Week #17 June 26-30


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.

VAR Delay and Wait and See

Previously we have made it clear that “delay is not doubt”. Delay means that there is an offside offence that is only waiting for the flag to be shown…. and it will be shown. Compare that with “Wait and See” where there might be a flag if an offside offence does materialize as part of the outcome of the play.
There have been a few instances where referees have correctly (and politely) waved down an AR’s flag that was correctly delayed because the goalkeeper has gathered up the ball, is in clear possession and is moving in a manner that suggest that he wants to start a counter attack. No problems were created and the game moved on smoothly….but also everyone knew that there had been an offside offence seen by the AR.
In the VAR delay clip below, there was a little wrinkle as the referee, having heard “delay, delay, delay” and then seen that the keeper had the ball in his hands, asks the AR to not raise his flag. In other words, the referee waved down an un-raised flag to allow play to continue, call it advantage if you like.
However, protocol says that the AR has to raise the flag. Otherwise, we lose a lot of credibility over being able to call offside. In this particular case, most everyone would say that a flag was not needed in the end, but we need to have some visual signal that the referee has decided to allow play to continue. PRO’s advice here, in these rare occasions, if the referee hears "Delay Delay Delay", then the ball goes to the goalkeeper (bad touch, controlled save) and the referee manages to "wave down" the flag before the AR can even raise it, then the referee should give a visual signal that he has done so. Otherwise, we would want to see the flag raised, even if it will be immediately waved down.

VAR Delay

  • An offside offense has occurred

  • There must be a flag to show that the offense was recognized

  • If the referee choses to apply advantage, the flag can be waved down

  • There should be no point deduction or area for improvement on an assessment when this flag is raised and potentially waved down

Wait and See

  • An offside offense has not yet occurred, but might.

  • There should not be a flag because no offense has occurred

  • There should not be a flag raised to wave down

  • If a flag is raised in this type of situation, it could be an area for improvement

Answer - What Would You Do? - BHM v HFD

This is not offside. The defender moves towards a slow moving ball with time and space to make a deliberate play. The flag should not have been raised.
Additionally, support from the referee could be helpful if they have seen this action, by either saying “defender” or by waving down the flag if communication devices were not available.

What Would You Do? - BHM v HAR
Offside - Deflection off of defender
No offside - Deliberate Play from defender

Winner - MLS Call of the Week #16 - Brian Poeschel

In the closest race of the season Brian Poeschel wins be a percentage point.

In the closest race of the season Brian Poeschel wins be a percentage point.

MLS Call of the Week #17

With 18 games in Week #17 you know there were a lot of gems, so we had to pick out only the diamonds.
And the first choice, is first because it happened in the first minute and we like when ARs are ready to go from the first touch. Claudiu Badea is your first choice in Toronto v Atlanta.
Brian Dunn gives a flag up decision (and delays it appropriately) on this cheeky little flick pass in NY Red Bulls vs Chicago.

Claudiu Badea

Brian Dunn

Andrew Bigelow

Who had Call of the Week #17?
Claudiu Badea - Toronto v Atlanta
Brian Dunn - NY Red Bulls v Chicago
Andrew Bigelow - Montreal v Portland