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Question Number: 20971

League Specific 3/13/2009

RE: Comp High School

Doug Clemons of Stuttgart, AR USA asks...

During a game, if there is a rules question, can you talk, as a coach, to the referee? Is there a ruling on it?

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

If by 'during a game' you mean at a stoppage, in a respectful manner, with your rule book open to the place in question, then perhaps yes, you can ASK the referee a question on the rules.

However, you cannot insist on either the questioning or an answer - there is no requirement that referees do anything more than a brief explanation of a card or foul, often by signal alone. Best to ask any questions or for any clarifications before the game at the captains' meeting.

As for talking to the referee, I would remind you the referee is focusing on many things out on the field - 22 players, a ball, and two ARs - asking her to talk to you also is taking valuable attention from the game at hand.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Doug you must go to NFHS High School Soccer Rules, Rule 3, Section 1, Article 1 for the answer to this one.

The game shall be played by two teams, each consisting of not more than 11 players, one of whom shall be the goalkeeper. Each team shall designate a team captain on the field who:

a. is the team's representative;

b. may address an official on matters of interpretation;

c. may address an official to obtain essential information.

Please note that captain is singular and he alone is afforded the right to speak with an official. The coach may only give tactical instructions to his team, occupy the technical area and conduct himself responsibly.


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

In the real world of soccer, it's best coaches keep quiet during play but go up to the referee at the half or after the game for an explanation. If approached in a calm and respectful manner, most of us are willing to discuss anything

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