This week we review how an assistant referee became involved in a denying of an obvious goal scoring opportunity decision which helped the referee reverse his original decision. Was this correct? A quick reminder about good AR mechanics, could it have prevented a mass confrontation from starting? A goal that was allowed, but was the attacker offside? Finally, the best decisions of the week made in Major League Soccer.
With last weekend's largely successful roll-out of the use of VARs (that's the person) it only makes sense that we talk some Video Review (that's the name of the process)
This week we will look at several offside decisions and see how they were affected by the video review process. With those same offside decision, we will also check to see how the match would have been affected if the original decision had been left up to the VAR to correct.
Although we are slightly past the actual midway point of the year, the All Star break is really seen as the mid-season mark. If you have been following the news (which of course you are) teams have been signing new players for their push to the playoffs. Add the implementation of VARs and it really feels like it is the start of a new season.
Looking at last week's matches there are several decisions to discuss. The one that created the most buzz was the Houston v Portland interfering with an opponent decision. Also, there were two possible deliberate play incidents and an off-the-ball misconduct spotted by the assistant referee.
One of our initiative this year was to increase the overall work rate during dynamic play, with additional emphasis on play near the penalty area. From MLS Week 20 we have examples of both good high level work rate and some that are not were we want to be. We are looking at two examples of where a little more effort may have changed a decision and another where nothing happened, but was the AR in position if there was a decision to be made?
A controversial decision in NYFC turns out to be correct, but could it be done without the controversy?
Finally, the answer to What Should You Do and Call of the Week.
The midweek independence day matches did not have many fireworks for the assistant referees to deal with. Overall another good week as we enter the second half of the season. So the main purpose of this report are to look at two What Should You Do? situations. The answer from last week - that saw about 20% of you calling a penalty - and a new offside situation from an NASL match which denied an own goal.
This week we are going to look at two decisions near the assistant referee. They don't look like much at first view, but the players do get fouled. How can we make sure we spot this? On the same topic we present an incident in the penalty area on the assistant referee's diagonal. What should you do?
Week 17 of MLS was rivalry week and so a mass confrontation was probably inevitable. So as good a time as any to review proper procedures.
Teamwork and communication among the referee crew is still something we continually need to improve on, so we look at two situations one in Chicago and one in New York.
Last week's What Should You Do? generated some good discussion from the few of you that had the courage to include your comments. We have an answer that may not satisfy all of you, but it comes from the top.
It is not often that we need to talk about what to do while waiting for a simple throw-in, but the wide angle camera captured an incident in Orlando that none of the crew saw. Was the outcome correct? This week we also need to look at a missed offside due to movement to the left near the penalty area, fortunately it only resulted in a corner kick. Finally we go to the NASL for an interesting decision, is it offside or handball? What should you do?
Only three matches this week in MLS due to the international break. PRO assistant referees used the break to meet in Colorado for fitness testing and classroom work. Special guest was English Premier and World Cup Final Assistant Referee Darren Cann. A portion of his presentation on Match Preparation is included here.
Last week we presented a What Should You Do? from the game Chicago v FC Dallas that the majority of you got wrong. What!? Yes, 77% of you answered incorrectly. Better read below to see where you went wrong.
Keeping your eyes on play behind the referee's is one of the more difficult task assistant referees do. This week there were several incidents that occurred out of the view of the referee. Could or should these have been spotted by the AR? Should the trailing AR been able to help? Regardless it is important that assistants recognize certain fouls as serious foul play or violent conduct and get that information to the referee.
Usually, its not worth getting annoyed at the announcers of MLS matches, but this one got under my skin. Listen to the announcer in NY Red Bulls v Toronto as he erroneously states that the referees had made a mistake calling offside on Toronto's potentially game winning goal. Then, after seeing multiple replays, realizes that Toronto had a player in offside position who clearly interfered with an opponent, so he reverses himself (props for that) and states that it is the correct call. Finally, to add one more layer of unintentional insult, congratulates the - "good camerawork" - on the play.
As we try to improve in assisting in match control and identifying whether there is misconduct, we present one clip where there is a tackle in front of the assistant. What action should you take? What information do you need to provide the referee? What is the correct outcome?
A breakdown in teamwork (all 4 officials) is presented as a reminder that you must stay current with law and correct application.
Of course, Call of the Week #11, because every week there is always at least one AR who is above standard.
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?
This week in MLS we had some excellent decision that I want to point out for the amount of concentration and focus that was needed. They look easy to the untrained eye, but PRO assistant referees handle these type of decisions every week.
NASL has produced a highlight to look at this week as the NY Cosmos tried to pull off the old trick corner kick play and in the same match we will give the same AR some props for good movement to the left, which serves as a good reminder for all of us.
Finally, from Panama with love, an offside clip to vote on. Be careful. Look at it closely before committing to your decision and leave a comment of why you made your choice. Is there interfering with an opponent?
More on teamwork this week -- and there will probably wont be a break from that topic as a weekly trend for a while.
We have examples of great, good and poor teamwork, so we need to look at why some were better than others.
There will also be a spotlight shown on two offside decisions where the effort and skill of getting in proper position made for correct decisions.
Finally, check out the offside situation from Portland and Sporting Kansas City at the bottom of the page. Was the assistant correct to raise his flag or was this a deliberate play? Vote your opinion and leave the reason why in the comment section.
Another good week (zero KMI errors) is highlighted by assistance on a penalty kick decision, unusual because both assistants contributed, also, the importance of concentration for 90+ minutes and we have an answer from FIFA concerning the offside "ducking" incident from last week's Houston v NY Red Bulls match.
Don't miss viewing the offside call made in Real Salt Lake v Vancouver that had some strange distractions that had to be overcome to make it a candidate for Call of the Week #6.
This week we look at several situations where attackers are in an offside position and whether they are interfering with an opponent. Which raises the questions, if you duck out of the way of a shot can you still be offside? Yes, but maybe not.
Also, a couple of plays that serve as warning to not lose your focus.