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Question Number: 32611

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/30/2018

RE: Under 17

bob of los angeles, ca usa asks...

i frequently will do advantage calls where i give advantage, but then will call the foul back to the original spot because i feel advantage is lost quickly. i probably do this more often than other referees

in a game this weekend i was the AR, and a defender did a blatant pull on an attacker going for goal at around 30 yards out. CR called advantage and the kicker about a second later got a meh shot on goal which the keeper collected. CR stopped play, gave a caution to the defender who did it, and then restarted play allowing keeper to punt the ball. i started running onto the field calling for the CR, and told him that I felt that because the YC was given, and in that location/circumstance, that the advantage was not good enough nor long enough to not call the ball back to where the foul took place and it should have been a free kick for the attacking team. he declined my appeal and the attacking team and coach were pretty upset (they were upset before i even stopped the game, feeling advantage should have been called back)

i recognize that i am probably a lot more lenient on calling back advantage fouls that other refs, but i would like your advice on how to best handle knowing when to allow advantage to go through vs. when it is best to call an advantage back, and also specifically with my example given.


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
A good advantage rarely requires play to be called back. In addition if a referee uses the wait and see approach he can signal advantage as it accrues. If it is not accruing then call the foul
If a referee is constantly having to bring play back on advantage then the advantage assessment skill of the referee has to be developed. At lower levels of the game advantage should be used sparingly as teams just cannot use it or for that matter prefer the free kick.
As to the situation here the referee was incorrect to do what he did. If he played advantage and then stopped play to caution the defender then the only possible restart is a free kick to the attacking team. If he played advantage which he deemed that it was realised then he had to wait until the next stoppage to caution the offender.
Also on a procedural matter an AR should not come on to the field of play in such circumstances. Rather the AR should raise his flag and motion to the referee to come cross for a conversation. That can include a call to the CR. The CR should then come across to the side line when the information / advice is given. In this situation the referee should be advised that as he stopped play to caution it is either an IDFK or if he was allowing advantage which was not realised then it is a return to the original foul. The offending team should not get the ball at a restart or to start with a punt after stopping play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Bob,
I would agree with my colleague ref McHugh that if a referee is routinely finding that they have to keep going back to award the foul after trying to play the advantage then perhaps they are trying to play advantage too often. The Laws of the Game say that when looking to apply the advantage, the referee should consider (among other things) ''the chances of an immediate, promising attack'' so for instance, just retaining possession is not enough to constitute an advantage - especially at the lower levels of the game. If there is not an immediately evident, promising attack then the advantage should probably not be played.

As to the match incident, while the referee has not followed proper procedure (as outlined by ref McHugh) this still does not mean an AR should run onto the field and yell at the referee to indicate disagreement with him. The job of an assistant referee is (as the name suggests) to assist, not insist. The referee in charge of the game and the AR is just there to help him. If the AR realises the referee has missed something or made an obvious error in a call they should raise their flag or use other communication methods if they have them (buzzer or voice systems) to attract the referee's attention and wait for the referee to come over and talk to them. However I don't think this should be done for something that is essentially a subjective judgement call, such as when to play advantage and whether to call it back.

You have mentioned that you call back more advantage calls than most other referees so try putting the boot on the other foot - how would you feel if, having made one of these judgement calls, an AR comes running onto the pitch yelling to you that you got the call wrong? Would you not think that the AR was overstepping the bounds? I would - and if this was my game I would be telling the AR to desist from any such further actions.

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