This will be a shortened edition of the AR report as half of the PRO assistant referees will be gathering in New Jersey for their first in-season training camp this weekend. The other half will attend a similar training session the first week of May. There will be field training with fitness testing and offside instant feedback drills. Main classroom theme will be involvement in match control and communication with the referee.
Week 6 has provided 5 clips worthy of studying. Starting with a well executed delayed offside flag that lead to a penalty kick decision, a midfield no-delay decision and we’ll add 3 excellent offside decisions to close it off. For maximum fun all 5 decisions are up for Call of the Week.
Delayed Flag leading to a Penalty Kick
In most cases when using the delayed flag offside technique you hold off on raising the flag until a goal is scored or the imminent goal scoring opportunity has passed. The main reason is to allow Video Review to come into effect if a goal is scored, and also not to trigger a quick whistle by the referee. In this somewhat unusual incident the delayed flag is raised when the referee blows his whistle for a penalty, which in turn triggers the AR’s flag.
The communication between the AR and referee and then from the referee to the VAR is excellent and an example of best practices.
The AR begins the sequence correctly by saying “delay, delay, delay”, so we know an offside flag is coming. On hearing the whistle from the referee for the penalty the AR immediately lets him know that he has offside and the flag goes up. At that point the referee correctly gives the offside and lets the VAR know that offside is the on field decision. Most importantly he also lets him know that if the offside decision is wrong that a penalty will be the “new” on field decision.
VAR confirmed the offside and then the game moved on as smooth as butter.
No Delay Near Midfield
It is always difficult to determine how far away from goal you need to be to no longer delay the offside flag. As a reminder there are a couple simple guidelines (simple here, more difficult on the pitch).
We always start with :
There is no doubt for the AR about the attacker being in an offside position.
Where will the attacker gain control of the ball?
In this incident he will get control or basically be on the ball with another 20 yards to dribble before even entering the penalty area. This is a long way. So, going back to our starting point, if you have no doubt that the attacker is offside then raise the flag as usual.
Winner - MLS Call of the Week #5 - Frank Anderson
MLS Call of the Week #6
5 choices make this the most difficult week of selecting the Call of the Week in Call of the Week’s illustrious history, but all are worthy.
First, since we see it as an example of best practices we have to include Jeremy Kieso with the delayed flag in Toronto.
Second, Ian Anderson with the midfield offside decision in Columbus .
Third, Logan Brown with a nice no flag decision that leads to a Colorado goal
Fourth, Adam Wienckowski in New York delays his flag to allow the goal to score, but has correctly spotted the attacker just offside off the header.
Fifth and final choice is just as good if not better than the rest (you can decide that) Adam Garner gives benefit of doubt to Sporting KC’s attacker who has a great look at goal on this tight offside decision.