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Question Number: 30838

Mechanics 9/30/2016

RE: Under 19

jeff of new york, ny usa asks...

I will frequently announce on a clearly deliberately slow restart (goal kick, throw in, free kick) for a team to preserve a lead that the team has 5 seconds to put the ball in play, and for every slow restart afterwards I will do a countdown out loud down from 5 and if they do not put the ball in play I will issue a caution to the restarter, ESPECIALLY when I hear teammates literally yelling for him to 'slow down'. I have done this in many games and have only had to give a caution for it once because the restarter will hurry once I hit 2 or 1.

Is this too unprofessional to do? Should I just stay silent and run a count in my head? I usually do this just to basically announce to the teams, coaches, even fans that I recognize that the team is attempting to play slow and delay the restart.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jeff
I would not recommend this as it can put a referee in a position that he does not want to be such as a caution when the count reaches zero particularly when he does not want to or the referee may have cautioned an opponent previously at zero. Also it is not done by senior referees as they know it has the ability to cause problems for them and the game. Case in point is the situation where a player counts the 6 seconds on goalkeeper possession. We all know that the 6 seconds gets wooly at times ranging for 2 perhaps up to 10/11. The threat of the IDFK is enough and opponents do the hurrying demand so 3 / 5 seconds is here nor there in a 90 minute game context.
Rather I would suggest using a verbal warning such as get on with play, speed it up, play or whatever instruction the referee us comfortable with particularly when team mates are shouting slow down. Sometimes I will whistle the restart to happen which can have the desired effect. After the instruction then do a silent count to the number that you feel is appropriate if that is your preference. My approach is to watch the demeanour of the player and if I feel he is delaying the restart then I caution. That is a gut instinct decision yet if a referee needs help on the timing with a count so be it. I also approach players that are bring tardy such as goalkeepers and tell them that I expect them to put the ball back into play smartly. Here are some examples
Clearly little doubt of the cautions.
I watched a FIFA referee recently in an international game on tardy throw ins by a player turned a throw over for the wrong location. I think he bided his time for that to happen. No caution yet it had the desired effect of speeding the player on the next throws. It sent out the message that the referees patiences was wearing thin and a caution was in the offing.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jeff,
man or game management is a study of character and open to interpretation as to what works at various levels and calibre of play. Cards are a tool and like any tool they are efficient at the right time and perhaps liken to a pile driver, a sledge hammer, a carpenter's hammer, a tack hammer or push pin at other times. Given I have little patience for delaying restarts I even incorporate a segment in my match pregame with the teams warning them of this predilection. Yet that makes it imperative that I in fact STICK to my word to not cast them into doubt or think I be bark not bite. The LOTG dictate we MUST send off if a player accumulates TWO cautions in a single match. We can not undo a weak caution to make a point that might be better if made in another way to reduce a team to ten by being forced to award a 2nd caution for a truly match impacting event. I get we want to stop idiotic behaviour and foolish delays but I also subscribe to using the LOTG to make those points. We can add for ANY wasted time, we can find fault in most any restart be it a corner kick including throw ins.
I think it better to count to yourself, otherwise you could find keeper violations being tracked by both teams all yelling for you to intervene. Use your presence, sharp commands , strong whistle , a ready smile and no nonsense body language. There is nothing inherently wrong in offering a few well chosen verbal warnings be it a simple. TODAY people! Lets bloody well get on with it! , Move it people time is a wasting. SERIOUISLY you really want 1/2 of a red card for being late to class?
All this said, in the end you are either comfortable in what you say or do and reflect in the way it works for your match they are your decisions from which your reputation is achieved. Seek out the feedback of mentors and colleagues watching and get the coaches and input from the players you referee. Some will be flippant, occasionally hostile but if you are looking to become better. Frank, direct, reasoned communication where you display integrity and accountability will impress and gain the respect of those you interact with.

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