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Question Number: 20947

Law 5 - The Referee 3/8/2009

RE: Rec and Select Other

Steve of Long Island, New York USA asks...

99% of the games that I and most referees in my area do are solos with no ARs - only club parent linesman, no linesman at all. One situation that often occurs is when you are closely trailing a player on an attack, and he/she crosses the ball to the other side of the field, then a foul is committed. You can't tell whether it was inside or outside the PA, since you are at least 44 yd. away. My usual rule of thumb is that if I can't say for certain that it was in the PA, I assume it isn't, and place the ball just outside the line for the DFK restart. This is a true no win situation. What do others do in this case ?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I assume you mean the foul happened near the far side of the penalty area (toward the far touchline), so you can't see if it is inside or outside the shorter boundary line of the penalty area. I think your compromise is reasonable. If you can't see it, you can't give it.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

The diagonal system of control is no help to you when doing a solo game. Solo games require some creative positioning on the part of the referee and a great deal more work. It doesn't change any with club lines since they can't call offside or do anything but give you in and out.

If you know a player is going to cross the ball (and you will know, because it is a set piece of playing strategy), you have to move to a more central position so you can try to observe the outcome. Doing this without getting in the way of players takes some practice, but is the only solution short of 'I can't see it so it isn't...' thinking.

And sometimes no matter how good of a job we're doing or how hard we are trying, we just can't be everywhere or see everything at once. In that circumstance, you make the best call you can and move on.

I'm a little surprised doing a solo you would be closely trailing a player with the ball instead of finding a position that gives you an angle to see that player and anyone around her while also giving you a chance at seeing where the ball will go next. It's all about positioning after all.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

As a solo referee you do what some call Iron Man referee duties. Being a solo is not for the faint of heart it is for the fittest of the fit because you're going to be where you need to be every time. If that means run, you're going to run. If it means have a heart attack, well that's authorized too. You have been given the match and it becomes your task to enforce the Laws of the Game, alone. There is just not going to be anyone to assist you if you get behind.

Ergo, the referee is forbidden from being behind. Get there, see what you need to see and stay out of the way.


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