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Question Number: 6669


RE: Recreation Adult

James McConnell of Woodbury, MN USA asks...

Could you clear this up for me. Can a player shout, during the game, "leave it" or "mine" or "dummy"? In the UK this was always penalised with an indirect free kick but over here in the U.S. it is never penalised. ..James

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer 10/21/2003

James over here we are quite wrong to allow it if it puts off the opponent the slightest bit. I usually caution this behavior as unsporting if it affects an opponents play. The restart is indirect free kick as allowed by the last of the indirect free kick offenses in Law 12...Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Dawson 10/21/2003

Hi James,.Free speech is alive and well. Simply saying those things are not now or have ever been an infringement. A referee must consider if they are a communication to a team mate or a distraction to the opposition. IS the opponent unfairly affected by the manuver? I encourage names ie: Jame's ball Richard's Ball as it a better standard of communication between teammates. However when I do games with teams that speak different languages how can I tell what they say? ..It is in the MANNER and effect the verbal communication has on the opposing player. I have had a player even go so far as to cup his hands around his mouth and scream his own name unto the ear of the opponent. Feeling this was legal to call out your name but look at WHAT and how he did it!!! This is no different than running behind a player and screaming arghhh! to frighten or unnerve him. ..In my opinion a law change could give a call of verbal impeding (straight INDFK no card) to eliminate the possibility we must show yellow to caution for usb. I recently watched a premier game here in Alberta refereed by a UK EPL referee Mr Winters who gave two INDFKs for what I can only call verbal impeding as it was a noise made to distract the defender from properly heading the ball out of trouble I could agree the call was needed but ran into some issues as told by our directives we MUST caution for USB and Mr. Winters produced no such cards? Perhaps this is a national directive divergence or I am simply misinformed?? .Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino 10/22/2003

ACross the big pond this is highly frowned upon. Here, as Ref Fleischer states, it's not an automatic misconduct. Rather, it has to be obvious that it affected an opponent. I don't have Ref Fleischer's experience, but in the 300-400 games I've done, I've not once seen this adversly affect an opponent

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Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson 10/23/2003

Here is a case where both sides have slightly different ideas, but the underlying concept is the same. If the shouting distracts an opponent, the play should be stopped and the player cautioned for unsporting behavior. Otherwise, there is no problem. Our British colleagues tend to consider this distracting a greater percentage of the time than us Americans, but I have called this myself in the U.S. I am usually willing to give the person yelling out the benefit of the doubt, however.

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