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Question Number: 32796

Mechanics 10/14/2018

RE: Rec Under 16

Doug Crawford of Oakland, CA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32794

Referee Jason Wright says 'they can ask the ref (most referees will answer'. I think I would answer a question about GK picking up the ball - a quick 'ok hands' or 'no hands', with some hand or head motions as well.

But would you give a GK advice in advance on the 'backpass rule' without them asking the question?
- in youth soccer?

I have done my best to avoid giving advice most of the time-
- especially because my advice may be misinterpreted in the heat of the moment, resulting in the IDFK
- also to avoid the appearance of unfairness

Advice on advice to players? Thanks for our great website!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Doug,
I like your train of thought
'I have done my best to avoid giving advice most of the time-
- especially because my advice may be misinterpreted in the heat of the moment, resulting in the IDFK
- also to avoid the appearance of unfairness'
end quote

Neutrality is a concept that we need to abide by but there are teachable moments & certain standards that can be breeched to educate. I tend to be more helpful in wee ones, youth & intercity play then say at the regional championships of the under 21s.

We all agree no one should look to get tricky & offer up bonus scoring opportunities out of nothing . Yet we can not really reward errors, though we might see them as trifling or trivial. . Keep in mind while the aim of the law was to stop time usage, opponents now know they can put pressure on a keeper BECAUSE he is NOT allowed to use his hands. So if a keeper is asking me directly, Ref can I use my hands ?
As a teaching moment in youth I might call out, YES or NO Deliberately kicked!' If there are no opponents being disadvantaged

I had one coach nearly go apoplectic because at a u10 house league match I was saying, ' Hands over your head, keep your feet on the ground!' trying t mitigate the weirdly spectacular incorrect throw from receiving too much attention for a switch over. He was incensed I was coaching as that was NOT my job. Sigh.

Most times you get a feel when you can step out of referee mode into coaching but usually with less at stake and with the tact agreement of the coaches. Often in crowds I would say, ' Who is up for it?', to encourage identification using names. NOT Deliberate!- Watch the arms! - Off his back! for the youth! However less directive, for men's & competitive youth more of - I am right here guys! Nothing there! Get on with it! A judicial use of advantage & asking, 'You guys ok with that?' I offer in pregame the opportunity for the teams to ask me about anything on the LOTG , some do take me up on it but most just want to get on with the match & trust in that I know what end of the ball is round! lol

Although I would try to avoid giving any tactical information during active play . A word in private to a confused newbie keeper or player should be fine.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Doug
I would err on the side of not getting involved with players through advice. When I watch games I do not like referees who constantly shout advice to player in open play such as Hands Down, No Holding.
I am fine with it at restarts such as free kicks, corner kicks etc yet when play is going on players should be making choices themselves.
On the advice to goalkeepers it can be picked up incorrectly meaning that the GK thought it was okay or not okay. Players make choices as part of playing and I just let them get on with it.
If a goalkeeper decides to pick up a ball on a deliberate kick that is his choice for whatever reason.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Doug,

Generally speaking, I'm with you. I think this is bordering on 'tactical advice', like telling a PIOP not to play the ball.

Having said that, I have in the past advised keepers they can/can't handle the ball....usually it's particularly low grade football, young juniors, that sort of thing. I've also done it in some
low grade Over 35 games - not unusual to get keepers who have never played the game before so they don't know what they're doing. A or B grade? They know what they're doing.

The risk with advising the keeper is that if you don't get the chance to advise the other team's keeper and you penalise him, then it could cause some argument.

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