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Question Number: 20380

The Technical Area 10/27/2008

RE: Classic Under 19

George of Winston Salem, NC USA asks...

At a match recently, Team 'A' was offside during many of the attacking plays. The assistant was right on top of those plays, and even from my vantage point as Center Referee, I could tell that they were offside. Most of these offenses weren't even close to being onside.

The coach for Team A decides to walk around to the opposite side of the field (to the spectator side of the field) to watch and see if her players are really offside. Here she sits for a few minutes before one of my assistants notices and beckons me over.

The rules of the competition mirror the Laws of the Game with the sole exception that the technical area is a bit bigger. Specifically: from their side of the half line to the top of their own penalty area.

I looked at the spectator stands, and sure enough, the coach was sitting in the stands.

There are two immediate problems that I saw with this:

1) An adult is required to be on the Coach's side at all times -- there was not one.

2) (and perhaps a bit more important): The coach left her technical area to see if players were really offside.

I asked her to return to her technical area. I visibly pointed, and given that she was in the midst of the crowd, everyone heard me.

She went back to her techical area, only to have her manager sit with her players as she returned to the spectator side of the field. She then returned to the spectator side of the field.

It was almost halftime when this transpired, so at half when she darted across the pitch back to her technical area, I stopped and warned her that her behavior was bordering on irresponsible.

My question is, when she visibly disregarded my direction by returning to the spectator side of the field, should I have dismissed her for irresponsible behavior? In effect, it is public (and flagrant) dissent.

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

A U19 Classic coach should know better. Whether you dismissed her the first time is up to you. For sure, if she did this during the second half after your warning she should be gone

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

I think that when it happened the first time you should have:

1) Told her to stop AND return to her technical area.
2) Told her that this behavior was against the rules of competition and unfair.
3) Made sure that you told her the behavior was irresponsible and repetition would result in her dismissal.
4) Answer any reasonable questions related to what she was allowed to do/not do, only at that time, and only breifly.

On repetition, she should have been dismissed.

...Plus, if she wanted to evaluate the offside position/decisions of the AR, I'm sure such a large technical area permits a pretty liberal evaluation of those things, so going to the opposing side would not really give her any more insight into things, BUT you wouldn't want to offer that to her.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

George, I don't quite understand what a referee is required to do under these rules. You say an aduly is supposed to be in the technical area at all times. What happens, as it did in your case when there was none? Abandon the game???
This problem is more man management than FIFA Laws, which is generally what we deal with here. Nonetheless I am willing to offer a way it could have been handled.
In my games if there is an infraction by a coach, during a stoppage in play I talk to that coach as to what he can and cannot do. Any infractions after that and he is gone. In your case that coach HAD to be in the defined technical area and when she was not, even after a warning, she should have been tossed. They want to circumvent he Laws, they pay the price.

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