I have two questions about communication between the AR and the CR. In both cases, I was the AR.

1. U14B, ball is played by the attacking team diagonally toward the CR’s quadrant. An attacker and a defender are chasing it. The ball goes just over the touch line (last touched by the original attacking passer) but is immediately played by the chasing attacker. The ball comes back into play, strikes the defender and then goes way over the touch line. As soon as the ball originally crossed the touch line I (AR) raised my flag, but the CR was focused on the play, as it was deep in his quadrant, and awarded the throw in to the attacking team.

Play continued from there. What should I have done?

2. Men’s competitive match. Long punt from red keeper well past center line. Both a red attacker and a blue defender are facing the punt, and backing toward blue’s goal in anticipation of playing the ball.

When blue feels he is in the right place, he stops backing up and to soften the impending collision with red, shields himself with his hands. When red attacker feels the hands on his back, he throws himself forward and snaps his head back in a flop. The defender’s hands don’t move, that is, he didn’t push. Since CR is in the center of the field, he can’t see the non-push and blows the whistle awarding a DFK to red. From my position on the side, I have a better view of what actually happened. What should I have done?


USSF answer (April 17, 2011):
All such situations should be discussed in the pregame conference among the match officials. In general, the referee must in all events acknowledge and process the information presented by the AR (in the form of a flag) who was clearly in a better position then the referee to see how the play developed and what infringement might have occurred before making the final decision. To do otherwise is to risk grievous errors and turn a simple game into a battle. That said, if the referee believes in his or her heart of hearts that the original decision reached without assistance from the AR was absolutely correct, then the AR can do nothing but accept the decision—and then ponder later, after the game, on what a fool the referee is.

These things should have been discussed in the pregame but, since they weren’t, what could you or other ARs do? Given that there was not a discussion in the pregame regarding these matters, the best thing you could have done if you were certain that your intervention was needed would have been to raise your flag straight up (and hope that the other AR would mirror your signal if the referee was not looking in your direction), wait for the referee to look at you and, when this happens, motion the referee over to you as an indication that you had information the referee needed in order not to make a mistake. Doing anything more than this (e. g., calling out to the referee before play could be restarted) would depend on a host of factors we cannot judge–for example, is this the sort of referee who values being right more than facing a temporary embarrassment for having missed something?