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Question Number: 4071

Law 5 - The Referee

RE: Travel Under 12

Arun Lyng of Wilton, CT USA asks...

I am the manager/coach of the team and we recently had a game in which an attacking player - in offsides - receives a ball from one of her team mates and then goes on to score a goal. When the ball was passed it either brushed the defender was slightly redirected by the defender as she was rushin back to cover the goal. In either case the defender did not have control/possession of the ball and the other team gained an unfair advantage. The line referee indicates an offsides call and the center referee after a quick conference with the line referee insicates that the goal stands...After the game was finished I ask the center referee to clearify the decision. The referee immediatly agreed that the call was bad...Here is my question. My understanding of the rules is that once the play is resumed after a call a referee cannot change the score. Is there a mechanism by which a score can be change after the fact?

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Arun, you are correct, once play is resumed the referee cannot change any decision he has taken. The mechanism to overturn a game is protest. There is usually some fee associated with this and the result, it honored, is that the game is replayed in full. At the age of your players a lesson that rejects the outcome of an event, because of an error in the application of a Law by an inexperienced individual, is a bad lesson. ..We teach that experience does not matter, mistakes can always be overturned after the fact. Would we rather teach that experience is a valuable commodity, only gained by having the courage to make a decision? Should that decision be incorrect, then the decision-maker has the opportunity to learn and grow. If junior players learn that decisions taken at the moment are overturned after the fact then they will be reticent to make decisions, when they finally have to make one their life experience will not include that process. They will have been harmed by our misguided efforts to protect them...Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Stacy Kalstrom

HI Arun,..Law 5 Tells us that "The Referee may only change a decision on realizing that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee, provided that he has not restarted play."..SO the goal stands in your game and there is nothing to be done about that. On the other hand you were lucky enough to have a referee who upon further thought realized he made a mistake and admitted it to you. I can bet that this referee will not make the same mistake again. This is the type of referee we want. One who is willing to look at things again and realize he/she has made a mistake. I hope you are fortunate to have this official again...Thanks for stopping by.

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Answer provided by Referee Nagy

Hi Arun! What a way to lose a game! Sure enough, the goal stands as soon as the game is restarted. I bet every panel member has made a bad call sometimwe in their career which resulted in a goal, I know I have, and more than once. We can only learn from our mistakes. Hopefully that's what this ref has done. Too bad it was at the expense of your team. Just live with it and move on. Gene

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