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Question Number: 8766

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/31/2004

young referee of San Antonio, Tx asks...

I was recently certified as a class 08 referee, and at the entry level clinic I was given a question about how to deal with a situation about striking your own teammate. I was unsure of the answer so I asked a few different senior referees. I was given several answers. Some said to send off the player. Some said don't send him/her off because they are teammates. In my opinion, I think you should send off the offending player reagrdless if he/she is on the same team. Striking anyone at all should be an automatic red card for dangerous play. This may be an obvious answer but, me being a new referee, I am unsure and I look forward to your advice, Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Dawson 12/31/2004

While rare to see teammates actually strike each other, bickering is often a cronic problem with a despondent few. The reason you send off or choose not to send off lies with YOUR assessment of the NEED to do so! The fact that teammates create MISCONDUCT is dealt with as YOU see fit. .. The word strike implies a punch to the face and friend or foe you are likely going to go. Now we could give the coach an option to retire the player voluntarily if possible. If the strike was more a push or a bit of even sided frustration a warning or possibly a caution could satisfy the match demands. Manditory caution or a manditory send off as OPINION of the events it is YOUR judgement that decides the NEEDED outcome... While we are not responsible in law to reward teams it will be an 11 versus 10 aside effect and if we COULD see a way to clear this event without doing so there is no reason not to do so... Sometimes what the law allows us to do is not always what we MUST do! Options could abound for player and game management stratagies here DEPENDING on the severity of the incident. While black and white make easier decisions much grey keeps the real referee current with a match. No matter what action you decide to take against the striking player, be it a warning, caution or send off, are you aware of the restart for this incident and where it is to take place?? .Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Hey New Guy, as you can see by Ref Dawson's response the referee must do something and that something is what he feels is needed at that time and in that match. The match referee is the only source of what needs to be done in his match and what he does is always right at that time and place. ..He may wish he had done something different at a later time but that wish is always based on hindsight. It may occur to a referee that if the he had done something differently along the way the match may have been the better for it, we call that learning. If he chooses to act by sending-off a player the referee must remember that he may NOT send off for anyone dangerous play, that's an indirect free kick offense, (foul play), and that must always involve an opponent. The only two ways a player may be sent off as a result of doing something physical to a team mate is violent conduct or a second caution in the same match. If the referee's report said a player was sent-off for dangerous play it should be overturned on appeal. ..Best of luck as you learn, make mistakes only once and your progress up the ladder will be swift and sure. ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Laflin

We were told that if a player strikes his team mate, get him off the field for violent conduct and restart play with an indirect free kick (if play was stopped to issue the card). This is a favourite on quizzes, usually involving two players in their own penalty area :P..Jim

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