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Question Number: 31697

League Specific 8/10/2017

RE: Under 18

john of new orleans, la usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31693

Say you have what was a pretty heated match (as most boys/men's high skill level games over age 14 or so are) with a number of yellow cards, possible ejections, confrontations, etc.

What is the referee's jurisdiction to completely prevent a handshake line even if both teams line up for it in order to prevent possible confrontations/instigations?

I have done a handful of matches where a referee has prevented the line from occurring and physically separates the teams to either side of the field upon final whistle because he knows confrontation will occur.

Is it in your rights, or possibly risking reprimand, to prevent a handshake line?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
Each situation will be different and it depends very much on the circumstances and the individuals involved
Yes it can be a good idea to suggest that the post match handshake does not take place. It is not essential that it does and if it is going to cause further issues then it should not be allowed. How it is prevented though is a matter for each referee to deal with. Perhaps ushering, directing players away from each other may be sufficient to prevent it.
As regards jurisdiction the referee has no actual powers other than the threat to report after match misconduct. I would certainly not risk putting myself in harms way in a confrontation between players to prevent something that is not part of the Laws. Neither would I be concerned about reprimand by preventing a line, in whatever manner, that is likely to lead to confrontation. Anyway should it get to that level of unpleasantness it is unlikely to happen or be beneficial in the manner it was intended so it may not arise.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

In high school and college games, the referees should leave the field and the area as soon as the game has ended. It is up to the coaches and the game manager to control players and spectators. If the referees do observe acts of misconduct while they are exiting, cards can be given and the incidences should be included in the game report.

As to non-high school and college games, since the referee is still in charge and does participate in the handshake, it would be prudent to prevent the handshake.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,
The Laws of the Game do not have any provisions regarding handshakes so as ref McHugh says, the referee has no official jurisdiction here. It's up to you to decide how you want to handle it. I would say that the High School approach mentioned by ref Manjone is as good as any, there is no requirement to be involved so I think you could easily choose to ignore it. If there is any misconduct that occurs and which you are able to observe, you should of course include it in your match report.

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