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Question Number: 30363

Character, Attitude and Control 4/28/2016

RE: Competitive Under 13

Mike Green of Woodbridge, VA USA asks...

During a U11 competitive game a player tugged on a shirt at midfield disrupting an attack. There was no advantage, and I blew the foul then stopped play to issue a warning rather then caution the player. The coach of the fouled team objected that I stopped play when I did not show a card. The ball had to be returned to the spot of the foul, and I felt this was an appropriate game management decision. What are your thoughts on the appropriateness of stopping play to warn a player without showing a card?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mike,
you stopped play to award the foul as there was no advantage!
You did not or do not STOP PLAY to warn the player.
You simply chose not to show a card, although at a higher level of play it is likely a yellow card caution would be considered appropriate? This was your match, your decision, your reputation!
That has nothing to do with the coach.
You restart with the DFK for the foul after chastising the player who created the foul..
Match continues.

One can verbally warn a player during the course of a match for any number of reasons but you do not stop play to warn a player without having a restart. There must be a reason. Your choice to show or not show a card is your decision as it reflects your match management not the desires of coaches

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
At Under 11 I rarely if ever use cards. Cards are seldom needed to control games at this level. While you dont outline the exact circumstances such as whether the tug had a very big impact on the player or indeed if the foul broke up say an attack in a very cynical way I suspect that at midfield the impact at U11 was minimal. Usually there are multiple defenders around so it does not even arise at underage. In this instance I would have done what you did and spoken to the player about his actions.
Now at say U11 it annoys me that coaches get involved with referees. It is underage not adult football or the Pros. A coach has no business questioning a referees decision or seeking a caution for any player. His role is to coach his team. Full Stop. Indeed if a referee was being picky in the same manner as the coach he could have gone across and told him that his role is to coach and ask that he is not to be interfering with the refereeing of the game otherwise he will be sanctioned. That is in the Laws as well which many coaches ignore.
Most times though the best approach though is to blank out such involvement and decide what is the best decision for the game.

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