Week in Review #10 May 3-7

FIFA and MLS referee Terry Vaughn, sometime in 2005.  PRO assistant referees are all wearing blue wristbands in support of Terry and Huntington Disease Awareness Month.  To find out more and how you can contribute,  click here.

FIFA and MLS referee Terry Vaughn, sometime in 2005.  PRO assistant referees are all wearing blue wristbands in support of Terry and Huntington Disease Awareness Month.  To find out more and how you can contribute, click here.

This week we feature a decision on handling flagged by the assistant referee.  Was it really handling and should he have left this call up to the referee?  We are asking for your vote and comments so that we can all get a good understanding of what is a deliberate hand ball. 
Also, Seattle v Toronto produced a classic offside situation that is a good educational review of what it means to make a clear impact on an opponent.
Finally, with VAR coming to MLS in August, we are asking for your commentary on a crazy offside situation that happened in Australia's A-league semi-final, where VAR and the AR created controversy.   What is the correct procedure for the AR to use in cases like this, with or without VAR in play?

Hand Ball in Philadelphia?

What constitutes a deliberate handball can be a difficult decision to make, especially in dynamic play.  In Philadelphia, PRO AR Jonathan Johnson flags for an apparent handball. Was this correct? (Answer next week)
Before you vote, use these considerations to make your decision:

  • Proximity of the offending player when ball is struck
  • Movement of the hand or arm towards the ball or away to prevent the handball from occurring
  • Expected position of hand or arm (natural or unnatural)
  • Bigger - Does the player use his hands or arms to make himself bigger.
Is this a deliberate handball?
Yes - flag it.
No - play on

Disallowed Goal for Offside in Seattle

In the fifth minute of Seattle v Toronto, PRO AR Adam Garner gives a flag for offside and the goal is disallowed.  Did this situation have all the elements of offside - interfering with an opponent?
The FIFA clarification for interfering with an opponent is :

"clearly attempts to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent."

I think it is obvious that the Seattle player "clearly attempts to play the ball near him".  So we have that piece of the puzzle.   Impact on an opponent is more subjective. 

"‘impact’ applies to an opponent’s ability (or potential) to play the ball and will include situations where an opponent’s movement to play the ball is delayed, hindered or prevented by the offside player."

The goalkeeper's movement gives us the remaining piece to finish the offside puzzle.  As the ball comes across the goal area his movement to play the ball (make a save) is delayed by the offside player attempt to play the ball.  You can see how he waits for a possible touch from the offside player before he makes a desperate and late leap for the ball. 
The offside positioned Seattle player has had an impact on the goalkeeper.  This is offside. 
Normally, when a player other than the scorer, is in an offside position when a goal is scored, and the assistant referee is not sure if he has interfered with an opponent, they should remain at the corner flag to communicate with the referee before giving the goal and moving up field.  In this case, since the assistant can clearly see all the elements of interfering with an opponent, it is correct for him to raise his flag.

Results - Call of the Week #9

call of the week 9.jpg

Call of the Week #10

For the first time, you have four choices to pick from, including the decision made by the fourth official Caleb Mendez who had to enter the game for an injured AR.   Choose who you think made the best decision in this past weekend's matches in MLS.



Mendez (4th official)


Who had Call of the Week #10?
Eduardo Mariscal - Los Angeles v Chicago
Corey Rockwell - San Jose v Portland
Caleb Mendez - DC United v Montreal
Adam Garner - Seattle v Toronto

What is the Correct AR Procedure?

This clip comes from Australia's A-League semi-final.  The assistant referee makes a critical decision, flags for offside and a goal is scored. 
Since the Video Assistant Replay was being used in this match, the goal was reviewed and eventually allowed to stand. 
VAR works best when the referee team follow established procedures.  Is this offside in the first place?   What procedures should the AR have done in this situation?
For the VAR side of this decision - there must be a "clear and obvious error" to change a decision.  This clip has been shortened by half, if you want to know about how long it took to do the review. 

A- League semi-final, is this play offside?