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Question Number: 29010

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 11/26/2014

RE: Intermediate Under 13

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29005

I see my question has raised some controversy. I didn't see the issue as one of fairness. The injured girl had just kicked a goal kick & everyone was focused on the opposite end of the field. By the time she slipped, everyone was way down toward the other end of the field, except for the GK & one other defender. No one on the field except the GK & myself saw the girl fall, so the attacking team wasn't callous.

While it's true that I stopped play when the attack was stopped near the opposite end of the field, I've never seen a fast break at this age, from the opposite end. The teams teach good sportsmanship & the dropped ball near the GK was not contested, so the defending team got the ball back after the injured girl was looked at.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Thanks for further explaining the circumstances. When games are played in a good sporting spirit no issues arise. Just be wary though of how it is perceived by those that do not see the full bigger picture.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

the controversy really is a neutral referee imposing his own brand of fairness on what should be a stoppage immediately because the youth player is injured. Most of us and those commenting are in agreement we often stop for less than true serious injuries in the u little's and youth as a cautionary and perhaps humanitarian way of conducting a match.

Again I remind you as in the radio show about the REST of the STORY! When you write a referee point of view about an incident UNSEEN by others as in a match report, you write it so those not there, have all the data required to arrive at a conclusion.

Be wary of the word never, and also, guaranteeing a fair play restart by two honorable teams is much easier than two teams that might not really like the other.

You have the right to change your mind but not to impose conditions! If you saw the event, evaluated it as non serious, unnecessary to stop play and permitted play, then permit play to continue unless the injury suddenly requires intervention. To do otherwise you are deciding on when and where this restart will take place later! Why would a referee choose to interfere in such a manner? It can not be out of concern for the fallen player otherwise play would already be stopped? You think because it all worked out this time, it was ok?

There is no doubt we can as a referee impose our will on youth matches in some cases quite effectively as they are more malleable then say a college state championship match. What our concern as referees who advise other referees is be wary of doing what you want instead of being neutral!

It is the players' match to play, it is your match to decide if those those playing are fair or unfair, it is your job to be neutral, not impose your version of fair or unfair. The restart was your manufactured manipulation of events! The players had no say and did not do anything unfair, which required your intervention!
Now you have set a precedent as a fan, parent coach substitute watching I saw the player fall, I saw you allow an attack and only stop play when the attack was finished . So when the other team is attacking and one falls hard can we expect the same?


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