Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 29707

Law 5 - The Referee 9/16/2015

RE: JV High School

Matthew of Saratoga Springs, NY United States asks...

This happened in a JV game (thankfully not varsity) so we are using the 2 man system. Fast break; attacker 1 on 1 with the goalie. Im on the opposite side of the field, opposite corner so this is literally as far from the play that I can possible be. The goalie missed the ball and took out the attacker. Were talking (most likely a red for DOGSO, distance is debatable) but definitely a yellow. The other ref doesnt call ANYTHING (not play on...nothing). Its an obvious call that I can see and so can every spectator watching the game.

I didnt call if from the half line because I thought it really wasnt my call but Ive been thinking about it and having regret. I also do basketball and one rule we have with a 2 man system is sometimes you have to make the long call because there are certain fouls that need to be called no matter where they are.

In the future should I make this call if its 100% obvious. Im thinking this will also be something I cover in my pregame from now on. Would you call something in a 2 man system in front of your partner but across the field from you??

Thanks for the advice.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Matthew
Player and coaches expect the LEAD REFEREE to make the judgment call foul or not, and on whom, regardless of what orthodox dual methodology might theoretically suggest. It never really looks good or sells well for a whistle to come from 40+ yards away on the far side when the Lead Referee only 5 yards from the incident in plain view. The comment might be ** that was right in front of him (the Lead Referee) and the other guy calls it from 50 yards away!!
In the EPL West Brom v Southampton game at the weekend I looked at what I thought, as most did, was a nailed on penalty for a blatant foul on a West Brom player. It was not given and it was shown afterwards that the West Brom player was actually going down before the Southampton defender came across him. Probably close proximity and sense of what was happening by the referee got him to make the right call to not award the penalty or that the AR was able to shout into his mike no foul. Now had it been a dual referee system the last thing that the lead referee might need was the trail making a call that was wrong or lacked credibility 40 yards behind him. Maybe in your instance the lead saw a touch of the ball by the goalkeeper. Yeah maybe he just missed it or was too close. You do not mention what your colleagues opinion was afterwards. Did he miss it? Did he think it was not a foul? As you say the best way is to discuss this in the pregame and to reach a decision as to how it needs to be handled. There can be instances where the decision just has yo be made. Good team work, good eye contact and communication along with following the laid out system generally will solve these.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

There have been stories told about trail referees making long-distance calls because they thought they saw a dead-on foul. And the lead referee, right on top of play, knew absolutely for certain that it wasn't a foul. (For example, the player tripped over his own feet, hit a bump in the grass, stepped on the ball, etc.) But once that trail ref's whistle was blown, it can't be un-blown. Play is stopped. The team and the lead ref have hard feelings - sometimes bad enough the ref will request the assignor to never work with that ref again.

I can't say never do it, but be aware that it really has the potential to explode on you.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Please read the Dual Officiating System, pages 87-91 in the NFHS rules book so that you become more familiar with high school suggested positioning and procedures. I believe that you already know that you should have made the call in the example that you gave, because both officials are responsible for calling fouls and have joint authority on the entire field. You are also correct that this is a situation that should be discussed in the pre-game as it does often occur in dual officiated games. After making the call, it would also be prudent to stop the clock and confer with your partner before issuing the card which is this case would appear to be a red card. My only other comment is that even with a fast break, you should have been further up the field and closer to the ball than you indicate. It is my experience that to work a dual game properly, both officials must run and work as least as hard as the head referee in a diagonal game, and from observing a large number of games in recent years, this does not often occur.

Questioning calls and no-calls such as you did here is an excellent way to improve. I applaud you for doing this and hope that you have a very successful season

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe Manjone

View Referee Joe Manjone profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Matthew,
a referee with integrity sees what he sees. The fact you are two with equal authority can make for some interesting conundrums if the referees' are not on the same wavelength. Personally I do not like the dual system but then I am an crusty opinionated codger who has to check my ego at the touchline when those I referee with are not giving appropriate effort or using good knowledge in my perceived opinion. As in any decision to allow play or to stop it carries consequences. Whether it is appropriate to make a call that might seem to undermine the other referee's authority is one to be sure and discussed pregame! It is a critical component for a good referee to review and analyze ones performance in the post game and self review . Although the dual system has it flaws it is impertinent to think 2 ARs and a CR do not run into ego or dismissive situation where input is under appreciated or seen as different.
Plenty of ARs accuse the CR of belittling or being ignored while CRs claim the AR is over stepping their duty to assist to a more insist role. The key is as always effective ...COMMUNICATION... and realistic expectations. I suggest the NEAR referee be the whistle guy at 25 yds. and in at either end. Awarding free kicks inside the PA from over the halfway line while the other referee is 5 yards away will rarely go down well unless the 5 yard referee jumps on board!

On the dually system, I generally try to run one side of the field as the other takes the opposite side and creep up as far as I can subject to the 2nd last defender at the midline as well as head into the middle sections when play dictates.
IF the near referee has not stopped for something the far referee holds was a stoppage event it can still be given as a drop ball if there is going to be a that was , no it was not altercation . The restart can be altered if either referee has not yet resumed play. Personally I rather have a quiet word, not public ,over a dissenting view . I strongly recommend you do not publically indicate by tone of voice or irritated body language if you are in disagreement. The stopping of the clock to confer and realizing you might have to agree to disagree but it is a FACT, once the whistle goes, those in attendance will be focused on what you do next and how you do so!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 29707
Read other Q & A regarding Law 5 - The Referee

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 29714

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.