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Question Number: 26442

Character, Attitude and Control 6/12/2012

RE: U19 Rec

Jamie Laning of Huntsville, Ontario Canada asks...

I had a referee cancel on me less than 24 hours before the game (much less by the time I saw the email). I ended up doing CR for my own son's game. The scenario below happened early in the game. I believe it contributed to a comment at the end of the game, questioning by objectivity...

The attacker is moving in through the 18. He makes it into the goal area. The defender (my son, unfortunately) is with him in a fair charge (No problems, so far). The defender, to the left of the attacker, kicks the ball out of play, by crossing his left foot. He falls away from the attacker, who trips over his leg.

The attacker is looking for a PK. I applied the same logic I would use for a slide tackle. (From my point of view) The defender got the ball and nothing else and stayed low on the follow though.

Is my reasoning sound, or because the defender was so close and the attacker had no opportunity to anticipate the tackle, are there other considerations?

Thanks for all your great work!

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Doing a child's match always causes problems. My 22 year old is still sore at me for calling him out when he was playing little league at age 10. It is an unfortunate fact for recreational play (where the only alternative may be to cancel the match). It should never be done at competitive levels of play.

On your question. Getting the ball does not immunize the player from committing a foul. But, neither is falling over an outstretched leg always a foul. The referee needs to judge whether the defender's actions were careless. Where was the defender's position relative to the ball and the opponent? Did the defender cleanly play the ball from the front or side or did the defender come from the rear and go through the defender. How far off the ground was the defender's hips? (the higher the hips, the more likely the defender was going after player rather than ball) Was the speed and force used appropriate to the level of play? What did the defender do with the other leg? (Some defenders play the ball with one leg and hook the opponent (just in case) with the other.)

It sounds like a good call. But, only the referee can judge all of the factors.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jamie
From what you describe it reads to me that there was no foul. Your son won the ball fairly and then after the ball was gone there was a coming together which resulted in a trip over an outstretched leg. That is not a foul.
However the caveat is that winning the ball does not exonerate the challenger from acting in a careless or reckless manner. Even if the ball is won and the player is reckless say on a follow through or makes heavy contact after the ball is won then that is still a foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

There is no good side to having to referee your own kid's game. No matter how great a job you do, or how right and/or justified the calls that are made, there will always be someone who is unhappy and feels 'homered' or cheated. The question for you to answer is did you feel you called it as fairly as possible? If the answer is yes, then make like a duck and let that stuff roll right off your back. One hopes it never happens, of course, and we make sincere efforts to make sure it does not.

From your description, the ball was fairly won, the attacker tripped over the leg, but the leg was not raised or followed by the other to trip or attempt to trip the opponent. Assuming you were in position to judge the call, it sounds like the correct one. Quack!

Ah, and it is always a good idea to call your ref team the day before the game, even if you are not the referee, and as part of that, ask that if anyone has an emergency, to please call not just email.

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