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Question Number: 30173

Mechanics 3/4/2016

RE: Rec Adult

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

What to do when the referee is missing something obvious - especially at a stoppage - and you want to get his attention?

Situation 1: Night game under dim lights. Single referee.

The other team had a corner kick and the ref placed himself on the far side of the PA. This team had a few characters who (I think) sensed they could mess with the ref, so they did.

The kicker ignored the corner arc and set the ball 3-4 yards closer to the goal. The ref likely couldn't see this - and he couldn't hear us yelling from our sideline (near to the kicker).

I thought later, we should have just booted a ball onto the field, to get the ref's attention. It might have annoyed him but he wouldn't have known exactly who did it.

Your thoughts? (The 'short' corner kick was safely knocked away, btw.)

Our own team pulled a similar play a while ago (against a different team.) Single ref again, in good light.

We were down 1-0 and got a PK in the last minute of the game. There was no PK spot, so the ref paced off 12 yards and had the kicker place the ball. The keeper took his place on the line.

Just then, a disturbance broke out at the edge of the PA and the ref turned away to deal with it.

Our cheeky kicker took the opportunity to roll the ball 2-3 yards closer to the goal, then stood ready for the ref.

When the ref was ready, the keeper was fuming, screaming that our man had moved the ball. 'I could spit on it from here!' he yelled.

The ref was having none of it and whistled for the kick to proceed. We scored - and I didn't feel too badly about it, as they hadn't earned their goal either.

(It certainly reminded me, as a ref, to be careful about turning my back on the ball.)

Faced with this situation¦ what could the defending team do, to delay the game until the ball placement was re-measured? These situations are most likely to occur when there are no ARs present.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Experience is the referees friend and I doubt that much more could be done when a referee does not want to listen or is not paying heed to what is being questioned.
On his own the referee at a corner kick should not be on the far side of the penalty area. He should be at the front section of the penalty area so that he can see the ball and in most instances the action tends to be in and around the front post for which he is well placed to observe. He should also be listening for signals from players / technical area alerting him to all is not well. He should ask himself as to why the shouting. We always have plenty questioning decisions which we can ignore yet we also need to recognise that some *unusual* shouts need to be dealt with. I had this in my game at the weekend and because of my position at the corner kick I just had to take two steps closer to see that the ball was positioned correctly. Once I did that the defending team was happy that I dealt with it. In the same game I had two players shouting to me about a flag from a club linesman. No appeal by the players close to the ball that it had gone out of play so I did not look for a flag at that moment. Cue shouts from two players behind me. I reacted by looking back to half way to see the flag up and I stopped for a throw in. Had I ignored the shouts a goal could have been scored and I had a big problem to unravel. Another example would be an extra player on the FOP. If that is being shouted then the referee needs to deal with it urgently rather than ignoring it. Dealing with the aftermath can be a real problem.
On the penalty kick again experience tells me whether the distance looks right or not. I can immediately pick up incorrect markings / distances. In this instance the moment the chirping started he should have sensed that all was not well. I would know straight away if the team was genuine or not due to the distance from the penalty area line.. All he had to do was walk six paces from the penalty area line towards the goal line and that should have told him it was moved. I would then ask the player to move the ball and I would pace it again if required. It deals immediately with any concerns. It also points to ensuring that markings are in place before kick off. This does not arise if the referee deals with it before kick off.
In summary referees have to take account of what players are saying and to deal with complaints. Yes there can be gamesmanship at PKs, during the game with player insisting that the ball is on the spot, complaint about trifling matters etc. Moving the ball yards closer has to be dealt with. It also ensures that teams know that the laws are being fully enforced which is good for match control.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
I refereed in BC for years as a single referee without ARs, the old adage of being on the goal line opposite the corner kick was believe it or not a recommended position to see if the ball flight was in-swinging or out-swinging over the goal line but was changed after it became obvious a ball that deflects out you are running too hard to get up with play. Mind you I started running out towards the PA arc as soon as the ball was hit to be on the move if it did go up field and the angled run across I got to see the holding pushing going on inside the PA.
Yet as in any positioning dilemma when working a match as a single referee you need to mix it up a bit and run harder at times to be where you need to be to see what there is to see. In cases where an easily distracted referee fails to notice a ball being moved too close or not on the spot where it is required I have little to say, you make your own holes and whether you dig them deep or often is up to you!

My speech at these matches was simple 'Hi I am fair not perfect, I may respect the obvious hand up to say a ball is in or out along the touchlines but ALWAYS PLAY THE WHISTLE! Look where I am on offside calls. I make no call unless 100% certain either way. Subs at center before the stoppage at my discretion please hustle on or off ! Respect the distance at all free kicks no delays. Keep all restarts square and fair and timely! If a question if respectful and time appropriate I will try to give a response but please keep your opinions to low level grumblings. Please give me every reason to keep all 22 of you on the FOP! Any questions?'

I could likely caution those who try these cheap tactics as it is a sign of disrespect. I do not carry disappearing foam, if the concepts of fair play, integrity, honor, if your word means nothing, then you are nothing to be concerned about and cards cover that aspect if required! On that corner you get the screaming, hey hey he is miles off the corner it is not on the pk spot just tell them STOP run over to see, caution him if it is! Do not stand for cheap talk or cheap play use your discretionary powers wisely but clamp down on such needless foolishness. Also as a referee I would not put another referee in such a position that he need worry I might try to disrespect the LOTG. They cheat so you cheat is a slippery slope!

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