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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33219

Mechanics 4/5/2019

RE: Travel Under 15

Peter Silkowitz of Stamford, CT Fairfield asks...

Is there a good way to remember which way a team is going so when a ball goes out you can remember? Players aren't always in the right position.
I generally let play continue with physical contact unless there is a lowering of the shoulder or even an extended arm. This can sometimes backfire as kids start to get more aggressive. Any advice?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
My experience is that lack of concentration after the kick off and after half time is the single biggest cause of getting the direction wrong. Also no need to signal for the first few obvious ones just use colour *Red throw* and that allows the opportunity to get the direction right in ones mind. As an AR I increase my focus very much on the colour of the defending team shirts both on direction and offside.
At Underage legal charging is rarely executed correctly as it does involve use of the arm and perhaps not side to side plus some rough housing creeps in.
If you let some go then the only way to prevent it getting more aggressive is to call everything from that point on and also perhaps the use of a card on the more aggressive ones. The trick is to not let get that far in the first place and to notice when there is a material change in attitude among the players that immediate action has to happen.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

As an AR, I used the trick of thinking, 'Blue is *my* team.' Because Blue is attacking toward the goal at my end of the field.

As the ref, you can come up with some ideas based on the field surroundings. 'Blue is attacking toward the [parking lot / school / playground / main road / whatever]' to help you remember.

I'm not sure what remembering the team's direction has to do with letting play continue vs calling fouls for contact. Maybe you meant to give us 2 questions. Anyway, you have to learn to read the tenor of the game. Know what players want. I found this hardest at U12 boys and U14 girls. For example sometimes the U12 boys will be content to bang off each other all afternoon. Sometimes they want every contact called as a foul. You have to moderate your calls between those extremes. You can loosen up as the game goes well, and tighten up as the game gets chippy. It takes experience to figure out what is a foul today.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Peterr,
Training, understanding and practice
Concentration and repetitive mantras,

Keeper wearing green is defended by blue team.

Keeper wearing yellow is defended by white team.


Blue attacks white keeper

Yellow attacks green keeper .

Which color attacks the keeper in your AR half at YOUR NET?

What color is defending the goal in your AR half at YOUR NET?

Given you apply offside based on THEIR positioning?

MY net in MY AR quadrant is being defended by yellow thus yellow is always away from goal .

The same as saying the net in MY AR quadrant is being attacked by blue thus blue is always towards goal .

I know that certain ARs will actually switch halves at halftime and thus that standard will still be true as the teams switch sides they follow suit ! So they do not have to remember which way to point as they must should they remain in the same diagonal but the teams only switch sides.

As to aggressive tendencies. Although we do often state soccer is a physical game you can not just charge opponents off the ball by ramming into or pushing them especially at oblique angles, blindsided or from behind . It is the BALL that they are supposedly challenging for! Look to see if their eyes are focused on the player or ball? Look to see how their body prepares for the contact. Look to see if one or the other has a preferred or control position? Is the body hunched to ram the shoulder or is the run and angle timed to move the player off the ball by leaning in correctly?

Arms out to ward off contact to distance oneself is one thing but to stiff arm or shove as an obvious get out of the way action needs to be recognized ESPECIALLY if one sided. There are times both will be waving clutching or grabbing and while not doubtful perhaps trifling , a word 'Arms down!' is not unusual by certain referees at certain ages but generally we refrain from tactical instructions . If you read play well and have a sense of spacial awareness and body language you should get a sense of how the players are dealing with the contact. Listen, watch body language. Screams for fouls at any & every contact while annoying are no less painful than ignoring actual illegal contact and watch a match spiral out of control. It is important to watch for thos e critical match incidents and get them right, It is easier to be tight and go loose than be loose then try to tighten but if the match is headed south then stoppages are a must. calling the necessary fouls, use the card should they be required, and enough is enough speeches to the captains and coaches .

Make the effort to stay with play and be receptive to the fact what we accept and what players tolerate are NOT always the same. Watch, listen, FEEL the ebb & flow, break the tensions using humor and good foul recognition . Always focus and be aware of the tools at your disposal to reign it in should you need to.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Peter,
I think every referee has experienced that momentary confusion where you're not sure which way to point for a throw-in. For me (and others, based on discussions I've seen) this most commonly happens just after the teams have changed ends at half-time. I found the best way to deal with this was to concentrate on the shirt colour of the player the ball went out off and to call out the colour of the other team. So if the ball goes out off blue, call, ''Red throw,'' or vice versa. Once I had done that (and especially after doing it a few times) I would find it easier to get the direction right. My colleagues have also suggested methods which might work - in the end it's up to you to find the method that works best for you as an individual.

If you find that being more lenient on physical contact is having an adverse effect on your match control then the most straightforward solution I feel, is simply to stop being so lenient. Start calling more of the incidents until or unless the aggressivity lessens. The sooner you do this, once you notice it happening, the better. As ref Voshol mentions, you can take the game in phases and adjust your calls accordingly.

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