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Question Number: 3036


RE: Ex. Under 14

Dave Kumlin of Acton, MA USA asks...

A captain from each team met with me at midfield for the pre-game coin toss. During the usual ritual I go through, I request/instruct the captains to shake hands. On the first request, one captain offered his hand to the other. However, the other captain did not reciprocate. I assumed that he didn't hear me. So, I repeated my request for them to shake hands. It became apparent that the other captain had no intention to shake hands with his adversary. So,I simply continued with the coin toss. I then dismissed them to their respective benches. But, I called back the unfriendly captain. Without lecturing him on the virtues of sporting behavior, I simply told him that it was unsporting not to shake hands and advised him that I was now giving him a verbal warning with regards to unsporting behavior and that any other unsporting behavior would result in an immediate yelow card. Did I make too much out of nothing?

Answer provided by Referee Dawson

Hi Dave,..In my opinion I prefer the players's to do the right things on thier own . Try to give them the opportunity to make the right choice by asking a leading question or statement. I often have words with thier coach on USB behaviour that is lacking on the FOP..As much as I like your approach as a referee you can not mandate fairplay by the captains. You should expect it however, and hold them accountable as they should lead thier respective teams by example. I do encourage your attempts to instill fairplay by example by shaking their hands and welcoming or thanking them for participating rather than tell them but your approach is certainly meritous. Good for you for upholding a few values Integrity is within or it is not. I think you made your point clearly and from the sounds of it effectively. Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson

I agree with both you and my colleague. You should expect better behavior from the players. You cannot force the captain to shake hands nor can you caution the captain for not shaking hands, but in my book that player does not deserve any benefit of the doubt on any calls the rest of way. If there is a call during the game that could either be a card for unsporting behavior or just let by with a verbal warning, that player gets a card in my game. Mind you, you should not make up calls against the player or fail to call fouls that the player suffers, but there are many times you use your judgement. Sometimes you have to decide whether a player is really a dirty player (yellow card) or whether the player just got a little agressive (verbal warning). The player's actions before the game suggest to me the player is a dirty player and will get the card rather than a warning.

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