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Question Number: 29777

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 10/4/2015

RE: competive youth level Adult

Derek Levesque of Windsor, CT USA asks...

I have 2 questions. The first as an AR what would be the most important call you make all game long? The offside call or calling a goal.
Second could be more of advise to the referee. During the coin toss what is to proper question to ask? What side you want to 'DEFEND' or what side do you want to 'ATTACK'?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Derek, all calls are important they must be credible, if not correct! Your position and angle of view, coupled with you understanding and application of the LOTG will reflect this. A missed offside leading to a goal or a goal pulled back due to an offside neither is going to reflect favourably on your resume . In the end the goal is the prize but incorrect offside calls can affect that outcome!

MY coin flip takes away choice, as it has home and away inscribed, not head or tail which traditionally the visitors called. The winner of the toss gets to decide which side of the field they wish to occupy to start, the losers of the toss get the kick off. The proper question is to look to the winners of the toss and say, Which side? If ...I... was to add extra, if would be, "Which side do you wish to defend?", as the other team gets to start the attack. Although the LOTG written explanation actually state the opposite, I think it unimportant as to the reasoning or procedure itself,
"Before a kick-off at the start of the match or extra time
•   a coin is tossed and the team that wins the toss decides which goal it will attack in the first half of the match." end quote
Their reasons of tactical significance will be probably be weather or pitch related as to wanting to defend against the opposing team and those conditions in the first or second half or using them for their advantage to attack in either half. In my home town the field locations made the sun and our strong winds a most definite asset to consider if you win the toss. For example if the early morning games the winds might be starting where they die off at the evening games, sun at the side instead of in the keeper's eyes! Local knowledge which was beneficial and to some extent obvious, apply to any reasoning player!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Derek
Players will tell you that every decision is important even the direction of a throw in!! The important part is to get all the calls correct. Yes some calls will be more significant that other such as disallowing a goal for offside or deciding if the ball crosses the goal line for a goal to be awarded.
As regards the coin toss Laws of the Game state that the team that wins the toss decides which goal it will ATTACK in the first half of the match. I usually ask the winner what direction the teams wants to play.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

1. All decisions are important - sometimes even those that have little importance turn out to be big game-changers. Other times something normally considered very important becomes less important - for example, getting the 12th goal correct in a 12-1 blowout isn't that important. Making a correct goal call or offside call is usually not mutually exclusive. A time it could be is at a close-in free kick. Then, by arrangement made during the pre-game conference, the referee may elect to have the AR abandon the offside line (even with the 2LD opponent) and take the goal line; the ref will be in charge of calling offside and the AR can concentrate a possible goal. The refs would resume their normal positions as soon as possible.

2. I asked the captain, 'Which end of the field do you want to start on?' By answering that question, they are answering both which end they want to defend AND attack.

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Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

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