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.
Sound on as you watch the clips!
Once you have completed these tasty morsels of advice, dessert is voting for the Call of the Week.
VAR Delay and Possible Penalty Kick
The assistant referee identifies that an imminent goal scoring opportunity is happening. As this easily falls within our considerations for when to use VAR Delay, you can hear the AR say “Delay, Delay, Delay”. So now, of course, the AR is waiting before raising the flag for offside until the immediate attacking opportunity ends. (As a reminder, this means raising the flag for offside even if the end result is goal kick, corner kick, throw in etc).
This time we get the monkey wrench…the situation ends with a handball in the penalty area well within the AR’s area of responsibility.
What do we do?
The AR keeps officiating
Continues with play after saying “Delay”
Performs his on field duty to give an opinion on the handball / penalty kick.
What should the flag technique be?
After the whistle blows, the flag should be raised (for the offside) using the standard offside mechanic.
Since the referee could say “No” to the handball, it’s recommended that the AR only talk vs flag in this situation (until the imminent goal scoring opportunity ends).
What do we say?
The choice of words used by this AR are excellent. The AR states that the reason play should have been stopped was for a handball, however we have offside first. This lets the referee and VAR team know what all should be checked and the sequence of events.
Referee Proactive on Offside
Bravo to the referee for helping out the AR in this situation. While the AR would have a clear view of the offside positioned attacker, it can happen where the change of direction of the ball is slight, making it difficult for the AR to determine “touch or not”.
Credit goes to the PRO referee here for giving the information before the AR even had time to ask. Much like the Law 12 help discussed last week, there is nothing lost by giving the information early, and we stand the chance to get this decision correct on the field in a timely fashion.
For AVARs, your takeaway regarding most interfering with an opponent (OIO) offside situations is to get the angle that the AR doesn’t have. Directly behind the goal or directly facing the goal often has the answer we need.
In this case, we have interfering with play, but had the attacker missed the ball, a very strong case for interfering with an opponent exists. Well done to the PRO AVAR for asking for the specific angle desired.
Possible OIO decided instantly
There were a few instances this week of a a shot on goal with an offside positioned attacker .
In this clip you can see that the PRO AR has decided that we have a good goal. He moves up the field and is taking record of the scorer in his book. The Video Review team gets the angle in front of goal, which shows the clear lack of involvement of the offside positioned attacker. Well done to the entire team – correct on field decision plus a "check complete" in 30 seconds. They made this look easy.
Situations are not always this straightforward unfortunately, so as a reminder, we'll rehearse the procedure on what to do in cases like these should the AR have a doubt:
The AR should remain stationery [meaning don't run up the touchline]
The AR should keep the flag down [if you're noticing a theme with doubt & flag down, it's not a coincidence]
The AR must inform the referee (and in turn the VR team) what their opinion is / what they are uncertain of
Simply saying "position position position" is not good enough on its own. The PRO AR can do better. Since the ball is in the net with these types of situations, we have time. Use a sentence and tell the referee & VR team why you have a possible offense.
"It might be line of vision"
"I saw a kick at the ball, was it close?"
"The attacker was close and the goalkeeper hesitated"
Some matches don't involve a VAR, and some matches the referee might not know if there was any involvement by the offside positioned attacker. That is why it is so important for the AR to have an opinion, because it might end up being the only opinion and thus the final decision.
Winner - MLS Call of the Week #11 - Chris Elliott
MLS Call of the Week #12
Two to pick from this week. The first is Claudiu Badea in NY Red Bulls v Atlanta where he keeps the flag down on a perfectly timed run.
The second is Gjovalin Bori who also keeps his flag down even though it appears at first to be well offside. The replay shows the far defender keeping the attacker on.