The regular season is over and my computer was upset that it didn't qualify for the playoffs and went ahead an quit on me. So this final weekend there will only be one clip to review.
This week we look at assisting the referee in managing the game and making sure we have the whole picture. Two decisions, both which resulted in send-offs, are seen by the assistant referee and the referee acted on their advice.
With the final week of the regular season coming up, be ready for more situations where players may react differently than they did earlier in the season. Anticipate the possibility of a reaction and step in quickly and calmly when you can.
This past week assistant referees in MLS were required to step in on several penalty kick decisions that we will review with special emphasis on making sure that you are aware of the position and view of the referee before raising the flag.
A quick note on being ready for the unexpected, that really should be expected with only two weeks left in the regular season.
Was it offside in NY Red Bull last week? We give our take on it.
As we head into the last couple weekend match days we are going to highlight quality movement. From the beginning of the season we have emphasized being "there and square" since we know that being "there and square" results in more correct decisions. This is true inside the penalty area and even on fast moving breakaways where assistant referees that square their shoulders as they run or turn square at the precise moment of the pass can better see if the attacker is in an offside position. With three games left for most teams it is important that we put in our best efforts in movement and positioning.
This past week we had an interesting no offside decision during the NY Red Bull match, however should the flag have been raised even though the keeper made the save? Your opinions please.
This week we are going to push patience on raising the flag again. You all know that a quick flag is only necessary when there is a possibility of a collision with a goalkeeper and that a correct late flag will always be better than a flag that is up so quick that the player may not have committed an infraction. We need to put this in practice in our games as when the referee stops play for your flag and no one has gained an advantage or interfered with the ball or play we are actually killing opportunities for scoring.
We will also look at two plays where the flag must be raised and then the referee needs to decide whether to wave you down or call a foul.
As you stay in line with the second to last defender, the teams are looking at the red line of their post season hopes. The last remaining 5-6 games should be a battle for points no matter who is playing and you need to bring the same intensity and work rate to your remaining games. So this week we are going to re-emphasize giving benefit of the doubt to the attack. It takes concentrated effort to keep the flag down on tight difficult decisions and with the emotions of the final matches even more so.
In Park City, Utah during the All PRO referees meetings, we did a lot of work on crew communication using our Vokkero systems. When able, the AR coaches have been listening in during matches and using what they hear to give feedback and instruction. This week we present one instance from the game in Dallas, where all the crew gets involved in a misconduct situation and you can listen in on their communication. Also, an offside situation where not using the wait and see technique ends an attacking sequence. Finally, a double offside situation in LA that requires concentration and then a decision whether a deliberate play falls under the category of a deliberate "save" by a defender.
This week is all about the boundary lines, especially the one between the goal posts. It seems in the last couple of weeks PRO assistant referees have had to judge whether the ball has wholly crossed the goal line more than usual. For this situation there is no substitute for being perfectly positioned on the goal line itself, which, depending on the speed of the play can be nearly impossible for even the fasted AR. That is why we continually emphasize a high work rate, following back passes and sprinting towards the goal line on every shot.
This week the theme is assisting the referee in managing the game. In fact, other than commenting on last week's "Is this offside?" and offering an new unusual offside situation for your votes and commentary, all the clips are about fouls and misconduct. In all cases where the AR gets involved with managing the match consider: does the assistant referee have a better view, is closer than the referee and are they in a credible position to make the decision. Also, remember the order of priorities for assistants: offside, boundary lines and assisting the referee.
This week we highlight proper running on the line and being square to the field to make crucial decisions. An assistant referee helps out a referee caught way behind play. Also, we present another offside situation for your to decide if the attacker is challenging for a ball and should be flagged offside.