Goal line decisions are the focus of this week's report. We will look at three decisions to decide if the whole of the ball has crossed the goal line. One with the assistant referee in perfect position, a second with the AR in almost perfect position and the third with the AR in a far from perfect position. What credible decision can you make from each position?
There were many good decision in Week 32, but the best of the lot our featured in Call of the Week #32. These two sharp, concentrated decisions should serve as springboards for each of you going into Decision Day this Sunday and the start of the playoffs.
News from the U-17 World Cup in India is positive as Corey Rockwell and Frank Anderson had another good performance in their match - England v Iraq. (Highlights provided) This performance has been rewarded with a quarterfinal match appointment. Brazil v Germany this Sunday morning.
Goal Line Decisions - AR Position
Goal line decision #1 - Houston v Sporting Kansas City
This decision is the easiest - or should I say, the most credible of the three. Watching the clip you will note the assistant referee is perfectly on the goal line when the keeper makes the save. There is no question that he can make a credible decision. The appeals from the attackers have little validity with the AR standing next to the corner flag. Due to the nature of the play, it took little effort for the AR to be on the goal line, but even that final step helps. The assistant referee can and must make a decision from this position.
Goal line decision #2 - Vancouver v DC United
Corner kick or not is the decision for the assistant in this case as the goalkeeper catches a ball on the goal line after a shot is deflected. To be fair, there is no perfect angle to determine whether the keeper keeps the ball on the field and thus it's inconclusive whether it wholly crossed the line.
Freezing the position of the AR at that moment the ball is caught, he is two yards from the goal line (and a little blurry from zooming in). It should be positively noted that there was immediate speed and effort to get there. From that position he is close enough to make a credible decision without guessing, if he is 100% sure the ball has crossed the line. By the time the players look for the assistant's flag he is on the goal line and his decision is credible and accepted with no visible dissent. The assistant referee can make a decision from this position if he is sure.
Goal line decision #3 - Los Angeles v Minnesota
Unfortunately there is no clear video of the assistant referee's position at the moment that the ball possibly crosses the goal line. However, even with the immediate sprint that we can see before he goes out of the frame, at best, he would have been around 12 yards from the goal line. This is simply not a credible position from where an accurate decision can be made. He is correct to not guess.
Video review became involved in this play and a goal was given as it does appear that the whole of the ball crossed the goal line. Most would agree with this decision looking at the freeze frame of the best angle available, although some have argued that it could be possible that part of the ball could still be on the line. Regardless, the AR from his position, cannot make a credible decision and must not guess.
These three scenarios are examples of why PRO assistant referee must react to every shot by immediately moving towards the goal line with speed and urgency. This needs to be an habitual behavior that is done on every shot so as to be in the most credible position possible for those few moments where a critical decision needs to be made.
Winner - Call of the Week #31 - Felisha Mariscal
Call of the Week #32
For our next to last weekend of matches you have two really fine choices for your Call of the Week decision. Kathryn Nesbitt in Toronto v Montreal does not let a deflected pass from distracting her from keeping track of Jozy Altidore's onside position. Jeff Muschik does well to raise the flag for the clear action by an offside positioned attacker that has an impact on the goalkeeper, negating the goal scored by a different onside attacker.