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Question Number: 25409

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 9/10/2011

RE: Intermediate Under 12

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

I'd like to know if I made the right decision as an AR in a BU12 game.

Red team is attacking on the Blue side of the field & ball is kicked high in the air, near my side of the touchline.

Red1, Red2, & Blue1 all race toward it, within a couple feet of each other, looking up at the ball. Red1 & Blue1 bump & Blue1 loses his footing & falls (no excessive force & the ground was slippery). Red2, still looking upward & running, heads the ball away & lands on Blue's hand within about a second of the fall.

I immediately raised my flag because of the injury. I felt there was no foul because, although one could say Red2 should watch were he's running, all 3 were running & Red2, in my opinion, wasn't aware the defender fell. I'm not sure Red2 would have been able to stop in time anyhow.

Referee did not see my flag & within a few seconds, the red team scored. The referee then noticed my flag & I told him what happened. As there was no foul, the goal was counted, since the referee hadn't stopped the game before the goal was scored.

My questions are:
1) As AR, should I have tried harder to get the referee's attention (like shouting out 'injury')? If I had, the game would probably have stopped & the restart a dropped ball. (As it was, I instinctively stepped on the field to prevent anyone else from stepping on this kid.)

2) Several parents on the Blue team were upset, of course, because they assumed that I raised the flag to signal a foul. I responded that I raised it for an injury & that there was no foul. Was I right to give a quick explanation?

3) If I had been the actual referee & decided to temporarily stop for the injury (no foul), but the goal scored before the whistle was blown, would the goal have counted? (I know that if it had been a foul, the time of the decision, not the whistle, is what counts).

Thanks in advance,

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

1. What was discussed at the pregame? I agree with you that at this level no foul but what was discussed as to injury? Were you right to notify the referee there was an injured 11 year old kid on the field as quickly as possible? Of course. Was the injury serious? Almost ALL injuries at this age are serious. Should play have been stopped immediately? That's the kicker. You were keeping the player from any further injury so everything taken into account I think the goal should count. Why was your flag raised? Was that the signal the referee asked you to use for injury?

2. Yes

3. Correct. The whistle signals you have already stopped play. If you blew the whistle, I'd say no goal. If not, let it stand

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
The problem was caused here by the mechanics of raising the flag during play. During play when the flag is raised it suggest either offside, ball out of play or an offence. As it was an injury my advice would have been to call to the referee. Usually a team will also draw the ref's attention to a player that is on the ground.
1. I would have called out to the referee by name. He hopefully would have looked around and saw the player on the ground and then made a call
2. Nothing wrong with giving an explanation. However it would not have been needed if the flag was not raised.
3. If a goal was scored before play was stopped then it must be allowed.

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