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Question Number: 24179

The Technical Area 10/18/2010

RE: Competitive Adult

Cory of Imperial Beach, California USA asks...

I am also a recently green assessor and as such i've done a few observations (friendly assessments). I was doing one such observation for a friend of mine on a U17B game and after the match was over the coach came over and engaged the referee (my friend) which resulted in him being sent off. In this instance he showed the coach the red card. When i asked him why he said it was so everyone who was leaving and not really paying attention now knew that coach was sent off. My question is would that be acceptable in an assessment situation? I was under the impression that we never show cards to coaches or spectators but i can see how his reasoning makes sense in this instance. So i'm a little confused is all.

To be clear: Is there any instance other than high school and college football to show cards to spectators and coaches?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The Laws of the Game expressly prohibit the showing of cards to anyone but players.

However, some local competition rules, often youth games, allow or mandate the showing of cards to coaches. USSF has said that this is an illegal modification of the Laws, but if the referee accepts a game in such a competition, he should abide by it.

I suppose that some competitions may have instituted rules that allow the showing of cards to spectators. But the better method of dealing with that is for the league to require that the coach control the behavior of the fans. The referee addresses the coach, and if the coach cannot or will not deal with the fan, the referee will abandon the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Cory
Cards are not shown to coaches or officials. The coach is informed of his dismissal and that he is being reported for misconduct to the League.
Cards are used for communication with players on the field of play. It is of no concern really after the game whether people knew that the coach was dismissed or not and that is not a valid excuse. Also I have been at disciplinary hearing where coaches complained that they were shown red cards contrary to the Laws of the Game, which in turn made the referee look like he did not know the Laws.
So in an assessment situation I would tell the referee that he was wrong to show the red card and that he simply informs the coach of his dismissal and that he is being reported for his misconduct.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

If this was a formal assessment for maintenance or upgrade, which is possible on a U17B, the assessor would not pass the referee. The referee is expected to know and adhere to the Laws of the Game. Under the LOTG, cards may only be shown to players, substitutes and substituted players. The coach would need to be written up and a referee report submitted. I'm assuming that on a U17B game the coach is neither a player or substitute.

As for spectators, they are the responsibility of the coaches. If they cannot be controlled, the referee is done with the game, and makes a report to the league as to what happened, what the score was when the game was ended, and when it ended.

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