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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33434

Other 6/10/2019

RE: Adult

Melvin H. of Colorado Springs, Colorado U. S. A. asks...

Im getting tired of players surrounding the referee and/or the AR on calls; I know that it might be impossible to have a similar situation to rugby officials when it comes to this.
In ice hockey theres a "referees crease", a 10-foot half circle on the ice in front of the timekeepers area, in which players can not go into that area without the officials permission while he or they are there.
Has there been any thought of something similar in your sport"an "officials crease" as it was. No line would need to be added, you could use the areas where the CR would look at a monitor for VAR, as that is already an area marked out; maybe include the area where the fourth official is as another such zone. Entry into that "crease" area without permission from the CR would be a cardable offense.
It wont likely stop verbal abuse but it might stop the constant sight of multiple complaining players...

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Melvin,
Where there is a referee review area (RRA) used for VAR purposes, it is already a yellow card offence for a player to enter it. However I'm not sure that would make any difference to the phenomenon of players surrounding the referee. The referee will not be in the RRA when making an initial decision and retreating there every time they have made a decision would not be practical.

In England, it seems as though every year, before the season starts, the FA and EPL announce a 'crack down' on such behaviour. Unfortunately, even if this has a small effect in the first few games, before long it all seems to have been forgotten.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Melvin
There is advice given to referees by Associations in the management of dissent. For instance UEFA has told its referees that in the case of a *mobbing* at least one player should be cautioned. I have not seen it used very often and probably referees expect a group of players to be in the location where the decision has maximum impact such as at a penalty kick or free kick just outside the penalty area.
I have noticed less *mobbing* on penalty kicks in recent times as either players know that it is futile or if VAR is available that the referee is likely to review it anyway if there is any doubt.
As to a referee zone there is now the video review area which is a compulsory yellow card if a player or anyone else enters that area. To date I have not seen one instance where a card has been required which is good.
So I think we are moving in the right direction and it is a journey not a destination.
I personally have a highish tolerance level on players complaining to me. Many times it is background noise that goes with the territory. Key for me is to get the game restarted quickly, advise the players on the decision and get on with it. I hear players saying that I am listening to the *shouting* yet it is the exact opposite. I never make a decision based on appeals.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Melvin,
refereeing within a community chances are you will find the home teams become aware of you over repeated matches and adapt to your style somewhat. One of the greatest compliments I got was from a hometown player talking with an opponent about my efforts where the opponent said, 'He's pretty good for a hometown referee.' whereas the player looked at him incredulously & said, 'Is he from your hometown? The opponent confused said, 'No he from yours?' The player shook his head laughing , 'If he is, he has never shown it to be true!'

As my colleagues point out you get a lot of what you give but other things like a solid association that tracks records and establishes consistent discipline throughout the year and has meetings and seminars to explain and promote fair play. Despite the comment wishing I was more homey than neutral, he knew several things about my habits. Not once in over 5 years did he receive a caution for delay of the game or failure to respect ten yards but was witness to many opponents who did. lol

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