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Question Number: 32760

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/30/2018

RE: rec Adult

GARY of nashua, nh 03060 asks...

Player goes to head the ball in penalty area, defensive player lunges at him in a reckless fashion and makes head contact to the other player (didn't seem like he meant to head butt him-but also didn't have a realistic chance of winning the ball cleanly. Offensive player falls the the ground holding face- I award pk..mass protest by defense.-thoughts?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
As described stonewall penalty kick and at least a caution for the reckless manner of the challenge. If excessive force was used endangering the safety of an opponent it is a red card.
In the case of mobbing the referee on a protest of a decision it certainly merits at least one caution for dissent for the most vociferous offender.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gary,
based on your description that is a PK with a yellow card card caution at minimum. Even if the defenders felt it was as much the attackers fault as it was the defenders , your decision is based on what you saw, not what they think. The fact they do not like the call is not uncommon & understandable given it is a scoring opportunity about to occur. However, the fact they decided to mass protest and create delay, confusion, escalating tensions is not acceptable. We are not too concerned with an occasional emotional outburst of disappointment but we have a very dim view of dissent & abuse of a decision that they KNOW is NOT being reversed just because they do not like it. Hopefully your ARs were there to support you take names, watch see who is doing what, as well as extricating yourself to a safe vantage point. Being swarmed is an uncomfortable feeling and there are likely players deserving of sanctions. Indeed the more voracious players could be disciplined & cards shown. The idea of mass confrontation is something you should discuss with your ARS prematch so you all know what to do and where to go to back each other up.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Gary,
Based on your description of how you saw it, you would have to give a penalty and caution the player. Now, it could be the case that the defenders did not see this as a reckless challenge with no chance of winning the ball but rather as a genuine attempt to play the ball and an unfortunate 'coming together' - although having said that, it is also true that defenders will almost always protest a penalty no matter what.

So long as you are confident of what you saw and that you got the decision right, I would not worry too much about it. Depending on the exact nature and amount of the mass protest, as my colleagues have suggested, one or more dissent cautions might be indicated.

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