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Question Number: 31850

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/1/2017

RE: High School

Ezekiel of Dallas, TX usa asks...

What is the easiest way to 'track' players for Persistent Infringement cautions?

In higher level games where there are frequently multiple players for both teams who commit multiple fouls, how can you track in your mind who is racking up enough fouls over both teams to eventually reach a threshold that should get them Persistent Infringement?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ezekiel
This was asked recently at Question 31796
The panel gave detailed answers which covers your question and it can be viewed by putting in the Questions number in the search.
As I said there is no magic formula other than feeling and gut instinct. There is no set number of fouls so it is not a case of X fouls and it is a card for PI.
In my game at the weekend one player I would say had perhaps 7/8 minor fouls in total. I did think about a caution half way through the second half yet I decided not to on the basis that the fouls were spread out, they were low level, the opposition were none too bothered and a caution would have done nothing for the game. The opponents were happy to take the free kick each time with no complaint about constant fouling. The fact that the fouled against team were in the lead was also a factor.
So it is a caution tool that referees have in the match control armoury. I believe that when a player is guilty of PI that needs dealing with it will be apparent.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ezekiel,

PI is one of game management where you retain a situational awareness through out the match as to the temperature of the match. Constant fouls raise the level of inflammation create tensions causing retribution. You must watch when a foul occurs and think why and who and where.

Are you seeing a series of fouls close together or noticing it is same opposing play targeted just outside the PA because he is a fancy dribbler?
Pay attention to the under currents of emotion grasping WHY they are forming. Even if you might disagree with the dissent and the needling always understand there is perceived truth and opinion both form judgement but neither are absolute truth even if you base decisions on what you BELIVE or have faith are correct interpretations

AS to communication with your support staff I can tell you I bet Graham Poll wished he had the 4th or senior AR relaying to him hey that guy is on his 2nd yellow rather than have shown a 3rd one!
You can write stuff down in your book or call over to your AR at every foul to help although I tend do so when carding more than general fouls but nothing wrong in active participation. IF you call out 15 blue 13:47 15 blue 16:43 15 blue 17:34 at each foul with no surprise you will be thinking PI.

Yet in a match if you do something similar and find 30 fouls in the looking down #15 blue has had 5 spread out over the 90 minute stretch he might not be locked on the radar unless any of those tackles were borderline reckless . As my colleague suggests there maybe warm fuzzies in the game no one is particularly upset or tackles to harsh that we are looking for payback or satisfied to be leading 4 to 0.

I find it is the harsh tackle that is not yellow but deserves a talking to that gets my radar tracking on the player as every time a player is noticed it cements the reason to do something about WHY he is being noticed!

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