A couple of scenarios on gamesmanship for you to mull over this morning.
Scenario A: Home team is losing by one goal with 10 minutes left in the game. Home team launches a shot on goal that goes high and wide. The ball travels to the parking lot. The Home team supplies ball chasers but they are lolly gagging so the visiting goalkeeper goes after the ball at an intermediate trot (not a hard sprint, but not an easy walk.) Retrieving and then returning the ball to play takes 20 seconds. The Home team wants the referee to either stop the clock (high school and college rules) or add time (FIFA rules). What do you do?
Does your decision change if it is the Visiting team is down by 1 and it is the Home team goalkeeper taking an intermediate 40 yard round trip trot to retrieve the ball?
Scenario B: One of the major points of emphasis for referees in the past three years under all rule sets of soccer has been to be extremely sensitive to head injuries or possible head injuries. At the college level, we are being told that if we see or think we see a head injury kill play immediately to assess the player and get extra help if needed. This is to happen even if the ball is halfway into the net. We’re not medical professionals, so we want medical professionals to tell us a player is good to play. If we don’t stop play, we, as referees, take on all future liability from a potential head injury without any insurance support as we will have violated procedures.
1-1 game. Gold and Black #8 have a fair challenge on Gold’s defensive third that sends Black #8 to the ground. Gold plays the ball long to a streaking forward who just beat an offside trap so the forward has ten yards on the nearest defender and just the keeper to beat. Black #8 is still on the ground as he calls out “My head, my head hurts.”
The referee stops plays, and calls on a trainer to assess. The trainer pulls the player to the side, and Black elects to play down as #8 is evaluated. Thirty seconds later, #8 is allowed back onto the field and he plays the rest of the game.
#8 pulled a fast one and everyone knows it, so how do you manage that situation?
You’re refereeing a double header, the women play first and then the men play second. Both visiting squads are notably superior to the home teams.
The visiting women’s team is in the stands during the men’s game and they are sitting behind the home bench (as that is where the stands end). The players make up 75% of the fans. They are into the game and letting the home team know how bad they are and what poor choices they are making. As AR-1, I am enjoying the commentary as it is cutting, on point and knowledgeable.
A couple of minutes into the second half, the home team botches a set of first touches that leads to a visiting goal. I hear from the stands
“Hey Red, if you’re going to suck, suck like this”
I half turn my head to see what is happening, and I see a girl on her knees aggressively blowing a fairly large and realistic dildo.
what do you do?
Scenario A is easy. The Home team controls the ball chasers. If the ball chasers are being lazy, and the visiting goal keeper is moving at a work rate that is consistent with how everyone was moving before there was a difference, I am not touching the clock. The Home Team should monitor their ball chasers. It sucks to be them.
Now if the situation was reversed with the visiting team down and the ball chasers are still being lazy, I am stopping the clock (college/high school) or adding time (FIFA) as they don’t control the ball chasers.
As a referee, you’re fucked. Everyone knows #8 pulled a fast one, but it is a legal fast one. All the referee can do in this scenario is keep an eye on #8 to watch for any other cheap stunts he might pull and for retaliation.
#8 loses all benefit of the doubt in all cases going forward. The story will be that he has a visible history of head injury concerns so anything that sends him to the ground will require him to be evaluated by the trainer and removed from play for a minute or two in order to promote player safety (and get all liability off of the refs).
The proper response is for the assistant referee to flag the 24 year old women who is running her second college center of her career and let her deal with idiots in the stands.
She dealt with the situation by watching for 10-15 seconds silently. She then stopped it by mocking the girl’s technique while getting all of the players on the field laughing their asses off. She also informed the visiting coach that no more sex toys will be seen in the stands or the game will be played in an empty stadium.
The improper response is to laugh one’s ass off as I never thought I would have seen something like this.
Update 1: You also wonder why the fuck there is a dildo in a player’s game bag especially as the visiting team’s campus is only 45 minutes down the road so they are driving back after the game and not spending the night at a hotel. Is that standard issue for that particular player? Or was this a premeditated stunt?
A report was filed with the league, and again, I don’t think they ever expected to see an incident report like that one.
Gin & Tonic
I, for one, thank you for bringing the sex back into this series. But you know you’ve set an expectation now.
Paul in KY
Scenario A: Add 30 secs
Scenario B: Yellow card to #8 for faking
Scenario C: Assuming not a HS game, shake head & continue reffing. If a HS game, yellow card to obnoxious fans of visiting team.
(did not read your answers before posting this)
EDIT: That’s why I’m not a referee!
I’m having a devil of a time parsing that sentence. Can you elaborate on that a bit?
I thought that a head injury would require a player to leave for at least a few minutes. Period.
On the notion of gaming the safety rules, that is a new low.
Brendan in Charlotte
@Laertes: lemme give that a shot…he’s saying the proper response is to have the assistant ref, on the side this is happening on, flag(signal) the center referee (who happens to be a 24 year old woman, and is the center ref for only her 2nd time ever(Inexperienced)), and have her deal with the visiting team’s fans…
@Brendan in Charlotte: Exactly, as the Assistant referee (flag guy) I don’t deal with fans, I get my center to deal with idiots after I give him/her good information. This game was a good break-in for a young referee who had plenty of experience in the middle for amateur and youth ball but not a lot of college middle experience. So I called my center referee over, pointed to the display, and said “Have fun stopping that” to her. I could see the wheels spin in her head as she tried to figure out how to stop it and then she decided to mock the technique which defused the situation and kept the home team players on her side. It was a nice piece of work.
@Paul in KY: The referee is not a doctor. The referee is not a certified medical profession. The referee can not say with 100% confidence that #8 was faking a head injury. It only looks like a dive but it may not be a dive.
A card is indefensible as the league response will be that the league wants players to feel safe in notifying the referee that they are injured and cards go against that goal.
I agree with you, this is a flop, but it is a legal(ish) flop as he is not simulating being fouled and the referee is incapable of making medical judgments that the NCAA and the conference don’t want us to make anyways.
It always amazes me the amount of context that you need to take into account.
“There is a Ben & Jerry’s across the street and you know that both teams are going for ice-cream after the game. The home team crowd has a nice shady tree to stand under, but the visitors are out in the sun …”
@joes527: But they are not offering ice cream to the referees so red cards for everyone so the referees can cut in line….
The Home Team should monitor their ball chasers (if the ball isn’t being retrieved back to be put in play quickly enough when the home team is trailing).
Did not know. I, also, am merely a “couch referee”.
Here are my authoritative responses. I expect you to follow them going forward. Thank you.
A. DISAGREE All rules call for the stoppage time to be added back to the clock. Why not stop the clock? You’d have stopped it if the ball chasers moved quickly and took the identical 20 sec to bring the ball back into play, right? Sounds like you are punishing the (Home) players on the field for some lollygagging dopes.
B. AGREE Soccer players have been taking egregious dives since forever; this seems no different and you just have to watch out for too much retaliation.
C. NEEDS MORE INFO How bad was the player in the stand’s technique? Not that bad? Was she pretty? How pretty was your center and how was *her* technique? It seems these things need further study.
Paul in KY
@Richard Mayhew: See your point.
@benw: The stoppage rule is for delays that are not in the run of play (injuries, card presentations, dogs running onto the field, sprinklers turning on due to an automatic timer not reset due to daylight savings time, goals, dealing with idiots in the stands, etc).
Retrieving a ball for a goal kick is within the run of play. The Home team in this scenario had the ability to quickly return the ball to play (via ball chasers) but declined that because personel that they control were being lazy. The visiting team was not delaying restart, they were moving at a typical pace for the rest of the game, and that pace took 20 seconds. I don’t see that as unusual. Our job as referees is not to protect you from your own stupidity but to protect you from the other team’s stupidity.
Now if the ball chaser rolled a ball to the keeper and he stood around with a thumb up his ass, that is another story.
@MobiusKlein: Nope, the rule is the player is removed from the field under the care of a qualified medical professional or a certified trainer. Once the QMP or CT says the player is good to go, they can be reinserted into play with referee’s permission if they were not replaced and their team was playing down, or they can return to play as a substitute.
At that point, the responsibility is on the QMP/CT and the coach, and if they are good with a player after a 20 second sit, then the referee is good to allow the player back on.
Without looking at what you did (and with an admitted unfamiliarity with the rules of soccer):
Scenario A, my solution was the same as yours.
Scenario B, would seem to warrant a penalty kick and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to #8. That apparently being beyond your ability to enforce, I’d be dinging him for anything, including spitting on the field (as an opposing player, I would have been tempted to provide him with a real head injury by way of an errant elbow, but that’s just the former hockey player in me).
Scenario C, I would have failed — I would have laughed.
Wouldn’t an easy solution for the head injury question to let the play go on as long as it is going away from the potential injury? In basketball a player can be lying under the basket at one end but as long as the play is at the other end there is no stoppage.
Get her phone number. Stat.
Does it still qualify as a double header with only one demonstration dildo in use?
Also, OT to your ACA-insurance expertise, what is the definition and implication of embedded? (HCA-HDHP).
That might be the solution, but it isn’t the rule as Richard described.
Myself, I’d be looking for an opportunity to kill a similar play that was going in Black’s favor — “Oh, I’m sorry– it looked like your player might have hit his head just like #8 did earlier.”
@Richard Mayhew: Aha! So the home team is asking for help that’s stretching the rules. Somehow, this
implied to my non-expert self that stopping the clock here was the usual thing called for in the rules. In that case, this is indeed easy, follow the rules and let the clock run. I humbly switch my response to AGREE.
Update 1. Maybe the player’s SO (or hot Tinder hookup!) is at the home team’s campus so she’s staying for the night?
Since I don’t evaluate people for concussions I would say that I am just pulling something out of the air, but it seems there should be a minimum protocol that has to be followed for determination of the severity of a head injury. This protocol could include testing that could take at least two or three minutes to complete (or longer) to avoid such a scenario.
@Richard Mayhew: I’m not speaking to the rules as written, but what could be an improvement. If you go down with a head injury, you stay out for X minutes minimum.
And as a parent of a goalie who clonked her head on the post deflecting a shot (successfully, and went out of bounds too), I fully support compulsory removal for possible head injury. (she was fine, but sat out the rest of the 1st half.)
Side question – what would be the expected call if a goalie deflects a ball which stays in play, but at the same time bangs hard against the post?
“Retrieving a ball for a goal kick is within the run of play. The Home team in this scenario had the ability to quickly return the ball to play (via ball chasers) but declined that because personel that they control were being lazy.”
What if the Home team ball chasers were too busy heeding advice about technique from the visiting women’s team?
“Ball chasers”, heh heh heh.
@JCJ: Any other injury we get a bit of wiggle room, but head injuries the instruction is to stop play as soon as it is recognized as potentially happening.
@MobiusKlein: I agree, long term I think there will be mandatory sits for suspected head injuries. That will start at the youth level and then work its way up.
Let me understand the scenario — Blue takes a shot. Green keeper saves the ball and in the course of the save two things happens. The keeper hits her head and looks funny, and the ball is deflected back into the field of play.
Here is what should happen. The referee should immediately stop play, and assess the keeper. if there is any reason to believe a significant head injury occurs, the referee summons on extra help and the keeper is treated. If the keeper is good to go she may or may not stay in (depends on what rule set we’re using). If the keeper is not OK, she is removed from play and taken to the sideline for further evaluation/treatment/monitoring.
The restart if the ball was loose is a drop ball. If Blue is at all sporting they are either not contesting the drop ball and back 20 yards away so the Green keeper has her hands and feet to play the ball without pressure OR they gently knock it back to the keeper.
@Punchy: I’m happily married and intend to stay that way… my 23 year old self would have tried that, I hope.
@JCJ: One would hope, but once the MD/DO/CRNP or athletic trainer says “OK” the player is OK to re-enter play on the MD/DO/CRNP/AT liability insurance not my house.
I agree, there are protocols that take several minutes and most schools follow them for any thing above the neck including bloody noses these days but we as referees can’t make medical decisions.
@Keith: Longer reply tomorrow, but it is how individual cost-sharing is distributed within a family plan.
jake the antisoshul soshulist
Off-topic question re scenario C. What is the proper attitude for the ref when calling a non-competetive game?
I have seen situations in other sports ( I do not really follow soccer) where the refs actually seem to be making
the majority of the either way calls in favor of the superior team. Maybe this is just my perception. And maybe it
is just home venue advantage. I am sure in most cases the ref is trying to be objective. Is this mostly my imagination?
This needs a rule-rewrite (which won’t happen), but I am sick of all the gamesmanship/if-you-ain’t-cheatin’-you-ain’t-trying that goes on in almost all sports at almost all levels, and would like to see some sort of penalty on the coaches, so as to get them to coach this stuff out of sports. So in the latter two cases the head coach of the miscreant players would be given warnings, and after N (TBD) warnings a coach is suspended for M (TBD) days. (Yes, this includes what the player did as a spectator in the stands – extreme disrespect for other teams is poor sportsmanship, regardless of how funny and titillating it is.)
I will add this provision to my Moon Colony Constitution forthwith.
@jake the antisoshul soshulist: Proper attitude is to keep the game as safe and as fair as possible.
In an 8-0 game for instance, I am calling everything that in a 2-1 game I may have considered to be either trifling and not a foul or a foul but where advantage could be applied. My goal in an 8-0 game is to keep everyone available to play tomorrow.
Most non-malicious fouls occur because the fouling player is out of position when they start the movement that eventually creates the contact that leads to the foul. If the score is 8-0 it is fairly certain that the team that scored 8 is moving and playing at a much faster pace (physically and mentally) then the team that is getting wiped out. There are a lot of opportunities for little ankle clips, trips, and illegal charges when Team A is playing at high speed and Team B is plodding along. So yes, the team that is up 8-0 will get a lot of fouls called for them just because they are getting to the ball first and Team B is responding while out of position.
That is the proper attitude, a closely called game with a low foul level and minimal advantage will lead to the team that is moving a lot more to get a lot of free kicks.
On a more realistic note, most referees (myself included) will be looking at another 35 minutes of really uninteresting soccer and determine that they want to protect the best players and reward hustle, so a 50/50 call might actually tilt 60/40… natural human bias.
For the head case, depending on the circumstances, if I had a chance, I’d chat with the coach about the seriousness of faking head injuries and the integrity of the game, and blah, blah, blah. If I thought the faker deserved it, the next time he goes for a header, I’d consider stopping play, make up some fake reason (“I didn’t like the way his neck looked”) and suggest very strongly to the medical folks that he needed at least five minutes of observation before being allowed back into the game. Leave it up to the coach if he wants to play short-handed that long, or if he’s going to replace the player.
That’s the immediate turn. During the off-season, recommend that the league rules be amended so that any potential head injury requires the player to sit out for a definite length of time, long enough to be sure the player is good to go, but also long enough that it discourages fakery.
Scenario B is pretty messed up since the player gamed a player safety rule in order to stop what would have been a high probability of a goal. Sucks even worse since as far as the rules go, the ref appears to have zero wiggle room to work with. Like literally any complaint of a head injury immediately stops play, that’s a hell of a tool for a player to have. And worse, any quasi-extra-legal mechanism that the ref might come up with to try and even things out (busting out a yellow on the player later in the game, or having someone pull a offsides call to kill one of that team’s scoring chances) is running into liability issues because that might (as an extreme theoretical) decrease the willingness to report actual head injuries.
The flopping BS is one of the things that I can’t freaking stand about soccer. Are there any ideas on what to do to prevent something like this from taking over? It’s technically even worse than a flop, because at least a flop can be identified. Here, the rules don’t allow for any judgement.
@BubbaDave: This, and given that #8 stopped a clear scoring chance by legal but completely unethical gamesmanship, I’d be calling Jordan Rules against Black, especially in the penalty box, until I felt this was rectified.
Wouldn’t Gold get a free kick to restart?
Also, I’m curious as to the specific critiques given by the center in Scenario #3.
@Captain C: Her technique was literally vomit inducing for both her and anyone who had to watch…
The center referee earned herself a couple of free beers from the rest of her crew before we drove home last night. She collected one, and I still owe her one.
Yes, Gold received an indirect free kick 50 yards from goal with 10 defenders between the goal and the ball instead of 1.
Scenario One is a no-brainer and you handled it perfectly, Richard. The other two scenarios are outside of my soccer experience so I have no opinion, possibly because of a couple of soccer related concussions.
J R in WV
First time I ever laughed out loud at one of your Richard Mayhew, Soccer Referee stories, Scenario C … But the audience can’t be regulated, they aren’t on the field…. not the ref’s business what’s going on in the stands. Just my opinion, whether they are players in the next game or not.
Double plus good funny! also too.
The answer to Scenario C is “Call Rob.”
A) I stop the clock/add time no matter which team is ahead unless I think they did it intentionally, but judging intent is dangerous.
B) I use discretion & don’t stop a scoring attempt. Stopping at this point is not going to change the injury situation a wit.
C) Nothing, it is not the refs job to police the fans unless there is a risk of physical injury. But then I’m a college hockey fan so I have seen worse. If there were a break at some point I might mention my displeasure to the coach but I can’t see it affecting my game; fans are assholes. I know that collage standards are no sexual/ racial/ threatening crap is supposed to happen but I don’t think you can call that crap.