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Question Number: 16832

Mechanics 9/22/2007

RE: High School

Adal V. of St. Cloud, MN USA asks...

Thanks in advance for your answer.
A hand ball inside the 18, re-confirmed with AR and penalty shot awarded.
As the whistle is blown, my AR calls out, "she moved in front of the goal line". I make eye contact with the AR and continue with the kick. The goal's scored. I allowed the goal.
The defending goalie runs out yelling at me, "your AR distracted me", in a very loud way, and when I say the AR is communicating with me, she continues to yell out things.
I proceeded to yellow card the goalie for dissent.
My question is: Should I have stopped the taking of the penalty until everyone was concentrated and neither the kicker nor the goalie were distracted by our communication in the field (the officials)? Did I do okay allowing the penalty shot to be taken? What about the yellow card given?
Again, thanks for the multiple answers.

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

A) as a referee, please use proper terminology - the penalty kick was for a deliberately handled ball; B) pregame with your assistants should have included information on how to signal to you SILENTLY if they felt there was keeper movement or other infraction that needed your attention - in any case, this should be communicated immediately upon the ball being saved, going into goal or leaving the field by prearranged signal - not before the kick is taken; C) by allowing the kick to continue after your assistant interrupted with a vocal opinion, there is every possibility that she did indeed interfere with the taking of the kick - what was she thinking?...and you allowed that to happen; D) since you are the sole arbiter as the referee of when the penalty kick is complete, there is no harm whatsoever in either redoing the PK if you couldn't stop it in time or in restarting after your AR's incorrect interruption (it is the responsibility of all the referee team members to know what the appropriate signals are and when they should be made); E) which means the caution to the keeper was brought about in large part by the actions of you and your team. For next time, in the pregame discuss what signals you wish for your ARs to use - if you are the AR, you must ASK, so as to avoid this kind of error. Discuss also when those signals should be made and why that is the approved procedure. The good thing about such happenings is they teach us what we didn't already know, so we can avoid similar missteps in the future.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

By your mechanics you opened your match up to dissenting opinions. Once you ask for those opinions you must be prepared to hear them. In a prematch discussion you MUST cover what assistants are to do at a penalty kick. Guide to Procedures does not offer a signal to say the keeper has moved. If you are concerned about the keeper moving you must watch or establish some signal telling you there has been movement. Your major concern is the kicker taking the kick fairly and encroachment into the penalty area and nearer than ten yards to the ball. Far too few referees pay attention to these things.

The signal you choose must not be obvious and must not disturb the players. The reason the signal should be subtle is you don't want to have to respond to crowds of players saying your linesman did this or that, you want to have the opportunity to act on the information or discard it. Having the signal quiet prevents what happened to you that day.


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Horrible mechanics led you down a very bad path. The AR had no business yelling anything before the ball was kicked and by doing so may indeed have distracted the keeper. If during your pregame you told your AR to watch the keeper, then if the keeper moved off the line before the kick was taken, the AR would raise the flag AFTER the kick was taken were the shot to miss. You as the referee would be watching the kicker and teammates for encroachment and your AR watching the keeper for leaving the line early. In any event, you allow the kick to proceed and then handle any violations. While tecnically the keeper did dissent, the poor mechanics of your crew led to this so I'm not wild about a caution being given. In this case, the keeper has a valid point. Why should an AR be yelling anything during the taking of a penalty kick? It's almost certain to distract someone.

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

Specifically answering your question. YES. Absolutely. You should have stopped everything, walked over and had a discussion with your AR (specifically to tell them that if there is a problem, you want them to do thus and such -- whatever SUBTLE signal you want from them.) This looks particularly ugly and without doubt should have been discussed during your pregame conference with them. It's one thing for players to be communicating with one another during the course of the game. But, stealing a over used phrase: when the referee(s) speak, everyone listens. There's no doubt in my mind that the AR distracted not only the GK but I would also submit that she distracted you as well. Look. The whole point in having mechanics is to facilitate communication between you and your teammates. Mechanics is its own language. Not some pointless goofy thing that someone in the referee class told you would be a good idea to do. Your pregame conference with your teammates is vital, essential MANDATORY if you don't want to look really stupid out there. You have lived an event where you have seen personally why it is imperative that everyone on the referee team must be on the same page. Pregame isn't a time to tell your ARs things like "stay with the second to last, blah blah blah..." it's to let them know what you want for things not covered specifically in the LOTG or Guide to Procedures.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

I agree with my colleagues. You should have stopped everything and discussed the situation with your AR. Your AR needs to use the proper mechanics that should have been covered in your pregame. After the kick is proceeded, then your AR should confirm this information with you. Not during the kick.

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