Entries related to Referee Report
December 21, 2012
Many referees, particularly those newly-minted and inexperienced, run into situations in which they are not certain about what to do and where the line should be drawn in dealing with team officials:
* When is it appropriate to ask the coach to leave the field?
* When is enough enough?
* How much abuse must I and my assistant referees (and the players) take?
According to Law 5, the referee “takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds.” By no stretch of the imagination do most, and certainly not many, coaches or other team officials behave irresponsibly. However there are enough of them that referees need to have a plan of action. This article is designed to help referees at all levels do that.
Here are some examples of irresponsible behavior, directed by coaches or other team officials at referees, assistant referees, fourth officials, players of the opposing or their own team, and opposing coaches:
1. Screaming at or verbally or physically abusing the officials or any players or other participants for any reason.
* a youth coach “who begins to scream at his players when the game begins and does not stop until long after the game is over. With every touch of the ball by his team he gives (screams) instructions to the players off the ball as well as the player with the ball. With every touch of the ball by the other team he is giving (screaming) specific instructions to each player on his team as fast as he can get them out of his mouth. Much of what he says is negative and all mistakes are pointed out and players are taken to task. He is a physically intimidating person who loves to argue about anything and most area referees just stay as far away from him as they can.”
* ordering a player who has made a mistake to “drop and give me ten” (pushups) right there on the field.
* Speaking insulting words or making offensive gestures * making unwanted contact with opponents
2. Interfering with the game in any way, such as:
* yelling out instructions to do something illegal or giving deceptive instructions.
* when coaches become actively involved in helping their team deceive the opponents, such as saying that player “x” should do this or that and clearly intending something else to occur (as discovered after the restart).
* clearly instructing the players to line up within the required distance and “have the referee move you.”
* instructing his/her team, both on the field and on the bench, to jump up and down, waving their arms, and scream at the top of their lungs.
* giving tactical instructions to other players when invited to enter the field to see to the injury of a player.
* presuming to give the officials instructions on how to make or signal their calls.
* insisting that an opposing player be cautioned or sent off.
* throwing objects in protest
* kicking chairs
* striking advertising boards
* persistently and flagrantly protesting decisions by an official * interfering with the performance of assistant referee or fourth official duties * refusing to return to the technical area * entering the field of play without the permission of the referee * failing to deal with team spectators who loudly and persistently harass or insult the referee team
There is a widespread trend within the nation and the soccer community toward eliminating abuse of young people by any adults. The referee is certainly empowered to ensure responsible behavior by the team official in that regard. The method chosen would be up to the individual referee. The first action to consider is a quiet word with the coach or other team official to let him or her know that the behavior will not be allowed to continue.
WHAT CAN THE COACH OR OTHER TEAM OFFICIALS DO?
Under the Law, only one person at a time is authorized to convey tactical instructions from the technical area — in most soccer games this term includes the team area, where they have their bags and chairs. The coach and other officials must remain within its confines except in special circumstances, for example, a physiotherapist or doctor entering the field of play, with the referee’s permission, to assess an injured player. The coach and other occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner. Team officials are also encouraged to promote sporting behavior by their players and supporters.
As a practical matter, particularly at the youth level, any POSITIVE coaching is allowed. Whether at the level of the least experienced players (and coaches) or at the highest levels, any case in which the coach behaves irresponsibly will result in the coach being dismissed. (Two examples from among many: ranting at the referee, overt participation in deception of the opposing team.)
Beyond the reasonable expectation that the referee will call a good game, the coach has no “right” to anything in the game of soccer, other than the right to conduct him-/herself responsibly during the game — from within the technical or bench area — while offering advice to his/her team’s players.
A referee who allows coaches or other team officials to parade around the field or shout abuse at players in the guise of instruction, in contravention of the requirements in Law 5 that coaches behave responsibly and that referees not permit anyone other than players to enter the field, should be ashamed.
A coach may do nothing during the match about any decision of the referee.
If it seems necessary, the coach may submit a report to the appropriate authorities after the match. To do anything else during the match would likely be considered irresponsible behavior, for which offense the coach would be dismissed by the referee.
WHAT CAN THE REFEREE DO?
First and foremost, live up to the reasonable expectations of the coaches, team officials, and players that you will call a good game. Do not invent your own rules.
Coaches and other team officials are expected to behave responsibly. (See Law 5, The Technical Area, and Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees, the only three places in the Laws where team officials are mentioned.) The intelligent referee will generally disregard coaching comments, unless they become openly disrespectful of the game and of the refereeing crew. The referee’s first line of defense (unless the behavior is REALLY egregious) is to warn the coach who is behaving irresponsibly. This is the equivalent of a caution, but no card is shown. Then, when the behavior persists (as it usually does, because most coaches who behave this way fail to understand that they must change their errant ways), the coach is expelled from the field for failing to behave in a responsible manner. Please note that under the Laws of the Game, no card may be shown; however, showing the card may be a requirement of the rules of the competition. Let us emphasize: There is no requirement for a warning or a quiet word; that is at the discretion of the referee.
Unless the matter is particularly grave, the referee would usually wait until the next stoppage. However, if the situation is indeed grave — as any case of abuse would be — then stopping the game and drawing attention to the matter is an excellent tool in and of itself. Proactive steps such as the admonition of the coach will usually prevent players who become disgusted with their coach’s behavior from acting out and thus becoming subject to punishment themselves. It sends a clear message that the referee is serious about the matter. In such cases, the referee would stop play with the ball in the possession of the abusive coach’s team (if possible), advise the coach or other team official that this behavior is irresponsible and must stop if the coach or other team official wishes to remain in the vicinity of the field. If this warning is not effective, then another stoppage and the expulsion of the coach must follow. No cards, please, unless the rules of the competition require them. Also, do not engage in extended discussions when doing this in any circumstances: State the message in a calm and firm manner and leave.
In all events you should prepare a supplemental game report or letter to the league on the matter. You might also suggest in the report or letter that they send someone to monitor a couple of games. The letter could be written in such a way that says perhaps the coach was having a bad day, but it should suggest that it might be beneficial to the children involved if someone from the league dropped in for a game or two just to make sure.
February 28, 2012
If a player is sent off (red card), he/she cannot play in their next game.
Question 1: if the referee does not include the send-off in the game report, or does not submit a game report, is the player still required to not play in their next game?
Question 2: It is VERY common for referees NOT to tell a youth player why (unsporting behavior, dissent, serious foul play, etc) a card is being displayed. When asked by the player or coach, the VERY common response is ‘I don’t have to tell you’. How are youth players to learn from a mistake when there is absolutely no reason given by the ‘professional offical’ as to what the mistake was? Are game reports accessible to coaches, players, and/or parents?
USSF answer (February 28, 2012):
1. Referees are expected to submit their match reports as quickly as possible, usually within 2-3 days of the game. If they do not do so, then technically the events described (or NOT described) therein did not occur — but see below.
Technicalities aside, realistically the game occurred: people were there; witnesses can be subpoenaed; the referee could be reminded of his report; the player who was red carded should, on his own initiative or by direction of his coach, sit out his team’s next regularly-scheduled match. All this should occur even without the actual filing of the referee’s report. An opposing coach could certainly note at the team’s next regularly-scheduled game that Player X should be sitting out and, if this is disputed on any basis (including the lack of a report from the referee), a complaint could be filed which would eventually trigger a demand upon the referee to get the requiredreport in. In real life, there are literally thousands of games that occur with no formal referee report going into a league or association office — of course, in most of these, nothing untoward has occurred, but no one has any problem accepting that there was a game, there was a score, and Team B won.
2. The referee is REQUIRED to tell a player that he or he has been cautioned or sent off for one of the seven reasons for either sort of misconduct.
They cannot refuse to tell this to the player and should be reported to refereeing authorities if they do so refuse. They are NOT required to tell the coach anything. In most states (we cannot speak for all of them) the reports are not available to non-refereeing or competition officials, but appropriate parties can be told of the contents regarding a specific person or incident.
February 20, 2012
I was the CR in a game today that was un-eventful except for one thing. I had trouble getting one team back on the field after halftime.
After the halftime, I blew the whistle to summon the teams to the field for the 2nd half. The blue team came out and lined up for the kick-off (they were to take the kick-off to open the half). The red team didn’t move. This is not unusual, so I waited about 30 seconds and blew the whistle again. Still the red team didn’t come out of their huddle.
I waited another 30 seconds and one of the blue players joked that I should just start the game without them. I blew the whistle AGAIN and summoned the captain BY NAME and the coach BY NAME to send out the team and got NO response.
After another few seconds I blew the whistle a FORTH TIME and the red team finally got up, did their little pre-game “HOO-Rah” cheer and took the field.
I considered this an unacceptable delay. Law 12 states I must issue a yellow card for “delaying the restart of play.”
1) Would I be justified in issuing the Yellow Card to the Captain?
2) As odd as this question is, is there something in “the laws” that would prevent the Referee from starting the game without the Red team ON THE FIELD? Law 3 DOESN’T say the teams must be ON the field and they had ignored 3 requests to get on the field?
USSF answer (February 20, 2012):
Both teams must come out as quickly as possible for the start of a period of play when the referee indicates that the time has arrived. Matches are scheduled to begin at a particular time and for a specified amount of time (depending on the rules of the competition). The Laws also provide that players are entitled to an interval at halftime (must be stated in the competition rules, but may not exceed 15 minutes), which can be altered only with the consent of the referee, not by the coach or other officials of one or both teams. In other words, the teams should make good use of their halftime break and be prepared to come out at the referee’s signal.
If the team does not come out to play when ordered by the referee, that team is in violation of the Laws of the Game and the coach and other team officials can be removed for irresponsible behavior in accordance with Law 5.
Despite having that power, the referee should behave proactively and remind the team that the allotted time has passed and encourage them to come out before applying any draconian measures.
All of which leaves the ultimate question — what if they still don’t come out? Certainly, the coach and other team officials can be ordered away for behaving irresponsibly. As for the players (i.e., persons on the field at the end of the first half) could be cautioned for delaying the restart of play (after appropriate warnings, entreaties, etc.), but at some point this has to stop. Simply abandon the match for having fewer than the minimum number of players required to start/restart/continue play based on the rules of competition and include full details in the match report.
August 11, 2011
The game has finished, the players are on the sideline when the ref issues a player without their jersey on with a yellow for decent, the player blows up again so the ref issues another yellow to the same player resulting in a red, what is the outcome if the ref reports the wrong player in the paperwork since he had no jersey on how can he be sure he reports the correct player ? and if he does report the wrong player can the team challenge the result ?
USSF answer (August 11, 2011):
The final whistle has been blown, the game is over! Players may now remove their jerseys if they like, whether they are on the field or off. The referee committed an error in judgment and procedure by not determining the player’s name and number before issuing the caution for dissent and the subsequent caution and dismissal for receiving a second caution in the game. (Yes this period counts as part of the game if the referee has not left the area after the final whistle.)
The referee could have resolved the problem by informing the team captain and or a team official, such as the coach, that this player was being cautioned and then sent off and asking for the player’s name.
In answer to your final question, we cannot know what course the competition’s disciplinary committee will take in this matter, other than to remind the referee that procedure should be followed.
July 15, 2011
Concerning display of cards. In a men’s amateur game, league requires the teams to be ready to play no later than 15 minutes after posted game time. Home teams does not have 7 properly equipped and documented (pass)players at expiration of grace period. Referee crew informs the team that because of these issues the game will not start and the league informed. A member of the home team directs foul and abusive language at the referee crew. If used during a game, would have resulted in the sending off and display of the red card.
Because the game was already terminated(declared a forfeit) I did not display the card, treating the situation as if the game had ended and the misconduct occurred as the crew was walking off the field.
In this situation, should a card have been displayed or just a report of the misconduct made to the league?
USSF answer (July 15, 2011):
Show the card and inform the player that you will be reporting the incident to the competition authority — and then do it, including full details.
August 24, 2010
In the send off offenses – Spitting is listed separately as it’s own offense. Is it appropriate for it to be written up as Spitting or should it be written up as Fighting.
Also – If a Red Card is being issued for spitting and subsequent to that 2 other players followed it up with pushing would these players then be subject to Red Cards as well for the continuation of a Fight.
USSF answer (August 24, 2010):
When in doubt, follow the rules: A player may be sent off for only seven reasons (see Law 12), none of which is “fighting.” If a player is sent off for spitting at an opponent or any other person, that is the reason given in the match report.
Any illegal action that follows a sending-off offense is punished on its own “merits.” If the pushing is reckless, the player is cautioned and shown the yellow card for unsporting behavior. If the pushing involves the use of excessive force, the player is sent off and shown the red card for violent conduct. There is no misconduct named “continuation of a fight.”
April 19, 2010
If a referee submits a referee’s report about an incident during a match and the date on the report is different from the the date the actual match was played, is this report valid? the report submitted by this referee gives a different date from the match day he was referring too.
Secondly can the match report contain incidents that he said alledgally happen. This refers to an incident he didn’t actually see him self. Should he just report the facts of the incident. Does this type of report make the match report invalid.
USSF answer (April 19, 2010):
Inaccurate data on a match report is generally unacceptable. The final decision on that rests with the competition authority and the panel it has appointed to review the matter.
That is the reason why we constantly stress that referees check their data several times and proofread their reports before sending them in.
As to incidents that the referee did not actually see, we submit that, as the referee is obliged to take into account any events seen by an assistant referee or fourth official, there is no reason why the same information (assuming it is relevant) should not be included in the match report.
Of course, if there was no AR assigned and the lines were run by club linesmen, then the referee can only report incidents he did not see as hearsay, not as fact.
November 24, 2009
Is a referee required to include in their game report the red card infractions issued during the game? Can he/she change their ruling after the game is over, and not file the report. I know of this happening in our league. A player is red-carded, removed from play.
The referee, intentionally, does not file the report with this infraction included. The player and team assume the infraction, and a suspension game is served. In this case without notice of disregard.
This allows a referee to disregard at their own will, a call that has been made and affected the current game, as well as future games, with disregard for notice or consideration. Also, seems to reflect their intent of issuing the red card in the first place.
USSF answer (November 24, 2009):
All cautions and dismissals must be reported. There is no excuse for not doing so. Any referee who fails to do this should be reported to the competition and to the state referee authorities.
In addition, considering the gravity of not reporting serious misconduct (a clear violation of the Laws of the Laws of the Game), the referee in such a situation could also be dealt with under the terms of US Soccer Policy 531-10, Misconduct of a Game Official. The policy is contained in the Referee Administrative Handbook, which can be downloaded from the Instructional Materials section of the referee program pages at www.ussoccer.com.