I’ve been taught that referees, for good management of a game, for players and spectators will enjoy the game, have to “sell their calls.” (For example, don’t lightly blow your whistle for a penalty kick. Blow the whistle like you know for sure!) My question is, what is the best way to “sell” the second touch call by a keeper after parrying a ball? Its a rule that many (or I should say EVERY) senior referees and assignors have advised I don’t call, a rule players are not aware of because it is never called. I am not afraid to have the conviction to call tough calls, but I need advice on this one. Would a pregame warning to keepers help? Maybe I can get petition for the rule to change to make it so that it applies to the spirit of why the rule was made (prevention of time wasting)? A wink and a nod to use discretion and to think that every shot, no matter how soft, will knuckle and might need to be knocked down?
This is about the politics of FIFA, NFHS, and NISOA. Why don’t they have the same rules? Is any party trying to unify with the other?
USSF answer (September 7, 2010):
a) Never, NEVER lecture the players before the game. Why? Because they will then expect you to live up to every word, something you cannot possibly do.
b) Don’t call a foul because the players don’t know that this is a violation? Please! That is the most idiotic bit of sophistry we have ever heard! If no one ever calls the foul, how will the players ever learn? Pay no attention to such “old referees’ tales.”
We might add that this is one of those calls that you need to be sure about and, particularly, that it made a difference in the run of play (i. e., the keeper took second possession in order to prevent an opponent from challenging for the ball).
There are no politics involved here. The NFHS and the NCAA (not NISOA, which is simply a referee organization) do not belong to the U. S. Soccer Federation and are thus not bound by the Laws of the Game, the rules the rest of the world plays by.