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Question Number: 2578

Pre-Game 10/20/2001

RE: Bronze Under 14

Doug Blais of Delta, BC Canada asks...

We were about to start the 9:30am game and during the cleat check it was noted by the referee that three of my players ID cards were missing. I explained to him that we just received the ID cards last week and that I had notified the association but I was still waiting for them. The referee would not allow these three players to play because he was told that all teams were to have their cards by Oct 1. I told him that it was unfair to the kids to penalize them for the associations mistake, but he said that he did not know if these kids were given a Red Card during their last game. I said that considering this is a house level soccer league and not a cup game perhaps he could make an exception, but none was made. What do you think?

Answer provided by Referee Dawson 10/20/2001

Hi Doug,..Rules are rules or are they?.Each of us must walk that road when we come to it. ..In my opinion if there was no objections from the opposing team..A simple add on to a game report of the 3 kids name with perhaps a word to the opposing coach of the situation. Trust me if there was any wrong doing the league would be made aware. I too believe the kids should play if possible. ..I know how hard the registars work to try and get the id cards done. Usualy it is in the delay of correct information at an appropriate time. ID cards are not in use everywhere but in each league regulations there is protocal that should be followed to prevent protests..In BC there is a month grace before cards are expected to be shown. The referee was not wrong in following the instructions. In your situation, use the cell phone to contact an appropriate repersentative if possible. I trust you went and picked up the cards personally before the next game? Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Stacy Kalstrom 10/22/2001

HI,..I have a different take on your experience. While I too agree it is sad when children suffer (do not play) due to mistakes made by "grownups". I would not have allowed these players to play in this game without their player passes. Regardless of the level of competetion. These are the instructions from our district administrators and I do not have the authority to over rule those instructions no matter how badly I feel for the young kids who will have to sit out. ..In our area (Sacramento, CA) the players have passes to: insure they are properly registered and insured, make sure they are on the team which is playing (in other words to prevent cheating, sad but true), and to insure they were not red carded from their last match. If we as referees start making exceptions because we feel bad for the kids (which we all do) we are going to find ourselves allowing players to play illegally, either on the wrong team, without proper insurance (This could be very problematic if there was an injury) or when they should be sitting out a suspension...I am sure this was not the case for you and your team, but this type of thing happens which is why we have passes in the first place...Hopefully you have all your passes now and everyone is playing. Thank you for your question.

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