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Question Number: 6493

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: Academy Under 10

Suzanne Donahue of , Georgia USA asks...

My question is related to the recent question #6407..Is there any way around a send-off for DOGSO at the U10 level?.This happened in a recent preseason tournament:..In a U10 girls’ academy (pre-select) game, a player other than the goalie caught the ball in both hands in her own penalty area as the ball was on its way into the goal. In this case, there was no advantage to call, and it would be virtually impossible to assert that the handling was not deliberate. The player was sent off—in tears—, upsetting not only her own team, but even the parents of the opposing team, who felt the referee should not have issued the card. ..Is there anything in the spirit of the game and Law 18 to justify NOT issuing the red card? At this level, in preseason, there may be players who have never played before and are just beginning to learn the game. Many players may take turns in goal and are learning to adjust to changing positions. Although this tournament did record the scores, typically, game scores in our local leagues are not recorded for U10 Academy, as this is considered developmental rather than competitive soccer...The most creative solution we came up with was to call advantage and instruct the would-be keeper to quickly toss the ball in the goal.

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Suzanne the way around this is simple, the ordering off offense is not mandatory, the referee may use her discretion. ..I have awarded just a penalty for this. not even a caution. And you know what? No one noticed, I made such a big deal of blowing the penalty everyone figured I had a handle on things. The player with the ball knew he had done wrong too!..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Hi Suzanne. Many of us Georgia refs are viewing academy as select rather than rec so some officials are not going to be lenient. That said, there's no mandatory red card here. I, like Ref Fleischer, have ignored it and awarded a penalty kick. Others have shown the yellow card for unsporting behavior. If I were to be approached as to why I didn't pull a red card I would say in my opinion the ball was so slow that the keeper could have gotten to it. Sorry this occured but until academy is sorted out as to just what we are to expect the players to know, expect some to be more stringent than me.

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Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson

In my younger years I followed the LOTG and issued red cards in these situations even at young ages and in highly "recreational" leagues. With the benefit of experience, in everything from roughly U-14G and U-12B and down, I no longer give the red card in these situations. At these younger age levels I am almost never questioned about it. I will often even tell the player that when they play up an age-level next year that that would likely be a red card, so be careful. If a coach were to ever really press me on the issue, I would be ready to say that I probably made a mistake. In my soul I would know that in the spirit of the game, however, I made the right call, and I don't tend to hold the opinions of coaches who want 10 year olds red carded very highly.

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