I was reffing a U-13/U-14 girls match and these girls kept going at it and i kept calling the fouls. Then about the fourth time the girl persistently infringed the laws of the game and the indoor rules so i issued a Blue card (2 minute warning with no subbing) and the coach got all upset and said “that’s not how soccer is played you are wrong and its not a 2 minute and i should be able to sub” and i told him that, that’s how the rules are here. He then kept going about and i gave him one last warning and about a few minutes later he was all upset about a tripping call, so i then stopped the match and ejected him from the field of play. Was this a right call??

Second.. The next week i refed his team again and the game was fine all but the last 10 minutes of the game. I issued one of his players a Blue Card and he got all upset that i gave a card. Then a few minutes later i gave both the “white” player and “Blue” player a yellow for checking into the boards and the Blue coach was still worked up about the call but i didn’t eject him because there was only about 3 minutes left in the game so i just issued another warning and kept the game going. Was this the right call or should i have ejected him again??

USSF answer (March 18, 2010):
Your scenario presents some difficulties You say these girls “kept going at it.” Does that mean both teams were playing the same way? Were they just playing physical soccer and can you look at what you’re saying are infringements of the law as “trivial” and not needing to be called because that’s the way both teams want to play? When it comes to game management, indoor is no different than the other games in soccer, if the players are playing hard, they all accept the contact and are not complaining, then the referee might want to adjust to how tightly the game is called. Always consider other “options” before you resort to using cards. In your first situation, if a player is truly blatantly and persistently infringing the indoor playing rules, the 2-minute blue card is an appropriate option. It sounds as if the coach needs to read the local indoor rules. From the sound of it, unless the coach is using foul or abusive language or directly affecting the game with his outbursts, you might want to ignore him or tolerate his lack of understanding of the local rules. Absent that, the appropriate way to give him a warning in indoor is a “bench warning.” That’s when, at a stoppage, you formally hold your arm up in the air with a closed fist, point to his bench, and say something like, “That’s a bench warning” loudly enough for all to hear. Also inform them that further unacceptable outbursts will result in a Team Time Penalty. Now you have the option of giving a 2-minute Team Time Penalty against his team for his outbursts. You’ll also want to take a few seconds to write it down on your match report before you proceed.

Next, before the next week’s games, you should have notified your indoor assignor of the situation and tried to avoid working that same team again for a while. The blue card is probably correct, but remember to use your options and manage the game without cards where possible. If you gave the players from both teams the yellow cards during play, that was in error; you should have given blue cards to them instead of yellow. In indoor Yellow cards are issued for misconduct when the ball is not in play, or for things like Dissent, Encroachment or Delay of Game. Yellow cards are hard 5-minute penalties where the team doesn’t play short-handed. The player in the penalty box can’t leave after his 5 minutes until a guaranteed substitution occurs, and then he can only go to the bench, not directly to the field.

It sounds as if you handled the coach correctly the second week. Again, unless the coach is using foul or abusive language, or directly affecting the game, find a way to ignore his comments. It also sounds as if you’re doing the games one man. If you’re working a 2-man system, change sides with your partner so the coach can be managed by your partner since you saw him just the week before.

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