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Question Number: 29211

Mechanics 2/27/2015

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29208

On the question of what to call, when you as the ref don't quite know who touched a ball last before it went out of bounds:

Richard Dawson recommended; '#5 we wait a brief moment to see if either team seems to claim it with no outcry of the other thus offering us a clue to go with the gut lol. '

I totally agree with this and recommend to my team-mates to give the ref a sign that it's our ball, whenever we're sure " or when there's a 50/50 chance¦ (or even a 45/55.)

Refs need help sometimes and players might as well try to influence the call to their good. To say nothing is to risk losing a ball that actually was yours.

Just last week, as a ref, I 'thought' I saw a 50/50 throw-in going to the Green team. The only way I was going to call it the other way was if the Blue player who was closest to the ball made a move for it.

He stood there, looking blankly at me. I reciprocated for a second, then gave it to the Green team.

Blue boy finally woke up and said, 'But it went off them'¦ but we continued with the Green throw.

When we had a moment, I told him to give me a sign on those close calls and he might get the call to go his way. His coach had probably never told him that¦ or he wasn't listening.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
at the elite level unfortunately they know enough to claim EVERYBALL no matter who touched it, at the recreational level, they have NOT YET learned to do this all the time! lol It has more to do with subtle body language and actions rather than listening to voice appeals. I suggest several courses of action, just remember each referee must tailor their own character and actions to their own comfort level and understanding.

Not often but once in a while we do see, fair play being displayed, I have awarded a throw one way only for the team taking it to deny. Quite often when I referee as a single official, the two teams actually help me on close calls along the touchline although I do WARN them to PLAY THE whistle. I cannot have one player signal the ball is out while defending but the attacker playing the ball thinks is in continuing the attack.

If they both indicate it is out and for some reason I am across the field out of a good view I am not unwilling to signal it is out since they both agree whose restart it is. Fair Play is not dead and something's can be accepted for exactly what they are! Trying to get a break is one thing, lying to get the ball is another

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
This will not work in every game / instance and I would caution referees on using this approach constantly. I know teams who appeal for everything even the most blatant of decisions. Those teams are certainly going to appeal the tight calls. In addition the signals need to be subtle not a player going / not going for the ball or an appeal.
An example is observing a player/s going to a defending position. He fully expects that restart is going a certain way. Going to get the ball is not a good signal as it may not be the players role to take the restart. In your example the referee has an inkling what way it is going. By observing both Blue and Green together there may be signals in there and there may not. Those subtle signals will confirm to the referee his decision. The players can be as uncertain as the referee as to who the ball came off. In your instance Blue can be thinking not about the restart but about his positioning or what is going to happen next. What Greens were doing was equally as important. By the way it only works well when there is no / limited debate afterwards. I would say that there was every chance the ball came off Green in your example. So I have used this very sparingly and in some instances I have used it where I did not make the decision and the players made it for me. I recall recently I was unsure of a call and I was going to go with Blues when Greens took the ball for the restart with no complaint from Blues. I knew I would have made the wrong call had I been hasty with my signal. No one knew that only me.

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