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Question Number: 34891

League Specific 2/25/2023

RE: Select (Division 2) Under 10

Andrew McAllister of North Bend, Washington United States asks...

In the first half of a U10 game, 2 girls from each team were going shoulder-to-shoulder for the ball. After the girl from the attacking team gets the ball, she taps the ball away, turns, and pushes the defending girl to the ground with both hands. The attacking coach subs the girl out and no card was given due to the age group. Should a card have been given for violent conduct?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Andrew,
There are consequences to actions!
Cards are usually not a necessity as we tend not to look at kids in the same way as adults..
U 10 Kids, be they boys or girls can get testy but whether a card MUST be shown given the consequences' of VC action is a red CARD and send off reduce the team a player. I like the fact the coach recognized the bad behavior's and subbed her out! THAT is crucial in youth, the coaches, officials and parent's MUST be on the same wave lengths in discipling the kids and not permitting VC or USB behaviors' to flourish either by the kids OR caused by their own reactions!
Many officials , myself included, if we are 11 aside with offside and all LOTG apply then cards are certainly a possibility SHOULD they be required in the best interest of the game, the child and the need to set the example a teaching moment! How we might go about it reflects our concern and character still young people do dumb things and could need more than a Please do not do that! Also keep in mind as ADULTS we can manage kids but often KIDS are just learning to referee are kids themselves and frequently referee the younger ones only a few years of age separation
Understand we are using what we can to effect positive change. at the youth level. We can be lenient just not soft or appear unconcerned. Stern verbal warning should certainly be the minimum but in a teaching moment you could ask, "What did you think you were doing? ) That is a DFK and VC can get you sent off
Violent conduct that occurs be it in retaliation or anger is not permissible! Yet In my career I have only seen two incidents of a youth u 12 requiring a red card type of intervention for a truly vicious act where the kids acted as if they needed some form of mental therapy for truly outrageous conduct biting jumping ,stomping in a frenzy. Perhaps if she had balled a fist and repeatedly punched or ran at the stopped opponent full speed delivering a two handed snap push where she was whiplashed and struck her head hard on the ground. Then perhaps more than just a dismissive push warning not to be mean. Myself and colleagues generally think cards are usually unnecessary at youth for behavioural fixes more attention though to the mental state of the child and consequences of how and why.
Mind you eliciting tears and terror is not what we hope to convey, more a reminder its a fun game but there are consequences to acting improper no matter what her rational might be? She kicked me etc.. in the lead up. Most definitely that young lady should be told, NOT only is it unacceptable, she should sit out for a certain time, (10 minutes) I think is a sinbin time often used in high school games when a caution occurs. I do not like forced apologies but if one is offered as genuine and a handshake to reinforce fair play certainly not a horrible action.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
Thanks for the question
First of all well done to the coach for subbing out the player which is akin to a sin bin sanction. Hopefully the coach advised the player that her conduct was unacceptable and that was the reason for her substitution.

As to a red card for the offence I personally would not dismiss at ULittle level yet ask the coach for a substitution. Winning is not a key determinant in these games and all a red card does is limit playing time for other players.
In our Player Development Plan coaches are advised that at ULittle players should be substituted for unacceptable behaviour

Also at very young age groups it does not take much if any force to push a player over so excessive force may not need to be used.

Now my final point is that adult values should not be brought to U Littles games

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