you take it!) scenario. A simple yell of, " hey Tony let John take it ! " Or "your a forward let a midfielder take it" by the players is fine as long as the player taking the corner has CLEARLY put the ball in play in accordance with the Laws of the Game. A foot on top tap does not cut it, a referee will need to clearly see the ball move from here to there.

Being aware the ball is in play when it is KICKED into play requires watching what the attacking players are doing not what they are saying. Depending on when it is placed in the arc and when the referee accepted it was kicked into play, the ball maybe in play already before anything is causally mentioned as much as after! And as instructions for players to do something like asking one to take the ball is certainly not deceitful.
By the same standard, woe to the attacking team that tries to protest when an astute defender who sees the ball put into play, rushes in to grab the ball and heads up field! Plus the referee will have to be aware that IF such trickery is allowed then every restart will see defenders looking very very hard each time the ball is set down.

Instead of a player we hear a coach shouting out such instructions is there reason to think the coach is overstepping his role by acting irresponsibly?
Is this an example of irresponsible behavior from a coaches overt participation in a deception against the opposing team by, indicating which of his players' is to do what and when only to unveil the trickery on the restart as we are left scratching our heads? Apparently in the USSF they believe there is a difference when a coach gets involved. Coaches are allowed only to give tactical instructions to their own team. The coach is acting in an unsporting manner if his remarks were intended to throw off the opponents.

The USSF has a answer posted on by Jim Allen that lists the information I think you could arm yourself with ahead of your discussion with the coach. lol


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
It is covered by two areas in the Laws of the Game
The first one is in Law 5
'' takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds''
The second one is the Technical Area.
'' only one person at a time is authorised to convey tactical instructions from the technical area...the coach and other occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner''
These powers allow the referee to deal with misconduct by a coach or other team official.
Now the part that I have difficulty with is that verbal deception only works if referees allow it to work. I do not agree that it can be 'allowed' to be done by players on the field before a restart and that exception is taken when a coach gets involved in the ruse. My approach, which has always worked, is that I don't allow it to happen. It is a retake ever single time. I don't have to get involved with players or coaches and I have a simple answer. 'I did not see the ball properly placed and kicked into play. We will have the kick again'.
As regards getting involved with coaches to explain points that is not a good idea in a game situation. Coaches in the game environment are rarely rational and willing to listen to the points made by a referee. I have no problem offering an explanation of a decision to a coach after the game but not trying to win an argument .

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The answer is the USSF policy. (Note: USSF withdrew from this service in 2013 so it no longer answers questions. Jim Allen's answers are now his opinion, not official USSF policy.

But, IMO arguing with coaches will never be productive. They are allowed to speak to their players, but in the trick play, their players no that the coach is speaking to the opponents. That is not responsible behavior by the coach.

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