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Question Number: 28802

Law 18 - Common Sense 9/29/2014

RE: Intermediate Under 13

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28795

Thanks to all of you for all the advice & explanation. I must have gone over this in my head dozens of times. I learned several things:
1. First, thanks for the explanation of the PA. I'm sure I knew that, but for some reason, have trouble remembering which edge of the line counts. I'll keep in mind the 'wall of water' analogy that Referee Dawson used.

2. Despite the belief that I provided all the facts (I really tried), I now realize that I left out facts...otherwise, there wouldn't have been speculation about whether there was an advantage or whether a caution was needed. The red attacker was one of the best players on their team & twice the size of the GK. Not only was this right near the PA line that parallels the goal line (less than 18 yards b/c it's U12), but right in the center of the goal. There were also 3-4 other defenders crowed around to the attackers side with some shoulder to shoulder contact. The GK was caught off balance when the attacker changed direction & was jostled by other defenders, & the holding was momentary, so I don't believe a caution was warranted, especially at U12 (I didn't even think of that when I asked the original question).

The attacker then got through & had absolutely no one between he & the goal. He was at least a foot closer to the goal than any defender. I waited for the whistle because I was sure he was going to kick a goal; I've seen U8 kick a goal from that distance. For some reason, he hesitated...I don't know why. Maybe he thought I was going to call the foul. (That's actually why I asked whether I should have called advantage) During that time of hesitation (maybe 2 seconds), the GK started to angle back in front of him. He still had time to take the shot. Instead, he hesitated, then dribbled forward & pushed the GK out of the way with his arm. This same attcker had been warned previously (not cautioned) by both myself & his coach to not push.

2. I should have called advantage because, although it was very close to the PA, by not being positive that it was inside the penalty area, I must have the opinion that it was outside.

I mention these details now because some of you felt there was advantage & some felt there wasn't. The one thing I'm very sure about, is that the attacker had a perfect opportunity to shoot for the goal, like a penalty kick without a GK...I have no idea why he dribbled. But I feel guilty that I didn't say 'Advantage, play on' because maybe he wouldn't have hesitated & then push the GK.

4. I'm still not sure why the USSF would say not to call advantage in the PA. Had the original foul occured 1 foot closer to the goal, & I called advantage, the attacker might not have pushed the GK. Then he would have scored a goal, or so I think. Especially at this age, everyone would know that I saw the foul, but waited a few seconds to see what would happen.

By the way, I had looked at 28785. That's what made me think to ask my question. Not an easy job! Thanks again for all the advice.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Thanks for the clarification. It isn't easy and we all know that. Also it is natural to go over an incident many times when we are unsure. However we can sometimes overanalyse here and at our level we don't have action replay to look at what did happen. I'm analysing in my head an offside call I made in a recent game and in some ways I don't have the picture of what did happen and I'm relying on memory. I have to trust my judgement and also recognise that it is part of the game even if it was wrong. I cant go back. Also so what if spectators thought there should have been a penalty. You made what you deemed to be the correct call. I can assure you that if you called the penalty there would be an equal amount of spectators, players thinking that you awarded a soft penalty. What We all can do is take learning points from these incidents
In this part of the world the referee can call advantage anywhere on the FOP. In reality it rarely happens inside the penalty area as events happen so very quickly. If the referee calls and signals advantage he may in the next breath be whistling a penalty. That can cause problems in selling the decision. Wait and see is the best approach inside the penalty area. If the advantage is clearly realised then no one is bothered. If it doesn't then making the penalty call sorts it.
It may also be the case that the tug was trifling with no effect on the player. He might not even been aware of it and happy to get on with play. We all see plenty of trifling / doubtful fouls that are not called as they had no effect on the player or play.
Also mismatch in size is always difficult to deal with. Equal strength players are less effected by contact. I had a penalty call recently where a very young small player in an adult game was bounced off the ball by an opponent. It looked like a possible foul and I doubt it would have arisen had the player been equal in stature and strength.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil,
there will be moments when no matter what you do that you think is the right thing will not work out as planned. It is called life and you learn and you accept that despite our best efforts not every contingency can be covered.

When I read over your versions of events it now appears that the initial momentary holding foul was almost inconsequential as doubtful or trifling and this big strong guy just pushed his way through had a opportunity to shoot and squandered it by reverting to being big and strong and pushy after being told not to!

I mentioned you can still TALK directly to the players on the field without signaling the advantage in the PA. The use of the advantage signal and yelling play on rather than wait a second to see a result generally is the better option because it allows YOU the referee more options to consider. When you have given and recognized the advantage for all to see then you no longer have a say in the outcome.

If you had acknowledged the hold to the big guy by saying something to the keeper to like., hands down, let go or I see that or acknowledged to big guy by saying , your through no need to push, it might accomplish the same thing! I see it but no need to stop for it!

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