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Question Number: 29061


RE: Rec Under 13

Jimmy Kalert of Carbondale, IL Jackson asks...

During a tournament one of our players tripped an opponent in the box just before he could shoot. The opposing coach was demanding that my player be red carded. The ref said that it was not a dirty play or an intentional foul as my player made contact with the ball first. Is the ref correct in his call? I believe he is but the opposing coach is still harping on this call after almost 2 months and has his players parents bad mouthing my player.

Thank You

Jimmy Kalert

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jimmy
Thank you for your question.
The referee on the day decided that there was no foul based on what he saw. If the tackler was not careless or reckless in his challenge and that he made contact with the ball before making contact with an opponent then there would be no foul.
Neither my colleagues nor I can say whether there was a foul not on the day. The referee decided that there wasn't and that is all that matters.
Even if the referee got it wrong and made a mistake what can be achieved by continuing to bring it up. The game is over and I can assure everyone that the players have forgot about it and moved on.
I recall many years ago when I was coaching an U14 team and we were heavily beaten by one of the top team in the Division. On the way back from the game I was feeling pretty down contemplating how poorly we had played. We were not five minutes on the road when the players starting asking about next weeks game and how we had a great chance to win that game and the training times for the week ahead. The message to me was the game was over and we look forward. Like Referee Wright I wish everyone would look at these situations like young players.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jimmy,
wow! We are, what we do, and accountable for the choices we make, so the opposing coach is acting imbecilic because in his infallible opinion an official two months ago might have made a mistake? Whether the referee missed a foul or interpreted an incident incorrectly or not, it sure sounds like the other coach needs to go to some sort of anger therapy program. I have no idea what the referee saw or his level of experience or knowledge other than your comment he saw ball contact with the foot before the opposing player fell on a tackle determined not to be careless, reckless or excessive ITOOTR!. A judgement call, right or wrong a referee with integrity sees what he sees even if others see it different!

In an article I wrote long ago entitled ' Are we still on the same side when we disagree? ' I remarked there are four points of view from which a game is seen.

1 players see what they feel to see
2 coaches sees what they want to see
3 spectators see what they think they see
4 a referee with integrity sees what he sees
The opposing coach needs a bit of Christmas cheer and holiday kindness as much seems to be missing from his life.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Jimmy,

There are 2 aspects at play here - was it foul, and if so - was it a red card?

The red card is easier to address - the relevant offence is Denying an Obvious Goalscoring Opportunity. For this, referees will take into account a number of factors - distance to goal, direction of the attacker, how many defenders able to potentially intervene between the attacker and the goal, amongst others. In your situation, if there was a goalkeeper plus one other defender, then usually that's enough to say there's no DOGSO, so a red card wouldn't be issued. One thing that's important to note is that if a foul is given, and if there's an Obvious Goalscoring Opportunity, the red card must be given. It doesn't matter if it was an intentional foul or simply mistimed, dangerous or unfortunate - the red card is mandatory.

Was there a foul? Not being there I can't say for sure. Getting the ball first will often mean there's no foul, although it is also common for a foul to occur even if the ball was touched first - particularly if it was only a glancing touch by the defender but a heavy contact on the opponent. Referees need to consider the timing of the challenge whether the manner and force of the challenge was reasonable - among plenty of other things.

These situations can often be controversial events in a match, with one team being adamant there's a foul and the other adamant there is no foul.

I am, however, rather concerned about the conduct of him and his team. It's always very disappointing to hear this sort of thing in youth soccer. There's just no place for it - whether or not a dirty tackle had been committed. It's funny how so often on the soccer field the parents need to grow up and follow the example set by the young players!

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