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Question Number: 22794

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 2/3/2010

RE: Rec Under 13

Daniel Bacic of Plano, Texas United States asks...

As an AR, how should you notify the head referee if there is a problem with a parent during a game?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

If play absolutely *must* be stopped to deal with it, then stick your flag up. This is usually not advisable, unless the parent is presenting an immediate danger to the game or participants.

Otherwise call the ref over at a stoppage and tell him what the problem is. There is no official signal for this; some referees will tell you in pregame what signal they use. A common one is putting your hand over your badge. But you can always try, 'Hey George!'

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Answer provided by Referee Tom Stagliano

Referee Bacic

For a recreational U-13 game, you want to know the best method to alert the Center Referee about a parent?

I would assume that the problem is that the parent is bothering the AR. Otherwise if the parent is yelling at the CR, the CR already knows about the problem. If the CR then wants to deal with parent but can not identify the parent causing the problem, the CR will stop the game, ask your assistance in identifying the parent, and then the CR will seek assistance from the coaches. Typically, the coaches can have a quick word with the parent and then peer pressure will keep the parent quiet.

If the issue is between the parent and the AR, then First, as the AR you should try and use some people management skills on the parent. If those skills don't quiet the parent or if those skills don't enlist surrounding parents to exert peer pressure, then, at the next stoppage, wave your flag to attract the attention of the CR or the opposite AR to alert the CR. When the CR looks over, I would Suggest holding the flag across your chest and waving the CR over to you. You want to do this in a way that alerts the CR without attracting lots of attention from the parents. It would be best to work out signals during your pre-game, however, whatever works to get the CR's attention.

As the CR approaches, take a few steps into the field to avoid having the parent right there with you. Point out the parent. The CR should then go over to both coaches and seek assistance. You, as the AR should remain several yards into the field to avoid contact with the parent.

Typically, at this point the parent is too embarrassed to continue the problem. If not, the coaches will have to deal with it.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Referee Bacic
This should be discussed in the pre match discussion between the officials. The Laws of the game states that when dealing with disciplinary issues, eye contact and a basic discreet hand signal from the assistant referee to the referee may be enough in some cases.
I feel that the best way is to call the referee by name at a stoppage and gesture him to come across. Some suggest calling the referee and taking two steps on the field of play which is a signal that the AR wants to talk to the Referee. Many times I have waited until the referee is close by and play has stopped in my area before calling the CR. My colleagues have given other good suggestions as well. The important part is that it is agreed and understood in the pre match discussion.
Many referees including myself also look for the ARs to try to sort out these problems themselves if they can. If I am acting as an AR and it is a parent shouting about calls, I have tended to ignore this as if they did not exist. The calling only works if it is having the desired effect of engaging the AR. There is a good chance as well, if it is loud calling, that the CR will be fully aware of the situation and he may have a view as to when and how he plans to deal with it, if at all. That is also a consideration.
When I am on the technical area side I might have a ''discreet' word with the coach to ask him to deal with the problem.
Clearly if the matter poses a risk of safety to anyone in the game then the referee must be alerted immediately and the game stopped. This will involve raising and waving the flag as would one do for an infringement. If play can be allowed to continue safely to a stoppage, perhaps in a goal scoring situation, then that would be preferable.

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