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Question Number: 34942

High School 4/3/2023

RE: 4A High School High School

Ryan Brenneman of Charlotte , NC USA asks...

Is this DOGSO? Denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity

4a NC high school conference game. My team is in black. My striker gets an over the top pass that catches the opposing team out of place. She controls it and it is off to the races. 1v goalie. A defender chases her down and hits her from behind outside the box Ref issues a yellow. I ref as well along with both my daughters. All of us are sure this is dogso. Are we wrong?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ryan
Thanks for the question
My answer is given under IFAB Laws of the Game. DOGSO is an IFAB term whereas NFHS describes it differently as outline by my colleague Referee Manjone
The video is somewhat grainy and it is unclear to me how the ball got from the attacker to the goalkeeper in the manner that it did?
Was the foul before or after the ball left the attacker at pace. Was it a shot that was got away before the foul?
Put it like this. I would say it is more likely to be a dismissal for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity than not and while three of the four DOGSO conditions are definitely present there might be a doubt over the fourth one which is keeping or gaining control of the ball

# distance between the offence and the goal = Check
# general direction of the play = Check
# likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball = Question Mark
# location and number of defenders = Check

Perhaps the referee felt that the play of the ball away failed the keeping or gaining control of the ball condition yet I think the foul may have caused the loss of control of the ball hence all four conditions were present and that a dismissal was appropriate.

The best explainer would be the referee on the game and a referee if approached in a calm manner after the game should be able to give an opinion as to why a caution was issued rather than a red card.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for the question.
It's difficult to tell from the video if it was a foul so I won't comment on that. The referee awarded a free kick, as you say, so we'll assume that was the correct decision.

As Ref McHugh states, who kicked the ball to the goalkeeper is relevant here. If the attacker kicked it before they were fouled, then they kicked it so far ahead that they lost control and it's no longer DOGSO, but the YC may have been for a reckless foul. To be clear - the only possible way that I could see a yellow card being justified is if the defender has committed a foul AFTER the attacker has played the ball (and the foul hasn't affected the kick at all), and even then it depends on the severity of the foul.

If the defender kicked it, then they committed the foul in the process of winning the ball, so we start to think about DOGSO.

And if so - then I would say this should be a red card. Attacker only had the goalkeeper to beat, ball at their feet and under control, in about shooting range, heading in the general direction of the goal. All the DOGSO criteria there are met.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Hello Ryan,

The situation you indicate is covered in Rule 12-8-2d3 on Page 59 of the 2022-23 NFHS Soccer Rules Book. This rule states: A player shall of disqualified (red card) for committing serious foul play when the player commits a foul outside the penalty area when attempting to prevent a goal and this goal is not scored.

The video shows that the white player was attempted to prevent a goal and committed a foul while doing so. The fact that a caution was given is proof that a foul was committed. A red card should have given to the player that committed the foul.

I hope your team has a successful season and makes it to the NC Championships on June 2 and 3.

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