There was an incident in a match I was recently AR for while the referee was distracted by an injured player from the play. I was the trail AR and the lead AR did not think a foul was committed. It happened on the far side of the field from the other AR. It was the center’s “quadrant”. I believed the offense was a foul and a send off for either serious foul play or the denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. The offense apparently was retaliatory. From my point of view the foul and misconduct was obvious. The other AR was parallel to the play and did not see the leg stick out as apparently as it did to me. The referee did stop play but he stopped play for the injury. Although I was far from the play I had a clear view. The coaches were on my side and the coach who saw the incident was yelling for a foul. I raised my flag. The center ran over to the other AR to discuss the incident. He then saw my flag and I waved him over. I asked him whether the other AR had seen the incident. “He saw nothing.” (which I later would learn meant he did not believe it was a foul but for the sake of this question we will assume the AR had been looking at the injured player too). I then advised the center that a foul had occurred and that there should be misconduct. He replied that it was not my call to make since it was not in my quadrant. I had a much clearer view then the other two officials on the field and I was told that this was not my place to make a decision because of how the decision would look. I thought that the duty of the AR was to advice the center when he/she has a better view of the incident which was obvious in this case. How should these incidents be handled and should the center take my advice even though I was a good 40 yards away from the incident.
The summary: Other officials were distracted, incident in the other half of the field and was near the 30 yard line, I had a clear view and believed it was a foul and misconduct. What should be the procedure for this situation?
USSF answer (March 31, 2009):
Some referees suffer from ego or insecurity problems. Do your job as assistant referee and let them do theirs.
You followed the correct procedure, but you need to remember that your primary role as an AR is to ASsist, not INsist. The AR provides information to the referee. If the referee fails to accept that information, no matter the reason, then the AR accepts the decision and gets on with the game. He or she has done his/her duty and the referee has made a decision and the referee alone bears the burden of living with the consequences.
You can run the line for us any time.
And, just to be certain that ALL referees and ARs are on the same page, we need to remind everyone that there is no such thing as an “AR quadrant” and a “referee quadrant” — Law 6 makes it VERY clear that the weighing of AR information should be based on who has the “better view” and that this applies not only to whether the referee or an AR has a better view, but also to which AR might have a better view. “Quadrants” went out of favor years ago.