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Question Number: 30616

League Specific 7/17/2016

RE: UPSL - amateur Professional

John Godfrry of San Diego, CA United States asks...

After appealing a decision from the commissioner of the UPSL - I'm hoping you can help.

My team arrived to a match in Scottsdale. This is adult league UPSL soccer. The field didn't have lines painted.

I called the commissioner who told us to play the game and appeal after the match.
We play thinking they were giving up forfeit anyway.

I appeal decision and the commissioner uphold our loss.
The field did not have lines but the commissioner stated that the game would not have been played had they thought it was unplayable.

Not to mention the fact that the refs also would not have gotten paid either.,,
Using cones they outlined the field.
Can this be considered a santioned match or what is the official consideration for this scenario?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
My take on this is that the game should not have been played without lines. I would be politely saying to the referee that the game cannot go ahead without lines and returning home if no line solution can be proffered in a reasonable time. The commissioner can decide then what to do based on the decision and the report of the referee. Now once the decision to proceed with a formal game was made using a solution that was acceptable to both teams I do not believe that a protest was going to be viable. Had the game been won there probably would have been no protest. Clearly the referee was happy to proceed with the game based on what was presented as a solution to play the game.
Now you say that you thought that the team was giving a forfeit? That did not happen so that was mistaken. I would be very clear in advance of the game proceeding to know exactly what was the status of the game. Alarm bells would be ringing with me if I heard that the game should be played and then protested. That does not sound like a forfeit situation to me! Nor does it sound to be a bounce game played just to use the opportunity presented.
Last winter in a Youth game I was asked by both teams that they did not want to play extra time due to adverse weather but go straight to penalties. I brought both managers together along with the captains and told therm that I was okay for that to happen yet there could be no protest about that decision. I reported the outcome of the game on penalties based on what was asked.
Our Underage Leagues used to have rule that if an unofficial referee had to be used that the visiting team had the right to walk away and not play the game. However if the game was played then no protest would be accepted. There were games that teams got back on the bus and returned home. The game had to be rescheduled as a home fixture for the travelling team.
As a final point payment to the referee is not a consideration in this matter. Most Leagues have rules for games not proceeding. In our Leagues referees get a half fee plus any travel costs they may incur for any game not going ahead. Over the years I have walked away from a number of games because of no lines. If the games goes ahead with poor lines then that has to be accepted by both teams.
Ultimately it is up to the League and its appeal structures to decide the outcome. I personally think that playing the game changed the dynamic of the decision.

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