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Question Number: 28522

Character, Attitude and Control 6/18/2014

RE: Intermediate Under 12

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

I'm still trying to learn judgement calls on fouls. I know the rules, but I would still like to learn the application better, as I don't want to whistle all the time, but I don't want things to get out of hand. Do you know of any online videos that could help in that regard?

Also, I'm wondering what you thought about the refereeing in the recent World Cup game between Brazil & Mexico. When I watched it, even though I realize that professionals get away with more, I thought the ref let the game get away from him. There were so many fouls, not called, that kept getting worse as the game progressed. Then the CR ended up giving out yellow cards...he gave out 3 of them in a short period of time. What do you think?

Thanks for such an informative site.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
It is never a good idea to use the professional game as a learning tool on fouls as many times pro players see contact as trifling or it is expected that tackles that win the ball but are still careless are ignored. Also the referee does not see what we see from multiple angles with slow motion, freeze frame etc. In the Nigeria v Bosnia Herzegovina game the goal IMO was a foul by the right winger. The referee did not see the Nigerian player make slight contact with the defender's leg causing him to trip. I think both the CR and AR had a focus on the upper body contact between the players which were not fouls or at least only trifling. With players going down so easy it may have looked like a player trying 'to buy' a foul in a dangerous location.
As regards control your point is well made. Loss of control for a period is like trying to get toothpaste back into the tube. Best to not let it happen in the first place. Referees at this type of tournament try to allow the games to flow and also to perhaps caution less due to the sanction of two cautions being a suspension for one game. Referees though have to judge what incidents that require stern action such as a caution to send out the message that this is the limit beyond which players should not go. If player believe that this is a referee that has a high tolerance level they will act accordingly. Also tiredness and frustration can takes it toll. Also some referees demonstrate stronger control than others and that comes from 'presence'. Everything the referee does is a signal to the player. Appearance, warm up on the field, how he communicates with players, foul signals. The list is endless.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

One method is to work with or watch another referee doing games at a similar level of yours. You can pick up tips on what works, and also sometimes what not to do.

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