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Question Number: 31450

Other 4/11/2017

RE: Travel Under 12

Brent Goodrich of Leonardtown , Maryland United States asks...

I recently officiated a u-11 boys travel game. After the game when the players came out for handshakes, several players decided to 'dab' instead of shake my hand. What would be the proper response to this? I hardly feels fair to yellow card them for dissent but allowing the behavior is disrespectful towards the ref. What would you have done in the situation?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brent
My advice is to do nothing. Young players have all sorts of notions about what is cool or what is the thing to do. Players might have seen some Pro *dab* in a handshake. Also emotions can be high after the game so who knows. I see and hear all sorts and I doubt very much if it was disrespectful and certainly does not require intervention by the referee.
Also a cursory search of the web will show all sorts of high profile players at this and it does draw media attention which is picked up by young players. Pulling off shirts in goal celebration, white ankle socks are a few that come to mind
Now over many years I have had players refuse to shake hands after the game and it does not bother me. So be it. No doubt petty and perhaps disrespectful yet once the players are not offensive and insulting in their language or obvious gestures referees should not be bothered.
In a youth game at the weekend a player that I had cautioned on the losing team walked past me after the game and made no effort to shake hands while others were doing so He walked on chunterring away under his breath no doubt about the caution which he felt During the match was harsh. Add in the fact that they lost a semi final with some decision not to his liking meant I was not his favourite person at that time. It was no doubt his little protest of displeasure towards me and once he walked on with no obvious gesture or language I was not bothered.

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