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Question Number: 31394

Law 6 - The Other Match Oficials 3/27/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Daniel of London, UK asks...

I came late into refereeing and am now into my fifties and have been officiating for about six years.

I recently was AR for a ladies game. blues were defending and cleared the ball. Reds played a long ball back from inside their own half as all the players were moving back towards half way line. The lone red forward was half a yard ahead of all the defenders, but reacted slowly and allowed a blue defender to rush past her and chase down the ball. I kept my flag down, since the red attacker in OP had not entered active play. The red attacker also chased back and as the blue defender reached the ball, harried her from behind. I now raised my flag but the referee did not see it at once.

When he did become aware of me, it was just as the ball went out for a corner. He ran over towards me, but to my surprise, stopped about 20 yards away and said loudly: 'You're not going to tell me that was offside?'. I replied that it was. he said: 'No way, she came from well behind the defender.' I was aware of both teams standing listening and merely replied. 'Your call.' and ran into position for the corner'

This bugged me a little at the time, and has actually grown more annoying over the last few days. I have no problem with being over-ruled, but I felt his manner was belittling and dismissive. He had earlier also over-ruled on a corner decision where I was a good ten yards nearer. I had immediately altered for flag signal to goal kick but both teams stood looking very surprised for twenty seconds.

After the game I said nothing, he was friendly and chatty, and I felt it might be petty to bring this up. But what happens if I have to AR for him again? Do I mention this at all? Or just accept it?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Daniel
welcome to the ranks my friend new blood is always welcome even if seasoned lol It is a common complaint by ARs that CRs tend to pooh pooh their help and come off as arrogant or dismissive. The reverse of course is CRs complain ARs are too much trying to wrestle control and undermining their authority sigh.

The CR has ZERO business trying to embarrass his AR period. The CR SHOULD come over and chat (quietly) if he is to say ANYTHING other than give a thumbs up but shake a head no and wave the flag down if he so chooses.

That said if the involvement by the opponent only occurs after the defender secured the ball then as a deliberate touch it likely resets the offside restriction. IF the OPP was challenging for ball possession before this possession occurs then you are correct offside interference may well be present and thus as involvement HAS occurred the INDFK offence could be awarded .

I like the fact you kept your cool on the FOP and did not grumble so the players could see you were not going to dis the CR just went about your job realizing the CR has final say ( even if he was unjustified in his public comments)

I will admit as a CR I have inadvertently publically commented over certain AR behaviour that I found distressing when I should have just gone over and quietly had a word and just waved the flag down EXCEPT for the fact the constant flag popping for nonsense was extremely irritating.

It would be better to REMOVE an AR then to get so mad as to publically comment on his behaviour. I recall having the respect for colleague discussion with one AR who just was terrible in both understanding his role and the LOTG despite my pregame instructions he was flagging for incorrect throw ins and fouls that I had applied advantage on as well as non involved offside talking to the touchlines about how I was ignoring his input.where I had clear vision & control. Content most times to wave off the flag I finally got exasperated and said WHAT NOW! in what certainly was a condescending tone for a supposed incorrect throw in and a madly waved flag. His reasoning was the thrower had one foot on the touchline. I just lost it as it was NOT his call, I told him in the pre game I had the throw ins just look for the ball to be in or out, Hang in with that 2nd last defender and in behind play for things I was not aware of. I said NO please refrain from any further participation as AR until we can talk at the half. NOT a proud moment for two reasons, it was obvious I was angry and belittled him publically but the fact he was black likely made it seem I was also a racist bigot. He was the single most obstinate individual I ever had the misfortune to officiate with. We did have a long talk afterwards but although I apologised for publically being a douche bag I also told him he really needed to get a better grasp of his responsibilities and understanding of the LOTG if he was to be any real value as AR or as a CR.

Integrity and forth right a post game evaluation there should be an honest discussion of the match and such issues as feeling you were not taken seriously could be ironed out. It is not petty unless your attitude going in is one of I will show you you jerk for trying to make me look foolish. It is not a tit for tat exchange but a clarification of attitude and a chance for the CR to learn something as well.

On that offside call you felt I was incorrect you thought it best to belittled me in front of the players because I felt I felt it was a valid offside that you overlooked? Can you explain why you thought it was not offside? I would not raise my flag unless I was sure. I much rather you just wave me off then publically chastise me right or wrong and perhaps explain quietly why I was incorrect? Now whether the CR is going to think you are being condescending or simply wanting clarification and or an apology tone and attitude will play a part in any honest exchange.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Daniel
Welcome to the world of being an assistant. I doubt if there is a referee that has not had some poor experience as an assistant with a referee who was dismissive and acted in a boorish manner. I have had over the years similar experience to recount. As I got older and more experienced I dealt with the matters in the after match discussion or I brought it up as a subject in a for information way.
As a CR I am mindful of the ARs contribution to the team and I do my very best to ensure that they are valued and not dropped in it by my action. Case in point was an offside call recently in a game. There was a player clearly in an offside position and the ball was played towards him. Now there was another player stood behind him some three yards or so and the ball went to that player. Both were unmarked so I had no great reference point other than the PIOP looked clearly offside. I looked across and the flag was up with the defenders stopping. I was unsure of the onside position of the player that played the ball so I took the flag. My strong sense though was it was not offside. Anyway I took the flag much to the displeasure of the attacking team. I spoke with him at half time and he confirmed that there was a PIOP (which I could see) yet he was unsure of the 2nd players offside position. I think he went with an early flag and as I was unsure I had to take it. I reminded him of my pre match instruction to take time to flag in such instances and not to flag on doubtful offsides.
I also recall being waved down years ago by a senior referee on a foul in my vicinity. It was certainly a foul yet the CR chose otherwise. I got berated by way of dissent by some player close to the action for the flag which was also not dealt with. I felt sore about it and he brought it up at the end saying that it was a foul. I did not argue yet IMHO it was a foul. A number of weeks later in a game with the same referee there was an incident in the last minute close to me. It was stonewall foul and the referee was looking at it. I chose to do nothing and the referee did not call it. At the end of the game the player came across to berate me for no flag as I made my way to the centre circle. I told him to speak to the referee as it his game to referee not mine. I opined that I was there to assist and if the referee wanted to ref it his way then so be it.
So my advice is to learn from the experience. The CR was wrong to act the way that he did in your situation. I would simply park it and should something similar happen again I would address it on the day after the game.

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