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.
Now offside in itself is not a reviewable incident, however when it is attached to a goal, penalty kick or DOGSO red cards, it can be. We had several goals called back this week with flags up and when we analyze them from a VR standpoint, you will see why it is important that you continue as before and not change your decision making in any way.
First off, no AR decision was formally reviewed, but a lot of them were checked. It is important to know the difference between a check and a review. Checks happen all thru the game whenever there is a possibility of a reviewable incident. (There is an average of about 9 checks per match.) Reviews only happen when the VAR has identified a clear and obvious error. Therefore, if you never make a clear and obvious error, you never will get a formal video review.
Tight Decision - Shot on Goal
NY Red Bulls create a scoring chance off a slightly miss timed run, where the flag is raised for offside and the keeper makes a save. This play would not be checked by the VAR because a goal was not scored. It is also important to note that had a goal been scored it still could have been checked because the referee's whistle comes after the ball would have entered the net. Either way, it would have just confirmed the AR's correct decision.
Flag Up - Goal Scored
Seattle score a goal with the flag raised for offside, this automatically will be checked as part of Video Review. When this occurs it is important that the referee crew delay the restart, in this case by Minnesota, because a play cannot be reviewed once the game has restarted. The VAR needs enough time to be able to check for the right angle, which should not take long on this play. If this flag had been incorrect the goal would be allowed to stand because the referee's whistle comes after the ball entered the net.
Similarly in Colorado, Vancouver score a goal with a flag raised. It immediately was checked by the VAR to confirm the offside. If it was found to be incorrect, the goal would have been given because the referee's whistle came after the ball entered the goal.
In this case the AR was correct and no goal was given.
Offside or Corner Kick
This play is shown as a reminder that you must continue to make decision as if Video Review was not in place. If this assistant referee had waited to see if a goal is scored, rather than raise the flag, a corner kick would have been given in the 93rd minute of a tied match. Corner kicks are not part of the protocol and any goal resulting from this corner kick cannot be reviewed.
On plays like this the referee may delay the whistle to allow the shot, but only if it was imminent.
This goal scoring opportunity for NY Football Club illustrates why the assistant referee needs to make a decision and not rely on video review. The offside situation happens just past midfield and the two best broadcast angles are shown. The side angle is inconclusive - possible even? - and the other angle only partially shows the second to last defender. In fact some might conclude that the AR had made an error as benefit of doubt should be given to the attack. However, at the end of the clip we have included an angle not available to the VAR because the panoramic camera is not part of the broadcast feed. It clearly shows the AR being correct, the attacker was offside.
On similar plays with offside occurring away from goal the referee will not delay the whistle as too much can happen before a goal might be scored.
Deliberate Play - Chance on goal
On offside scenarios where a deflection or deliberate play is in question, the video review can allow for a little more time to get the pieces of the offside puzzle together. In Philadelphia v FC Dallas a defender makes a deliberate play on the ball which then falls at the feet of a clearly offside positioned attacker. The AR has not recognized the deliberate play from his angle and raises the flag, only to have the referee wave it down moments later. This could have been avoided if either the referee had communicated "defender" or if the AR had asked for help before raising the flag. If a goal had been scored here it would have stood, even if the flag had stayed up, as the deliberate play was part of the attacking phase of play and would have been reviewed. Interestingly the referee could also ask the AR to go to the monitor to review the video with him as deliberate play is subjective.
What Should You Do - Answer
Both of these situations are deliberate plays and should not be flagged for offside.
In NY Red Bulls it is a little more difficult to detect but the defender has enough time and moves towards the ball. His sliding is a controlled action. Deliberate play.
In Los Angeles it is a little more clear to see as the defender takes a couple of steps towards the ball and deliberately slides to play the ball. This is a controlled action. Deliberate play.
Winner - Call of the Week #21 - Nick Uranga
Call of the Week #22
Call of the Week #22 involve two goals scored, with offside decision leading directly to them. Kyle Longville in Philadelphia correctly spots the goal scorer behind the ball and Adam Garner holds his flag down as a nicely timed run on a break in Minnesota.