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Question Number: 31510

High School 5/5/2017

RE: Varsity, NFHS, IHSA High School

Nate Eis of Peoria, IL USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 25596

To clarify... in the opinion of the referee, if a team (A) only says 'i got it' whenever the ball is played to Team B and with Team B's back to team A's player; then I would say that is unsporting and after multiple infraction the next player deserves a yellow? To me that seems as though Team A is trying to verbally mislead /trick team B. Would officials agree with me?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Nate,
USB is a catch all for actions a referee feel is contrary to the spirit of the game & against fair play. There is no actual foul called verbal impeding. Truthfully I think it could solve a lot of issues but it likely would be overused ! The idea of what is said is not as important as the WHY & HOW and by who & when?
Simply saying the words I got it are not reason to see it as USB. Communication between team mates is allowed and the fact the I might well be the guy best equipped to GET it!

As a coach, I encourage putting a NAME on the ball when going up in a crowd to help communicate with teammates and to slightly intimidate opponents. You will often hear' KEEEPER 'in the PA or 'RICHARD'S BALL' shouted . These are not offences and should not be looked at in that light UNLESS as in the case of one obtuse player thought cupping his hands and screaming his own name into the ear of the opponent to UNFAIRLY win a challenge!

Your reference to a tactical team application of the words 'I GOT IT!' I suppose if a referee sensed or saw a discernable pattern of disruption he might warn & eventually could decide the action IS unsporting which could require a stoppage, then caution show a yellow card to the culprit awarding an INDFK to the opposition for the behaviour. This assumes those doing so are very loud and not within playing distance. I mean who is saying it ? One
player all the time, each player taking turns? All players at the same time?

I tend to act on the individual transgression, if it is truly USB if it unfairly creates problems by ACTUALY verbally deceives the opposition then the warning level is past, use the yellow card to set the bar. If you can simply pull the captain or players aside in a moment of calm and lay out the nonsense is to stop or there will be repercussions only obtuse individuals would challenge it!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nate
Thanks for the question
The Rules do not prevent communication between team mates. So calling instructions to a team mate to pass the ball, move into a position, alert a team mate of a closing opponent, whatever is allowed. What is not allowed is a player verbally distracting and/ or deceiving an opponent through say shouting to leave the ball and the opponent duly obliging. That is unsporting conduct, a caution and the restart is an IDFK.
Now what has developed over many years is the notion that if a name is not used that it is an offence. Not so. It is only an offence when there is deception or distraction of an unsporting nature.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Nate,
If the referee is of the opinion that a player has deliberately, verbally deceived an opponent then this is a caution on the very first offence. There is no need to wait for multiple infractions to occur.

The NFHS Play Ruling on this is quite clear:

''12.8.1 SITUATION A: Player A2 is waiting to receive a ball in the air. Opponent B2, who is behind A2, shouts 'I'll take it' in an obvious attempt to deceive A2 into thinking B2 is a teammate calling for the ball. RULING: Stop play, caution B2 for unsporting conduct and restart with an indirect free kick by Team A at the spot of the infraction.''

If a player calls for the ball in a way that is not deliberate verbal deception of an opponent however, there is no infraction.

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