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Question Number: 26764

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 9/14/2012

RE: basic Under 11

andrew froggatt of lincolnshire, wainfleet england asks...

is it better too give the away team the call from the toss of the coin if your the home teams permanent referee ?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
It is a matter of personal preference. I have seen referees give the call at the coin toss to either captain or perhaps to the captain that is there first at the center circle. Many do give the call to the away side. Many older referees used to conduct it like a cricket toss with the home captain tossing the coin and the away team captain making the call.
I personally call the coin toss myself and I have total control of the situation. I have a coin that has Home on one side and Away on the other. If I don't have that coin I tell the captains that if the coin comes down Head it is a home call and if it comes down Tails it is the Away captain that has the call.
The important part is that is understood by both captains and it is seen as impartial. At the highest level in international football where there may be language issues it is not unusual for the referee to allocate one side of a coloured coin to one team by showing that dise to the captain and the opposite coloured side is shown to the other team. There is then no need for a call there either by the captains as when the coin is tossed the winning 'side' captain makes the call.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Law 8 does not require it, but the referee should follow the common practice in your community. It is not helpful the referee's first action is different than the players expectation.

In the US, it is common practice for the visiting team to call the toss.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Statistically it makes absolutely no difference who calls the toss. In fact, you could have a two-headed coin and as long as the participants didn't know it, it would be just as fair.

As Ref Wickham notes, in the US it is common practice to give the visitors the 'courtesy' of making the call.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

I'm not at all sure what a 'permanent referee' is, and not at all sure there should be such a thing, but traditionally the call is given to the away team. It doesn't really matter one way or the other generally. Both teams end up defending each end of the field once.

What is important is the appearance of fairness, and by allowing the away team to make the call, this indicates that fairness and sporting behavior are alive and well at this location.

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