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Question Number: 29870

Mechanics 10/29/2015

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29867

I side with being proactive, in staying close to the play and using my voice to nip trifles before they escalate, or to state that I have seen something (such as a non-DHB hand contact) but 'keep going.'

I also like to inform attackers and defenders on passes that are potentially offside, especially when I am a lone ref, without paid ARs.

Example: I see the passer ready to kick. I keep a visual on him , if possible, or at least keep my ears ready to hear the kick. I turn to scan the defenders and attackers, looking for potential offside. Once the kick is made, I see where it is going and if it's clearly a fair pass, I yell, 'Good!'

If possibly offside, I say nothing and have the whistle ready, waiting to see how things turn out.

For me, this helps keep the game flowing. It helps prevent defenders from stopping and throwing a hand up to appeal an offside. It also tells the attackers to carry on... or to be careful, if they know I haven't 'approved' of the pass. It's a bit like a verbal flag/no flag.

Your thoughts?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
On offside I dont see the need for this. Offside positions are constantly changing and a player might be in an offside position yet at the moment of the kick he has moved onside. That does not need comment and really it is up to players to make their own judgements and to play accordingly. Indeed it is now common practise by some player to stand in an offside position and then change at the very last moment. Nothing wrong either with appeals which can easily be ignored.
On appeals I ignore those and I might say *no offside* or something like *if there is an offside the whistle will sound* at the next stoppage.
On other incidents yes a comment can help to explain the call such as not deliberate on handling that is not given or speaking to players as you say to nip trifles.
As regards getting too communicative I have found that it can go pear shaped and I would caution on this. Players can misconstrue what is said and the referee does not have time to explain. I have experienced this and see it happen. I see no problem with short phrases such as calm down, easy, leave it, walk away generally instruction to help the games discipline.
But hey if it is working for you with no major problems then that is fine. It may suit your personality, life skills and you are comfortable with that. Shouting good on no offside may mean little to the players who are concentrating elsewhere and who may not know who shouted. It might re-assure the decision to yourself and perhaps it is focussing your attention and reinforces your decision which is helpful. The whistle is the ultimate communicator in the game. As advised to young referees *Let the whistle do the talking* and there is a skill in there.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Given that offside is a victimless crime and is closer to being a tactical consideration, I would strongly argue against advising players of a potential offside infringement. You could be having a severe impact upon the match result in doing this, if a player - upon your advice - retreats back into an 'onside' position, receives a pass then scores a goal.

As such, advising on offside crosses the line for me, as I believe it falls into providing tactical advise to player - you're helping coach the attackers into positioning themselves better.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
while it is ok to communicate some teams prefer less as more. Being quite vocal I often have to remember its their game and not to be too prominent in it! I tend to be more vocal about directional advice with kids than adults and with Recreational than Premier. I hear you though as a single official. I start the match off with the I am fair not perfect intro and ALWAYS play to the whistle! AS to offside, although I give max effort to get a good read I call it ONLY if I know it to be true and any complaints?| LOOK where I am on the field!" is mentioned pregame in the, FAIR but not perfect intro. Coaches take a dim view of additional help for the opponents or possibly in conflict with their own!
The key though is to be consistently be comfortable in your shoes! After all it is your match your decisions and your reputation! Cheers

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

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