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Question Number: 33040

High School 2/4/2019

RE: Varsity High School

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

Consider the following scenario:
Red team commits a cautionable offense while defending in their own 3rd outside the PA. Referee plays advantage, play continues and the ensuing shot is saved by the keeper. Play continues to the other end of the field, where Blue keeper handles the ball legally in his PA.

Would it be permissible for the Referee to stop play at this time, administer the caution, then restart with a IFK for Blue? Or should the Referee wait until the next stoppage to take care of the misconduct?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Derek
Once advantage has materialised with play continuing the referee has to wait until the next stoppage to caution the offending player.
On the mechanics of this it may not be good game management to play advantage on a foul deserving of a caution unless of course the advantage was clear and obvious.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Derek,
Once the referee has decided to play the advantage and has further decided that the advantage was realised and so is not going to call play back for the original offence, they should wait until the ball goes out of play to caution the offender.

Edit: The above is applicable to IFAB games. I see that my colleague Joe Manjone has given the procedure for NFHS games. Since he is an authority on the NFHS Rules, I will defer to his greater knowledge in that regard.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


Under NFHS high school rules, an advantage call can be made when the calling of a foul would result in taking away a favorable opportunity from the opponent.

Thus, the advantage call in the situation that you describe was appropriate.

However, under high school rules, the foul is to be called as soon as it is obvious that the advantage does not materialize.

In your situation, the advantage did not materialize when the Red keeper saved the ball. At that point, the whistle should have been sounded, the clock stopped, the caution being given, the cautioned player having to leave the field, coaches being told the reason for the caution, a substitute being beckoned in, and a direct kick restart from the point of the infraction.

I hope that you are having a successful season.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Derek
best to wait for a natural stoppage if you are indeed going to caution a player for misconduct associated with a previous foul where you applied a CLEAR advantage. When permitting advantage, if it be merely a wait & see moment I might remain quiet for a moment to observe how the situation plays out . However, I generally indicate to the culprit, Hey there # so & so you are in the book! loud enough for my ARs & the general public & surrounding players to hear and register what has transpired if there is a card due to be shown at some point. I would ensure the soon to be carded player was not involved in any further attacking or defending play as having him score then show a card for a previous foul is never going to wash out well. As my colleague Joe Manjon is a high school expert in the rules I note he pushed for a DFK immediately upon the save considering the advantage of a non goal to be sufficient. Cautionable fouls of a harsh nature in around the PA especially a DFK or PK if inside the PA best be called if goal is not imminent!

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