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Question Number: 26820

Other 9/24/2012

RE: Select Under 13

Samantha of Nanaimo, Bc Canada asks...

Are players allowed to ask the referee a question during play? Ie. Why the whistle was not blown when a ball was returned to the centre (half) line after a goal?

My daughter was singled out after the game and told by the ref she should not have done that. Only the captain can speak to the ref. this is elementary school and there are no captains.

This no talking to the ref is something I had not heard before.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Samantha
Communication is an essential part of the game of soccer and there is nothing wrong with speaking to the referee.
However you will notice that questioning the referee it usually dissenting against a call. It is rarely to find out the reason for the call but to 'tell' the referee that he/she was wrong.
The Laws are quite clear on this and I quote ' A player who is guilty of dissent by protesting (verbally or non-verbally) against a referee's decision must be cautioned.
The captain of a team has no special status or privileges under the Laws of the Game but he has a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of his team.''
I suspect as well that the referee was trying to 'advise' your daughter on the matter. Some referees would simply caution the player for dissent and restart with a free kick to the opponents.
The learning point is that the referee has a job to do and players should not be 'questioning' decisions. In this case the whistle on the restart is at worst 'trifling' and it would have little or no effect on the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Asking a question is one thing. If done respectfully, nearly all referees will respond positively. Questioning the referee's decision is a different animal, and can easily result in a caution to a player for dissent. It is often a fine line.

Sometimes the referees are under the false impression that players are not allowed to talk to them, or that only captains can speak to the referee. That's on the referee, but honestly, it is rarely a question that is asked. More often than not it is questioning the call instead.

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