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Question Number: 33532

Other 7/21/2019

RE: rec Under 19

gary of Nashua, NH usa asks...

Should a ref continue the game if he has been assaulted in any way, provided he/she has sent the offending part off and is physically okay?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
My advice and that of my association is that once assaulted the referee should abandon the game.
Even if the referee may feel that he is physically okay his state of mind is far from the game. Plus there can be further problems in store in the game.
In addition my opinion is that authorities adopt a much more severe approach when it has to deal with an abandonment rather than what looks like an incident that the referee felt that it merited continuing with the game.
Now we all know of situations where referees continued with games when assaulted and ultimately that is the referees decision to make.
My opinion and That of everyone in the game is that there is no place for assaults in our game. The offender has to realise that there are serious consequences for such actions including the game being over for all concerned.
In the case of serious assault the advice is that it should be reported to the police as well as to the appropriate soccer authorities.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

If this happens in an NHIAA game, the referee should disqualify the player or coach that committed the assault.

If the assault is from a spectator, the game administrator should be made aware of the assault and assist in preventing other assaults and contacting the police.

The referee can determine if he or she wants to continue or terminate the game. It is the referee's decision based on his/her condition and the probability of continuing problems.

At the completion of the game, the referee is to make the NHIAA aware of the
of the assault through the NHIAA Arbiter link for reporting disqualifications and unsportsmanlike incidents.

Assaulting a referee in high school is very serious, and I am certain that the NHIAA will take immediate action against the offending school and the individual that committed the assault.

I hope that this never happens to you in a high school game.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gary,
Assaulted in anyway?? Hmm. If you are scared, if it was serious absolutely abandon! Get someplace safe and write the detailed report . Try to stay calm and not exaggerate or under cut the actions that occurred! Find a mentor or colleagues to have a discussion & help you with the anxiety. Phone the assignor or whomever you record match results it will begin disciplinary procedures and you could be thrust into defending your actions as reasonable in the face of adversity. If you acted in accordance as a neutral official doing the best you could and the league or association FAILS to stand up for you or act in accordance with fair play and the LOTG time to find another association to be part of. Legal action might be required as a civil suit.

In cases where you FEEL OK! YOU feel it was a one off a single incident! YOU FEEL the two teams are not likely to go off on you or one another you might want to continue! We talk a lot about anticipation, man and match management, to feel the spirit of the match . Only move forward if you are comfortable welding the whistle. Usually after a difficult situation if you call the captains over and say this nonsense ends now or we end the match entirely?

As unwise at it would be to hit me I have been verbally castigated by irritated fans an occasional coach and odd player who apparently had to be held back. I have continued on based on the behavior of the sent off party not creating additional trouble. If I see calm or good conduct from all around and the attack is a by single person who cannot get the agree to disagree and move on mind set. I have stood in-between two opponents and told them first guy to swing goes away, likely forever. I have actually grabbed 2 players in my career and hustled them off after a dangerous tackle where I believed stopped an abandonment by not allowing the fight to begin. The thing is though I have done thousands of matches I can not recall the last one causing me grief where I was at all worried by being assaulted? A couple of people mumbling threatening things after a match which I laughed off. I have been yelled at but knowing I do work hard to do a good job. Plus I have enormously thick skin & generally laugh or explain my position in such a way even if they are angry I can get them to calm down.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Gary,
I would have to say no. If a referee has been assaulted, the match should be abandoned and a full report made to the appropriate authorities. There is no place, and no excuse for physical violence towards referees in the game of football. In my opinion, abandoning a match in such circumstances serves to ensure the best interests of the game.

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