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Question Number: 26641

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 8/17/2012

RE: Competitive Under 17

Harris of Someplace, Somewhere Canada asks...

As an assistant referee, how do we handle bench-side dissent. In a recent game I had, a coach was displeased because of an offside decision that overruled a goal scored by his team and a penalty claim. Both were of course correct decisions but coaches complain as always.

Due to this unrest, he voiced his concerns loudly to the referee. What should we say as an assistant referee to calm him down and control the team officials? I attempted to say 'Coach please, calm down'. He just snapped back at me saying 'Just do your job' and continued to yell across the field at the referee.

What do you recommend doing and what techniques do you recommend in controlling team officials in the position of the AR?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

If the dissent is directed at you, the assistant referee, put your flag up at an appropriate time (e.g., not while there's an attack mounting) and have the referee come over to you to discuss the situation. Any good referee should protect the AR's from dissent.

If the dissent is directed toward the referee, you've done what you can by asking the coach to calm down. Now it's up to the center to decide whether or not it's worth a discussion or an official warning (equivalent of a caution).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Harris
This should be discussed in the pre game meeting. Most referees tell the assistants to try and manage the situation on their own. If that is not possible then the assistant must attract the referee's attention either by a call or by flag, call him across and clearly tell the CR what transpired. The CR may ask what action is recommened and then decide accordingly.
In your scenario the comment 'Just do your job' might be ignored by myself. I would make a mental note of this and a repeated outburst would result in me asking the referee to remove the offender. If the coach is clearly shouting into the referee then he is fully aware as to what is happening and he can decide what action to take without the AR's intervention.
If there are incidents in the technical area that the referee is not aware of and they are of a serious nature then the CR must be informed at a stoppage in play. Those would include the coach making offensive, insulting and abusive remarks / gestures unheard by the CR. In those sitautions the coach would be removed.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

With most coaches, a calm-quiet word from the AR is enough. Indeed, many coaches will accept a simple acknowledgement that 'he heard you.' I find, however, that I am much more successful in influencing the coach's behavior when I address the coach respectfully rather than using a tone that suggests I'm giving orders.

With a few coaches, nothing the AR will say will help. For those, the assistant referee should let the referee deal with it. The coach's response to you suggests that the coach is one of the irresponsible few. My usual response is to let it go. The primary responsibility of the assistant referee is to focus on what happens between the touchlines.

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