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Question Number: 31489

High School 4/26/2017

RE: competive High School

Mike Kirkmn of Kennewick, Washington USA asks...

While working a U-13 boys' match, a player committed a reckless foul for which i issued a caution, showed a yellow card. The player's teammates celebrated the card. I thought that this action by the team mates was a show of poor sportsmanship and considered cautions to all those celebrating, but I took no action. What should I have done in this situation?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Mike,
My advice is to don't go looking for trouble. The response to the card isn't clearly dissent to yourself, so I think you would have a hard time pushing the 'unsporting' approach. There could be any number of reasons for the response of which you're not privy to - and at this age having a card under one's belt might earn a bit of notoriety as well!

It may be that player's first card - and while celebrating that may not necessarily be the response we want, I would suggest it's beyond your concern as the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
Thanks for the question.
In the past I gave seen such a reaction at young age groups. Cards can be rare at lower ages so it can be seen as somewhat of a novelty. Also young players can boast about their ability to not get carded, get carded or whatever and players react accordingly when it happens.
Like Referee Wright I would not do very much here. Perhaps if a referee really wanted to do something I would suggest having a word with the coach about the behaviour. It is something though that a referee should not get too concerned about unless that it is really deemed to be unsporting conduct or causes a reaction among the opponents who decide to take *action* against the players.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Under NFHS high school rules, if you considered this unsporting conduct, you could have given a caution to each teammate that participated. The unsporting conduct rule in high school (NFHS Rule 12-8-1f) allows the referee to give a caution for any action that he/she deems as being unsporting.
However, if this unsporting celebration occurs in a high school game, I recommend that you first warn the coach that this type of celebration is considered unsporting conduct and that participants in future celebrations of this type will be cautioned. Since this could involve the entire team being cautioned and being removed from the field, I do not believe it will occur again. I hope that your spring season is going well.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mike,
celebrated as in at the opposing player being hurt? That I would not tolerate. If it was simply notoriety of the event probably warm the coach if it approached a level of irritation where the opposing team was starting to react.

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