30 weeks of the MLS season is completed with just one week remaining. Every decision is amplified and scrutinized. Be aware of potential flash points and over the top reactions from players and coaches.
It’s bound to happen. (It has happened 23 times so far this year.) Technology will prove you wrong at some point. Be it the Flash Lag effect, a moment of indecision or being out of position and even correctly given benefit of doubt to the attack - you will get caught in an offside error.
In the past (like just two years ago) you did not know you had made an error until getting to the locker room or even the next day when you finally had a chance to see the replay, or worse yet, your name in the papers. With video review you will know in just about two minutes if you made a clear error or not.
This week we offer advice on how to deal with that awful feeling of knowing you have made a clear error and you still have 80 minutes to go in the match. What are the best practices to move on and move forward?
This week we look at and Interfering with an Opponent and what role the assistant referee plays and the assistant VAR plays. In many ways it is a review of the basic mechanics to make sure that in the end the decision is correct.
There is also some instruction for the AVAR when there is a secondary incident while the VAR is checking a previous play and this week Call of the Week is between a Wait and See offside decision and a penalty kick assist that is clear and confident.
This week we look at DOGSO situations and the Assistant Referee’s role in these situations. More specifically, we examine the window of opportunity that exists where there is a counter attack and the Assistant Referee is likely to be called upon.
Also we provide the answer to the two What Should You Do? surveys. The answers prompted us to add another video explaining the concept of Wait and See.
Two long pass offside incidents are the choices for Call of the Week #27.
Part of what makes a good assistant referee is doing our homework. Not just specific information about our upcoming matches, but keeping our general knowledge up to date.
With the stretch run happening we always want to be on our toes and ready for the unexpected. With all this in mind, this week we will look at two different scenarios and ask "What Should You Do".
Of course, the Call of the Week 26 is open for voting, a contest between a far side offside decision and a good wait and see.
Interfering with an Opponent is the hot topic this week. Impact, obvious action, ability to play, yada, yada, yada. What do they all mean in the context of an offside decision in live play? We have two clips to analyze and give advice on. Whether you are on the line or in the VOR it is important that you fully understand this concept. If you have questions you can use the Comment section at the bottom of the page.
Football knowledge is somewhat of an abstract term, but it is important for the assistant referee to use in reading the game and anticipating what is most likely to happen next. Years of experience on the field and thru watching many matches helps to expand that football knowledge to a point where very little comes as a surprise. Unless its your birthday, no one likes surprises. This week we look at reading and anticipating and what actions the assistant referee should take in setting themselves up to make the right decision.
All season we have been working on improving our communication with the referees and this week’s report has two excellent examples of PRO assistant referees getting involved in red card incidents. There are several take aways that you will get from watching their demeanor during this highly emotion time. but also it is very important that you listen to what and how it was communicated. Good learning here.
As always, we love to spotlight the PRO AR who puts it on the line and gives it their all. You will want to watch a good example of goal line coverage and then try to match it in your next game.
We often have emphasized that PRO assistant referees have certain traits that give them the best possibilities of consistently making correct decisions. For the top ARs these become habits that are used in every match. In this week’s report we display some good habits that were used in Week 22 of the MLS season. Good habits that all ARs should have.
Last week was the second anniversary of the introduction of Video Review into the league and since the inception we have been working on perfecting the VAR delay and that will continue. Although we show an instance where VAR delay was forgotten, we will be introducing more practice for everyone.
Body language is an important element of good communication as well as always using proper mechanics. Both are ways that good assistant referee’s effectively get their message out. Standing at attention and not moving up the field after a goal are examples of two ways that we say, “I’m not happy with the goal until I get some feedback from the referee.” This past week MLS and LigaMX combined 4 teams each to play the first round of the “Leagues Cup”, which may become an annual mini-tournament. Joe Fletcher, PRO Performance Consultant walks us thru a couple of scenarios where language could have been a barrier.
Why do we run the ball back with the back pass? Read on. Why do we have Call of the Week? Because quality needs to be recognized. It was another good week for PRO assistant referees.
This week we point out how body position can leave you chasing the game, in the case presented, the AR gets into a deep crouch for an offside call, but that left him well behind play for a secondary decision.
A few paragraphs to prepare you for how to react on delayed offside flags when there is a possibility of a collision with the goalkeeper and we keep beating the drum, work rate, work rate, work rate!
What to do when an offside positioned attacker and goalkeeper are moving straight towards each other, collision imminent? PRO’s Joe Fletcher gives some sound advice for assistant referees on how to best deal with this difficult situation.
There’s a great highlight of some solid positioning work when offside is not a priority, it is best practice stuff so worth a look.
Three more clips worthy of your look for Call of the Week.
The end of July has a very large number of games between MLS and the many international friendlies. It is important that you not let your work rate drop for any of the matches. So this week we highlight a portion of a match where an AR has a drop in work rate.
There is also advice on how you should to communicate if confronted with a DOGSO incident and you will want to look at the choices for Call of the Week which highlights a red card involvement up against as fantastic wait and see offside decision.
We are in the busiest time of the season with everyone doing multiple games, sometimes in the same week. Do not allow yourself to become complacent. Every game needs your full attention and concentration. Focus on best practices, get the rest you need between matches, activate your body right before the start of each half, and always bring your best to every game.
Due to the PRO Assistant Referee training camp the first weekend in June and that there were no games in MLS last week there was no report for those weeks. However, we make up for it today, with an interpretation of offside in the Women’s World Cup and we offer the candidates for Call of the Week 14 and 15, because there are some medals to hand out for excellent PRO assistant refereemanship.
Benefit of doubt is the AR’s best friend, because we have seen year after year how on tight situations that keeping the flag down not only benefits attacking soccer but also usually proves to be a correct no flag. The flash lag effect has been well documented and it takes years of practice for PRO assistant referees to trust themselves to keep the flag down on those bang bang offside incidents. This week we want to again remind all to keep giving benefit of doubt to the attack.
This week we look at teamwork. How assistant referees need to work with the referee and the officials in the VOR to get decisions correct as quickly as possible. Some good examples of communicating both offside situations and fouls within the AR’s area of responsibility, plus a refresher on what the correct procedures are for instances where the AR has doubt about a touch or involvement.
The focus this week will be a little different than usual as we take a special look at AR responsibilities on Law 12 decisions. Former FIFA World Cup and PRO assistant referee Joe Fletcher takes over this week’s report to summarize what are best practice from both the referee and assistant referees, especially dealing with Law 12. It is excellent material that can be used at all levels.
We did keep Call of the Week #11, because we just can’t help but point out some really excellent work and we know that winning the coveted weekly prize feels real good.
This week we take a look at offside positioned attackers at free kicks. You know, the ones stand in a clear offside position and then they might get involved or might not, a real pain.
We will also look at short corners and how to prepare yourself for a possible offside situation. There is also a What Would You Do? with an offside incident in the DC United v Columbus match.
Finally three good choices for Call of the Week #10, I know you’re saying “only three, but there were so many!?” The selection committee did struggle to whittle them down to just the three.