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Question Number: 35016

Other 6/24/2023

RE: Comp Adult

Doug Crawford of Folsom, CA US asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34872

Most leagues have an "INCIDENT REPORT" that can be used to report problems that don't involve a sendoff. A true violent attack like this might be worthwhile to report as an incident. Sometimes the players involved have a history, or will do the same in the future, so having the report can sometimes make a difference. No tv footage for the league to review tho.
Of course, as a minimum the offender's coach should be advised to speak w the player.
My 2 cents.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Doug,
Perhaps you are right if it is straight forward & simple
However, to the best of my knowledge is not an incident report a SEPERATION from a misconduct report as additional substantiated details of a single incident requiring a fact based explanation of a tragic or ugly match event? Massive crowd issues, abandonment, hospitalization, criminal actions ?

Perhaps a potential league policy to report violent incidents unseen, or rather, seen, but not acted upon within the play grounds? Could other incident reports be filed by anyone associated with the league as public input? Not sure how a referee can or should detail events he or she did not witness? IF a incident is so critical it needs more of an explanation than say a generalization SFP #12 Tim Smith of the red team at 67 minutes was shown a red card and sent off for a late excessive tackle?

A referee could detail it in a matter of fact breakdown! It was a two footed tackle from behind and broke the legs of the opposition player, where the crowd then erupted onto the field as the two teams were in a melee both on the FOP and in the technical areas I requested a 911 call with police & an ambulance, hammering my whistle I abandoned the match and sought refuge in my car in the parking lot after being chased by such and such yada yada.

But a hazy generalization of a supposed confrontation earlier in match that was not seen? Both team coaches approached me after the match and claimed there was an altercation between player a and player b that I was unaware of during the match so watch the handshake line up if they come face to face . Might stave off further altercations but I would expect the coaches to keep their players in check

I recall the question started a bit weird
"In a throw-in."

He then stated,
"After the game,"

Which he then stated,
"both coaches informed me that a player from the opposing team had punched the hurt player. The opposing team member that hit the attacking player had been pushed by the attacking player before this happened."

At first I surmised that (both) were the coaching staff of one team commenting not that the (both) could mean the two individual coaches playing each other. It is remotely possible that during a throw in stoppage in their match they watched an incident where a defending player reacted violently after being shoved by an attacking player . If indeed a missed push followed by a violent revenge punch retaliation when unnoticed it seems the timing of that incident was somehow tied to the throw in as a distracting event refocusing attention perhaps on the ball retrieval not conflict ? OR as far fetched as it might be, it occurred off an adjacent field by two other teams?

The final stage of the question was
"If I didn't see any of this happen, what would be the correct call??

Concerns could be, why was it not seen or not brought up immediately?
This is where I considered the throw in restart MIGHT be the result of the ball into touch was created by the VC incident yet somehow went unnoticed or part of it occurred
as misconduct after the ball went into touch.

If both team coaches are linking these two players in violent behaviour they too could inform the league as could spectators via a game report that is community orientated where input at all levels is welcomed.

What could be the best is for the CR or ARs not to miss such critical incidents and for those in attendance not to sit quietly by if actual violence erupts in behind or out of sight. Any coach who witness their players dealing it out or on the receiving end are usually quick to admonish unseemly behaviour if they truly care about the kids! If a referee is aware but not privy to the circumstances of an unseen event a firm reminder to all parties its a game not a war party is certainly doable should he later be brought up to speed by nonneutral parties. .

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Doug
Thanks for the question.

Understanding what is required is very important here and it varies from league to league.
Many leagues use these incident reports to capture details of normal match situations typically sendings off while others use them to report incidents such as serious injury, assault, abandonment etc. As we move to more online reporting many sending offs are simply dealt with by a code say for serious foul play and the player’s name with no requirement for a report. So incident report forms in those instances deal with situations that cannot be captured by the online system.

In our leagues standard report forms for dismissals are provided which captures all the match details and the referee then provides a description of what happened in red card incidents.
In other cases such as where a players has been hospitalized or a match has been abandoned for say assault or any unusual situation that affected the match a referee is required to write an incident report describing in detail what happened.
The report should be factual and written in a way that describes for someone who was not there what happened. The report should not include personal opinions. Sometimes these reports will be made available in a disciplinary hearing so the report needs to be accurate and setting out what happened. I have seen many reports and club replies and my experience is that when a referee deals with the incident only there is less room for a club to get into all other sorts of irrelevant facts. There is no need to go into a tome of facts unrelated to the incident such as the mood of the game, what happened elsewhere etc. The report should only deal with the matter being reported.
Insurance claims can also rely on these reports to verify what happened or perhaps a court of law may require a report to deal with a case.
The test I say to referees is can a report when made public be seen as a true account of what happened and that a referee can fully stand over what is written.

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