INJURED PLAYER ON THE FIELD

Question:
I was looking to get some information on the rules that are enacted when a player is down on the field. Specifically, if team A is in clear possession of the ball (for example, if team A’s goalie has the ball safely in his arms) and the referee stops the game because a player is down on the field, what is supposed to occur when the player finally gets up or is helped off the field? I saw a game where this occurred and the referee called for a drop ball at the location where the player went down (even though it was at mid field and Team A’s goalie had the ball in his box). Despite playing for over 25 years, I did not know what the rules governing this situation were and wanted to know.

Answer (June 6, 2007):
First things first: The referee should NEVER stop the game solely because “a player is down on the field.” Law 5 (The Referee) clearly states that the referee stops the game only for serious injury, not simply because a player is down. We might point out here that the definition of “serious” can vary with the age and skill levels of the players concerned.

When the referee does stop play for serious injury — and did not determine that this serious injury was caused by a foul or serious misconduct by another player — play is restarted with a dropped ball from the point where the ball was at the moment play was stopped. This applies even if the ball was in the possession of the goalkeeper. You will find this restart under Law 8 (The Start and Restart of Play):
Dropped Ball
A dropped ball is a way of restarting the match after a temporary stoppage that becomes necessary, while the ball is in play, for any reason not mentioned elsewhere in the Laws of the Game.…

REFEREE UNIFORM; NO CHANGE OF RESTART

Question:
Question 1: The big question that I have is referee uniforms. I have talked with many referees, and thought myself. Those new Adidas Referee Uniforms are very nice, and give the referee some class. Do you know if the next uniform will be these, and when will we change to our next kits. Please pass this on round the office.

Question 2: During a corner kick, before the ball was kicked a player was fouling another player by pushing her away, not allowing her to defend her own goal. I told them to stop, and it worked. But is there any special change as in it is a DFK to the defending team or does the restart remain the corner kick?

Answer (May 26, 2007):
1. The design of the referee uniform is determined by the USSF Board of Directors, not the referees and not the referee department.

2. Once play has been stopped for an infringement, the restart may not be changed for any misconduct that occurs before the restart.…

INPUT TO MATCH REPORT

Question:
Law 5 states that the Referee is responsible for the Match Report.

1a. If a Referee needs or requests information from an Assistant Referee, or the Assistant Referee offers it, how is this information incorporated into a Match Report?

For example, does the Referee attach the ARs own report, or does the Referee re-write any written report given by the AR based upon the Referee’s discretion?

1b Are there any circumstances where Supplemental Reports are provided separately by Assistant Referees?

Answer (May 25, 2007):
The referee solicits information from the ARs in preparing a match report. The officials should compare notes and ensure that all information is reported accurately on the report. Generally, there would be only a single report.

In the case of misconduct against an official, fight or brawl, protest, or other special situation, an AR might prepare a separate report of what he(she) observed during an incident for submission. (The report may be requested by the competition authority.) That information would reflect only the view of the AR and should not be altered by the referee before submission. However, the substance of the report should be aligned with the information provided by the other officials in their reports.…

REFEREE SENT OFF AS PLAYER

Question:
I have always been told that when a referee is red carded as a player that he isn’t allowed to referee or participate in any soccer related activity until he/she sits out red card the suspension. This has recently came up in our area and the referee contends that this is strictly a local policy enforced by the local playing association and he could referee any other place other than locally while sitting out the red card suspension. When I started trying to research this matter I can’t find anything in writing concerning suspension of referees (from refereeing games) while sitting out a red card received as a player. Can you shed some light on this matter one way or the other?USSF answer (May 22, 2007):
We are not aware of any formal guidelines in this situation. It would seem appropriate for the state association to govern such matters.…

TRANSLATING MATCH REPORTS

Question:
Our league is presently considering allowing non-English proficient referees to write send off reports in their native language, then have a translator (not specified as a referee in any event) rewrite said form in English for PAD action. Is there an issue here relating to USSF or FIFA guidelines?Our own league rules state that, and I quote from league rules:
3:07:05 Red card ejections cannot be protested. The PAD Committee will determine the penalty based on the report filed by the Referee officiating the game and any reports filed on behalf of any concerned party. However, no player will be allowed to appear before the Committee for this purpose unless agreed to by the working quorum present at that proceeding.

This seems clear to me that a report not filed by the referee himself, that is a report filed by a translator, cannot be used to determine what penalty, if any, should be meted out. And I have a hard time seeing how the “concerned party” clause could apply to translators. We can, of course, rewrite our own rules to allow such a procedure, but would we run afoul of understandings or rules contained within USSF or FIFA memoranda? I find nothing in Law 5 or Law 12 to guide this issue.

This area is full of pitfalls in my opinion, and I will argue those out in our venue, but your help in clarifying governing rules would be appreciated.

USSF answer (May 14, 2007):
There are no USSF policies on this particular situation. Match reports that are for the sole use of the local league may be dealt with as the league requires. If good, reliable translators are available, then the league will probably accept their work gladly. For matters that must go beyond the purview of the league, then you might wish to check with your state youth soccer association.…

UNCOUTH COACH

Question:
I was centering a U12Girls game when a loud unruly coach was given a warning midway into the first half. He quieted down till the end of the game. Afterward he came onto the field yelling and screaming. I told him I was going to take his card. He responded that I couldnt because it was after the game. (The kids were still on the field, and I hadnt budged from when the game ended) After back and forth arguing he went behind me while I spoke to the Assistant coach and got his cards from my linesman. I found this out and went to retrieve them, He refused to relinguish them to me. Our Disciplinary team said that since I didnt not show him a second yellow card that they cant discipline him. Is this so? Is there ever a time when a red card or someother form of disciplinary action can be imposed on a rogue coach after the fact?USSF answer (May 14, 2007):
The fact that the behavior occurred after the game is irrelevant. The referee retains full authority both to card (players, subs, etc.) and to order from the field (team officials) as long as the teams are still exiting and the referee is in the area of the field. All the rest of it is subject to local rule. If your league requires that you show cards to team officials–which is in contravention of the Laws of the Game, which limit cards to players, substitutes, and substituted players–then you must show a card.

Your only recourse would seem to be to submit a full report to both the competition (league, club, or whatever) and the state association, outlining precisely what happened.…

“PARRYING” THE BALL; REF WAVES OFF AR FLAG

Question:
First I’d like to thank you for providing answers to questions that I also observe while doing games.I have two questions, both involve action by the keeper.

1. The rule book still has a violation for the keeper “pairing” the ball, and then handling the ball. I have never seen this called in all the games I’ve done. I called this years ago on a U13 keeper, which caused the coach to go crazy, and after asking around the general response was that no one calls that anymore, even though it is still in the book. I was the AR at a U16 girls match the other night, when two attackers were moving toward the keeper, at the same time the ball had bounced and was at right in front of the keepers face. She took both fist and directed the ball out to the side, then followed the ball, and collected it with her hands. I saw that this took an advantage away from the attacking players, who could have headed the ball toward the goal, or if the keeper would have mishandled the ball, they would have had an easy shot on goal. When I asked the two adult refs during half-time about pairing the ball, they had never heard of this. Should I have raised my flag?

2. While doing a U17 girls match, which I was an AR, an attacker had control of the ball making a fast break to goal. One defender was chasing her shoulder to shoulder, and just before they reached the Penalty Area, the defender reached the ball and kicked it to the keeper, who picked the ball up. I raised my flag, but the center waved me down. At the time, I thought maybe he saw it different, and that the attacker, in his opinion, kicked the ball. At halftime he told me that I need to understand that the intentional pass back to the keeper was only put in the rules to stop delay of game, and that we don’t call this. I have called this myself and have seen other adult refs call this in the same situations. This center has been around for a long time and is an assessor. What is the right call?

USSF answer (May 10 2007):
1. By “parrying” the ball, i. e., pushing the ball with the hands to a place convenient for later play, the goalkeeper has established possession of the ball. Please remember: “Parry” = “possession.” If he or she handles the ball after parrying it, that constitutes an infringement of Law 12: “touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player.”

If the goalkeeper’s act is a parry, rather than simply a “fisting away” of the ball for defensive purposes, then the referee MUST call the foul and the AR, if he or she is the only one to see it, must flag the foul for the referee’s attention. Perhaps your “adult” colleagues should pay more attention to the Laws of the Game.

2. If the referee, in his or her infinite wisdom, chooses to wave off your flag, that is the referee’s problem. The statement attributed to the referee is partly correct: The change in the Law was made to eliminate time wasting and, if no time was wasted, the referee might choose to exercise his or her discretion in letting it go–i.e., decide that the offense was doubtful or trifling, but it is STILL an offense. However, situations in which this would apply are very few and far between.…

GIVE PROPER SIGNALS WHEN THEY ARE NEEDED

Question:
How does USSF look at referees whom do not give signals on throw-in, corner kicks and goal kicks but verbalize their decisions? As an AR, I mirrored what the referee was verbalizing but, I simply like to know the proper protocol.

USSF answer (April 30, 2007):
The point of signals is to let everyone involved in the game know what is happening (players, ARs, team officials, etc.), not just those within earshot. Just as with the advantage signal needing to be as public as blowing the whistle, simply verbalizing possession for a TI, GK, or CK (even if understood perfectly by the players in the immediate vicinity) may not be enough for others who need the same information but who are farther away. Unless one’s voice is sufficiently stentorian to be heard around the entire field, visual signals are needed.…

NON-GAME-RELATED RULES OF THE COMPETITION

Question:
The local youth league requires players that are sitting out a game due to either a red card or accumulation of yellow cards, be present at the game for the sit-out to count. This weekend I was the center ref for a U-19 boys game, and one of the teams had a player serving a sit-out. Towards the end of the game, this player starting yelling foul and abusive language at an opponent. The AR on that side of the field attempted to diffuse the situation, but was unable to get the player to shut-up. During the next stoppage of play, the AR got my attention, informed me of what happened, and I then issued a red card to this player, and made him leave the area.My question is, since this player in not eligible to participate, is he still considered a substitute? In other words, can I still show him a red card? It is more a technique question, as I can expel anyone from the team area for improper behavior, but I can only show a card to a player or substitute. If I didn’t follow the proper procedure, what would the proper procedure be?

USSF answer (April 30, 2007):
The fact that the player was present at the game should have been enough to satisfy the league’s requirement. You may be sure that the league will pay special attention to a player who does not take to heart the lesson they were trying to teach.

If the player is required to be present, even in a non-playing role, he is considered to be a part of the team, a quasi-team official for lack of any other convenient term. It would not be proper to show this person a card, but as a team official he would be expelled for irresponsible behavior. The referee must provide full details in the match report.

Referees should not be held responsible for enforcing league-imposed punishment. That is a matter for the league to police.…

CHANGING THE RESTART

Question:
Simple question: once the ball has gone out of play (for a GK, CK, TI), can the restart be changed based on information the referee received *after* the ball went out of play? I know that if the ref decides to make a call, and the ball goes out of play before he blows the whistle, he can still make the call and award the proper restart for the call. Here’s an example:Ball goes out of play for a TI. Before the ball is thrown in, the referee looks at the trail AR, who raises his flag after eye contact is made. The ref holds the TI and goes to confer with the AR, who tells him that a foul was committed before the ball left the field of play.

Can the referee change the restart from a TI, since play was not restarted? Or does the fact that the ball went out of play *before* the ref was aware of the foul mean the ref can’t call the ball back onto the field for a kick?

USSF answer (April 19, 2007):
As long as the referee has not restarted play, any restart may be changed, particularly corrected restarts based on information from the assistant referee.

See Advice 5.14:

5.14 CHANGING A DECISION ON AN INCORRECT RESTART
If the referee awards a restart for the wrong team and realizes the mistake before the restart is taken, then the restart may be corrected even though the decision was announced after the restart took place. This is based on the established principle that the referee’s initial decision takes precedence over subsequent action. The visual and verbal announcement of the decision after the restart has already occurred is well within the Spirit of the Law, provided the decision was made before the restart took place.