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Question Number: 30346

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/26/2016

RE: Middle School Under 15

DC Soccer of Brownsville, VA USA asks...

Player 1 punches then slaps Player 2 in the face after losing the ball during open play. Player 2 stumbles back for a second then responds by grabbing the front to Player 1 jersey with both hands but does not strike her.

Ref issues YC to both players.

Wouldn't the proper call have been to RC Player 1 for the 2 hits and YC, or simply warn, Player 2 for the jersey grab?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

As described the sanction should have been as you outlined, a dismissal for violent conduct for Player 1 and a caution for a Player 2 for unsporting behaviour.
Now in a slightly similar situation I dismissed both player for VC as IMO the player that retaliated did do with excessive force by grabbing the opponent in an aggressive hostile venomous manner.
Perhaps the referee felt that Player 2 reactions did merit a greater sanction and then went soft on the 1st offence. Perhaps the referee did not see the punch just a light slap which was perhaps equal to the retaliation.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

Hi Coach,

If the referee saw the punch and slap, the correct action would have been sending off (RC) that player. This is Violent Conduct, case closed.
The grabbing most probably was unsporting behaviour and merits a caution (YC) but done with venom could be a send off (RC).
Do keep in mind that those magic six words come into play: 'In the opinion of the referee'. What the ref sees and what you see is often not the same.

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