Entries related to “Inventive Coaches”
October 29, 2012
I did a U-12 girls game today and had a tough call to make.
The keeper and the striker were both going for a 50/50 ball. As the keeper reached down to grab the ball, the striker kicked the ball into the net. The strikers follow through kicked the goalkeeper’s hand. The girl had to go to the hospital. I allowed the goal to score because the keeper didn’t have control of the ball. The coach came on to the field to help the keeper and then turn on me. He said that I needed to protect his players more. Did I make the right call by allowing the goal to score?
Answer (October 29, 2012):
In a word, yes! You did fine. The position of goalkeeper is the most dangerous on the field, as the goalkeeper is required to go up in the air and down to the ground in her effort to protect her goal and stop the ball. There is no rule that “protects the goalie” from contact initiated by other players — as long as that contact is not against the requirements for a fair charge and does not happen when the goalkeeper is attempting to release the ball for others to play — in other words, to punt or throw the ball out of the penalty area.
Let’s break this down into smaller parts to help make the entire problem understandable for referees, coaches, and players alike.
1. THE GOALKEEPER POSITION AND DANGER
Yes, safety is the referee’s first concern under the Laws. However, referees — and coaches and players — need to remember that the position of goalkeeper is inherently dangerous and the goalkeeper is allowed a bit more leeway than other players in placing him- or herself in danger and thus affecting how the opponents can act. Everything he or she does when attempting to clear a ball or take it away from an onrushing attacker is dangerous. Why? Because it is the ‘keeper’s job to stop the ball from going into the goal, no matter at what height above the ground it may travel. Unless the ‘keeper or the opponent did something that was careless or violent or reckless, and you indicated that they did not, then there was no foul, but simply bad luck. This is one of the lessons referees, players, and coaches need to learn.
Would we allow this for the opposing attackers? Not if it places the goalkeeper in danger that he cannot avoid. Is this inconsistent? Yes, but it is the way the game has always been played.
2. GOALKEEPER POSSESSION
The goalkeeper is considered to be in control (= possession) of the ball when the ball is held with both hands, held by trapping the ball between one hand and any surface (e. g., the ground, a goalpost, the goalkeeper’s body), or holding the ball in the outstretched open palm. And the “hand” in this case can consist of as few as one finger of the ‘keeper’s hand.
The Laws do not grant the referee (or, in this case, the coach) the power to extend the definition of goalkeeper possession, nor to legislate new meanings on the field of play.
3. PLAYERS’ RIGHTS AND FAIR CHALLENGES
The goalkeeper has no more rights than any other player, with the exceptions of protective equipment and not being challenged when attempting to release the ball into general play. When not in possession of the ball, the goalkeeper may be fairly challenged. And the fairness is determined by the referee, not the coach and not the player.
There is no rule that “protects the goalie” from contact initiated by other players — as long as that contact is not against the requirements for a fair charge and does not happen when the goalkeeper is attempting to release the ball for others to play — in other words, to punt or throw the ball out of the penalty area.
Any time a player (either a field player or a goalkeeper) raises his/her leg above knee level there is the likelihood that someone will be hurt. As age and skill levels go down, the referee must interpret both “possession” and “safe challenge” more conservatively. Something an adult player might be allowed to do is not always the same as something a youth player (U14 for example) would be allowed to do.
July 13, 2012
A coach I know recently thought up a strategy for giving his team an advantge that should win if the game goes to penalty kicks in the very final game of a tournament. Theory goes like this, after the initial five pk takers are designated and before the first player on his team, who is his best penalty taker, takes the pk, he will have every one of the 10 remaining players eligible to take penalties step up to the official and insult him sufficiently to be red carded and dismissed from the game. This will insure that his best penalty taker will take all of the pks while the other team will have their lesser skilled players taking kicks.
What would you do as it seems to be perfectly suited to exploit the reduce to equate as currently practiced?
I could only state that while technically accurate and seemingly legal, I would disqualify his team for prolonged and repeated infraction of the laws.
Answer (July 13, 2012):
We have seen similar questions in the past (e.g., the coach simply declared these players “unable to play” due to injuries or whatever) but the principle is the same: There are things that can happen on a soccer match which are “wrong” (against the Spirit of the Laws), but over which we have no authority to fashion a correction. Another example would be the situation that occurred in Asia some years ago where one team TRIED to lose by scoring against itself and then the other team, because of what such an outcome would mean (it had to do I think with determining a field site for the next round of competition), began matching the opposing team’s goal for goal by doing the same thing. The referee does not have the authority to prevent this. In fact, the referee cannot make anyone play nor force any substitution.
Accordingly, the coach’s ploy will succeed and his team will be reduced to 1 player. However, (1) the opposing coach could do the same (or have the other ten players become injured and unable to participate in the kicks) and then ultimately there would be Kicks done 1 v. 1 (with the nonkicking player serving as the goalkeeper); and/or (2) the Kicks could proceed with 11 v. 1, but the ploy could backfire since the one player would have to kick each time against a new and fresh opposing kicker; and (3) the referee would include full details (facts and reasonable inferences from those facts) in his game report (which is what the referee in the Asian game did) and let the competition authority decide if the behavior of the team should be allowed — the action was not upheld in the Asian case, and there were fines and/or suspensions involved.
And lest we forget, under the Laws of the Game kickers are never “designated” nor put on a checklist for the referee. Players go to take the kick as a slot is available.
March 22, 2012
In a U10 Premier Boys game a defender stood in the goal behind the goal line at the far post on a corner kick. This team did this on every corner kick. On one of the corner kicks the goalie when up to catch the ball but dropped it into the field of play and a attacker kicked the ball to the post where the defender was standing behind the goal line. The ball struck the defender right at the goal line (The ball never complete crossed the goal line so no goal was scored) The referee allowed play to continue with no call.
My question is should this have not been deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission by the defender that left the field? Advice to referees on the laws of the game 3.9 say about accidentally passes over in the course of possession of or contesting for the ball. It looks to me that this team was using the tactic of standing in the goal area to have more time to react to a play.
What should have been the correct call.
USSF answer (March 21, 2012):
Players are not supposed to leave the field of play at a restart without the permission of the referee, other than to fetch the ball and to take the kick or the throw-in. That applies to defenders as well as the restarting team. In your scenario, if any part of the player inside the goal breaks the vertical plane of the goal line, then that player is still in and on the field of play.
If the referee knows for certain that the player has left the entire field of play (confirmed by the AR), then the player should be cautioned.
November 17, 2011
In the first 10 minutes of a U-12 Girls D-1 game, Orange Attacker collides with Blue Keeper. The Orange attacker gets up, but Blue Keeper stays face-down and motionless. The ball spins out of the penalty area toward the touchline when Orange Attacker 2 gathers the ball — completely unopposed. Both teams call for Orange Attacker 2 to kick it out because Blue Keeper is down. Orange Attacker 2 does kick it out.
When the ball is officially out of play, the “injured” blue keeper pops up – smiling. She was “hobbling” a little, but she was perfectly fine after she rubbed her leg a little.
In reflection of this incident, I SHOULD have cautioned Blue Keeper (unsporting behavior) for faking an injury to gain an advantage. I did not give her a YELLOW since I wanted to give her the “benefit of the doubt.”
If the card is issued, What is the re-start? Throw-in for the Blue Keeper’s team or Indirect Free kick (inside the penalty area) for Orange Attacker 1′s team?
At the end of the half in a different U-12 Girls D-1 game, there was a large melee in from of the goal. Time expired in the half PRIOR to the ball entering the goal, but before I could blow the whistle due to it slipping out of my hand at the crucial moment it should have been blown. I disallowed the goal as it was after I was aware the half had ended.
Obviously, the attacking coach told me that play continued until I actually blew the whistle and the goal should count. I told him, the half is over when the center referee is AWARE that time has expired, even if the whistle is NOT blown at all! I also told him the whistle has no official meaning under the laws of the game, but is simply a device officials use to get the attention of the players.
Should the goal have been awarded?
USSF answer (November 17, 2011):
Answer 1: The restart is governed by the reason the ball was out of play (if not stopped by the referee for some other reason). In this case, the correct reason is (apparently) a throw-in, after the referee has issued the caution for unsporting behavior to the goalkeeper (if it is deserved). If the referee did not feel that the goalkeeper’s injury was serious, then there was no reason for the teams to take action on their own to stop play. The referee should instruct the players to leave decision of this nature up to the referee and not take the law into their own feet.
Answer 2: Your decision was correct: no goal. As we constantly remind people, coaches will always attempt to influence your calls. Pay them no mind and call the game as you have been taught to call it.
In addition, your statement about the whistle is not strictly true and could even be confusing. A whistle is required for every ceremonial restart; without it, the restart is not authorized and must be retaken. In such cases, it is NOT merely to gain the attention of players.
October 21, 2011
Hi: I am a Boys U-12 coach and also an intermediate referee. I think the following is appropriate and I see no rule against it. But I need an opinion.
My team is names AC Milan. Throughout the game I usually scream “who are we?” My team on the field respond, “AC Milan”. I use this as a way to motivate my kids. Also to make sure we are a team. I do this every once in a while throughout the game.Not specifically when we score.
This is ok to do, correct?
USSF answer (October 21, 2011):
It is okay only if the referee on the game does not view it as an attempt to intimidate and/or distract the opponents. If he or she detects either intimidation or distraction, then the players doing the responses on the field could be cautioned for unsporting behavior and you, the coach, could be removed from the game (expelled) for irresponsible behavior. The referee must judge the appropriateness of both the WHEN and the WHY of the coach’s and players’ actions.
September 28, 2011
A forward with the BLUE team gets a run and loses the ball to the last defender for RED team. The BLUE forward is now in offisde position as the last RED defender attempts to clear the ball forward. When the ball is cleared by the last RED defender, it deflects on another RED player’s face and sends the ball directly to the BLUE forward, still in an offside position behind the last RED defender. Is this offside penalty enforced?
USSF answer (September 28, 2011):
No, the offside should not be called, as the requirements of Law 11 have not been met: the Blue player was the last member of his team to touch, play, or make contact with the ball. The Law requires that the player be in an offside position when his teammate plays the ball; that was not the case here.
September 8, 2011
A team chooses to play a game with the minimum # of players, but have an injured player on the bench. The team then gets a red card putting them under the minimum requirement to play, however they elect to sub in the injured player to maintain the minimum requirements on the field because there is only a couple minutes left in the game–are they allowed to use that player to maintain the minimum and continue the game?
USSF answer (September 7, 2011):
Unless having had a player sent off actually created the situation, there is nothing in the Laws of the Game to forbid a team that has been playing under strength — for whatever strange reason — to augment its numbers to a greater (but still within the number established by Law 3 or the rules of the competition) by inserting a substitute already listed on the roster (if rosters are required in this competition), not as a replacement for the red carded player, but to augment an understrength team. The only problem in this scenario might be the ability of the “injured” substitute to play.
August 28, 2011
a free kick from 25 yards, all players onside just after ball is kicked defenders step out leaving 2 attackers inside keeper parries shot to one of them he slots home? goal or offside….?
USSF answer August 28, 2011):
Score the goal. The key to the answer lies in two words in your scenario, “just after.” Because the two attackers were not in an offside position when their teammate played the ball, they cannot possibly be called offside.
August 24, 2011
A player catches the ball between his knees and then does a somersault into the goal. The goalkeeper has no clear way to defend the goal. Is this legal?
USSF answer (August 24, 2011):
Players are not allowed to perform dangerous acts that deny other players a chance at the ball. (But similar acts that do not endanger other players (or officials) would seem to be legitimate.) If the act in question is reckless and places other players in danger, then the referee should stop play, caution for unsporting behavior, and restart with an indirect free kick for the goalkeeper’s team.
June 2, 2011
Ball enters PA of Team A by a pass by Team B. Ball is stopped in PA by Team A goalie with feet who never touches ball with hands. How long can goalie possess ball at feet prior to picking it up for a punt? This happens a lot in our high school games and is inconsistently dealt with by referees. Some believe 6 seconds while some believe it is poor play. Most want the game restarted quickly.
USSF answer (June 2, 2011):
We do not answer questions on high school rules in this forum. If your question involved the Laws of the Game, then this would be our answer:
The game has not stopped and the ball is still in play. The goalkeeper may keep the ball at his or her feet and kick it around as much as he or she likes; there is no time limit. However, if the other team wants the ball, then they should move toward the goalkeeper and force him or her to pick it up, at which point the ‘keeper has six-seconds to punt or throw the ball away into general pay.
May 19, 2011
In a recent viral video of a Conway AR high school match shows the center awarding a free kick to Conway and the Conway players setting up. Two players approach the area of the ball as if both are going to initiate the kick with one passing by the ball and then colliding with the other approaching player and both collapse on the ground while a third player initiates the kick. A score resulted.
Question is, has an offence been committed? My input would be yes that it is unsporting behavior in that the collision was set up as a distraction that is staged, much like a player taking an obvious dive after contacting a player of the opposing team. I can’t see the trickery rule applying because it only addresses playing the ball back to the keeper and trying to circumvent a law of the game. I believe the goal was awarded. Not that it matters to me being I have no interest or contact with any team in Arkanas. Just discussing it with some current officials on how we would have called it. I am a laspsed official (not one of the choices below)
USSF answer (May 19, 2011):
Ah, deceit, the mother of legal gamesmanship. The kicking team is allowed to engage in its little bit of deception at almost any restart. Provided that the players who collide don’t turn the event into a moaning, groaning, shrieking distraction, this was likely legal. Some playacting is certainly acceptable, but when an event is played to the hilt it could be seen as constituting either (a) exaggerating the seriousness of an injury or (b) the equivalent of shouting at an opponent to distract (either of which would be unsporting behavior). It all depends, of course, on the opinion of the referee, which would be based on how out of the ordinary the actions of these players were.
The Laws of the Game were not written to compensate for the mistakes of players, in this case the defending team that did not continue to pay attention to the subsequent kicker, the runner, and the ball itself.
CAVEAT: Please note that this is a high school game played under NFHS auspices, and not necessarily in accordance with the Laws of the Game. And the referee might be especially cunning and preempt any problems by stopping play for the “injury,” which occurred before the ball was in play, have the players attended to, and restart with original free kick.
A video clip of this incident may be seen at this URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haxdJT6MBoE&feature=player_embedded
April 28, 2011
During check-in, I discover two players not listed on the team roster. I inform the coach that the two players cannot play. The coach goes nuts. I explain the league’s policy regarding this matter. the coach gets hotter. I walk away. This coach fields a team and the two ineligible players are on the field.
What do I do?
1. Start the game and after the ball moves forward, blow my whistle and red card the two ineligible players?
2. Have another discussion with the “hot” coach. If doesn’t comply, call the game.
3. Get the other coach involved. Discuss the situation. Start the game and report the incident in my game report.
USSF answer (April 28, 2011):
As long as the names of the substitutes are given to the referee prior to the start of the Game, the Laws of the Game are satisfied. However, in this case you are dealing with the rules of a competition (league, cup, tournament, etc.) . By accepting an assignment in this competition, you have agreed to enforce the rules of the competition. This is an unquestionable fact.
The solution to your problem is either clear and simple or very complicated:
(1) If there is a fixed roster for the season, then the two “players” not on the official team roster may not play under any circumstances. It makes no difference whether the coach chooses to play or not to play the game; those “players” cannot play. Whatever the outcome of the discussion, submit full details in the match report.
(2) If the roster changes from game to game, then it’s more complicated. In this case, if the two players have valid player passes for this team, then you should let them play. If they do not have valid player passes for this particular team, then follow the guidance in (1). In all cases, include full details in the match report.