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Question Number: 34387

High School 10/20/2021

RE: Rec - Middle School Under 14

Trent Futrell of Knoxville, TN United States asks...

Dual Ref tandem game - U14 Girls.Red team is defending on their half of the field.  Red team ends up with a handball near the center line.  Other ref blows the whistle for the hand ball.  The girls all slow down on the whistle, but then the same ref says "no, play on."  Blue team is able to get the ball and take off on a breakaway and score on red.  Red parents and coaches are livid because the whistle was blown and their girls stopped playing and then weren't able to catch up on the breakaway.
My question is should play have stopped on the whistle or play continue since the ref said "no play on."
Preciate the help as always.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Trent,
based soley on your explanation the red team has every right to be angry!
Whistle sounded?
Then we have a RESTART!
‘Other referee’ messed up!
A referee indicates advantage by signal of arms & verbalization, Advantage! Then say, PLAY ON!
You CAN NOT give advantage if you as the referee blow the whistle. That STOPS PLAY!
You could apologise to the blue team for taking it away realizing oh crap I blew too soon!

You can however, allow a quick restart!

Now If blue simply restarted QUICKLY??

Did the referee comunicate poorly, used a bad choice of words thus horrible mechanics?
It appears he has unfairly if perhaps unintentionly interfered by taking the actions he did!
An assessor would be sure to point this out in the post game!

Once the foul is awarded unless the referee is going to show a card the offended team can go immeditely as long as the ball is stationary , on the correct spot on the FOP and the kicker one time kicks it to a team mate or off an opponet to be able to dribble.

If the ball carrer for blue touched the ball in a dribble takaway the restart is incorrect as would it be if the ball was still rolling along the ground, or the restart was a long way away from the foul location.

It is difficult but try to imagine the whistle is velcrowed to your hip and keep it away from the mouth to avoid a too quick whistle. Even elite referees fall victim to the, too quick whistle, taking away a goal or killing an attack by reacting too quickly.

I recall watching Winnipeg versus Vancover in the begininngs of the MLS days where the referee blew for deliberate handling on the goal line that denied the goal but the rebound was poked back immediately so our ball was in the process of crossing the goalline under the crossbar between the posts to reside in the back of the goal. I shook my head and chuckled as the correct call is now a red card send off reduce the defenders by a player, restart with a PK . Instead the referee after pretendng to talk with his AR mulling about what to do showed a yellow card to the defender restarted with a kick off and thus makebelieved that the whistle was for the ball crossing the goal line. If VAR had been in play it would note the whistle was sounding long before the ball had entered into the goal. He was taken over the coals by the assessing team but the two team accepted it quite well. One team got their goal the other did not play a man down.

I recall a championship match where an EPL referee rather than consider advantage had blown for a foul. THe ball broke pefectly for a true advantage and the goal scorer was miffed as the goal did not count. On the big stage you follow the letter of the law on the smaller stages well, your match your decision YOUR reputation!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Trent,
Under both the NFHS rules and the IFAB Laws, once the whistle is blown, play is considered to have stopped.

So to answer your question, play should definitely have stopped on the whistle. A referee cannot just say, "Play on," and act as if the whistle had not sounded.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Trent
Once the whistle sounds play is stopped in all forms of the game and in the way they are officiated.

Now how does it restart again. A whistle is not needed for a restart so a free kick from the correct spot or close enough to it gets the game going again. A whistle is not needed.

Now in this example if the whistle sounded and players stopped there is no possibility of allowing play to continue by way of advantage or discarding the whistle signal or for that matter allowing a loose restart of a free kick from the *wrong* place or with the ball moving.

From reading it there are mechanic issues here. Even if one referee disagreed with the other with a whistle sounded there is no possibility of an overrule nor advantage being played. Neither can a referee undo his erroneous whistle. If one referee sees an advantage while the other does not with a whistle sounded then play stops. Might be unfortunate yet there is no choice. Plus if one referee sees a foul while the other doesn’t then again unfortunate.
You do not mention who is the head referee? The Head ref could have stepped in here if it was the trail referee who whistled and stop play. I’m of the opinion that in an error a trail referee even of not the head referee should stop play when it is clear that there is a misapplication of the rules.

Obviously this is one of the flaws of the dual system and even a good pre game discussion will fail to address some of the situations that occur. The fundamental premise here is that a whistle stops play.

I was at a game recently where a referee blew his whistle in error to signal the return of an injured player after treatment ? Not sure what came over him yet the way it developed it had zero effect on the game. Players instinctively knew that there could not have been a reason to stop play with a whistle as the ball was in open play with one player who kept going! Nothing came of it yet had players stopped then play would have to be stopped fully and the restart would have been a dropped ball for the erroneous whistle.

In the 2006 Champions League final between Arsenal and Barcelona the referee Terge Hauge whistled for a foul just outside the penalty area in a DOGSO situation. A second or so later the ball was in the Arsenal net due to the way play unfolded. No hope of allowing the goal with advantage or a caution only for the goalkeeper. The referee had to red card the GK and restart with a direct free kick on the edge of the penalty area as the whistle had sounded and stopped play. It took Barcelona 80 plus minutes to score to equalise and then went on to win.

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