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Question Number: 32773

Character, Attitude and Control 10/3/2018

RE: Under 17

steve of oakland, CA usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32715

Is this something I could say in a pre-game check in with players, tell them that if anyone runs into the goal to get the ball after scoring that it will be an automatic yellow card?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Steve,
I personally not a fan. It is not recommended we paint ourselves into a corner if we do not have too. I would lose the automatic . There are enough goofy cautions considered mandatory, the keeper off the line is one of them. If you state you will, then you are committed to do so? So an over exuberant kid blue 15 scores he get pumped, grabs the ball, suddenly deer in the headlights he sees you reaching for the yellow for an oops? Red screams, Hey you said it was an automatic caution!

I find I preface my preferences with a stern warning of POSSIBLE consequences rather than definite ones. When I do the , 'I am fair not perfect' spiel, . I generally am addressing coaches or captains as the players are milling about . In the cases where the players are together. You could try a generalized approach? Other than my specific statement that my ARs are off limits to any discourse or abuse, I might say gentlemen or ladies be forewarned I take a very dim view of players not respecting the mandatory 10 yd distance or delaying any restarts, that includes grabbing the ball when it is the oppositions restart like after a goal. Whether cards remain in my pocket is entirely up to the way you all decide you want to play. Play hard but fair, no useless whining or backtalk. If I make a mistake it will not be on purpose and chances are it is not exactly as you thought anyway. Play the whistle at all times. Any questions? Enjoy yourselves .Play safe! good luck! In any pregame talk when you inspect equipment it is not always easy to have everyone together paying strict attention. At the elite level the officials used to visit the change room for a Q&A
but not sure that is done all the time?

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
I am not sure how you communicate with both teams before kick off? Is every single player present and informed? Saying something to a coach and captain is unlikely to be communicated to every player by them.
In this part of the world we only have pre match discussion among the match officials as to what is their role and expected of them.
Teams learn very quickly and sometimes the hard way what is not tolerated. I had a tussle two weeks ago between a goalkeeper and a forward for the ball after a goal. The attacker ended up getting cautioned and the goalkeeper dismissed for VC. It did not concern me that I had to do that. I got some grief at the time yet the goalkeepers team knew full well that lifting a hand to an opponent is a red card offence. The forward might have caused it and he knew that his action was not going to be ignored either which ended up as a caution. Without the VC both may have been cautioned
BTW I tried to head this off through use of the whistle and words yet it just kicked off too quickly.
As to an automatic caution that was tried by FIFA and failed to work in a year long experiment. Referees have to have discretion in these matters and sometimes carrying off the ball is of no concern nor does it cause any aggro. Many times with celebrations the bigger concern is getting the scoring team back to halfway in a timely fashion.
My advice is to manage the situation as best you can by paying heed to the particular circumstances. I shout LEAVE IT to the forward and perhaps strong use of the whistle. If it has happened once I speak with the player telling the forward it is not his restart so he is not to touch the ball and that I am adding on time for any lost time. He needs to know and sense that strong action will be taken if he oversteps the mark.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I presume your area has some kind of team check-in routine. Some leagues have you check passes, read names on the roster, etc. Refs often take this as an opportunity to lecture the teams.

When I completed whatever procedures the league had, I simply asked, 'All of you have proper equipment? No jewelry? Any questions'? If none, 'OK, have a good game.' Sometimes I was told by a coach, or even by an AR, 'That was short and sweet.' Well, they wouldn't listen to anything else you were saying anyway.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Steve,
I agree with my colleagues that overall, it is probably better not to do this. Apart from the reasons they have already given, I would add the fact that it is not really supported in law. The Laws of the Game list the actions that are mandatory cautions. Retrieving the ball from the goal is not one of them. Now, it is true that when a player from the scoring team does this, it can easily lead to a confrontation (though not always) and since it's not their restart they're not actually entitled to the ball so you can try to be proactive in preventing the problem from arising by use of the whistle, voice etc.

But for me, making it an automatic caution is going a bit too far.

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