Week #31 October 12-16

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. 

Seattle v Houston Send Off

The point of this clip is to emphasize the importance of staying calm when the players are not.  Since the referee had decided to apply advantage on the initial foul, and the referee needs to keep his focus on the play, it becomes the assistant referees responsibility to watch the players behind the referee.  Although the AR first attempts to intervene, he is correct to back away and observe once more than two players have become involved.  It is also was important that the crew wait for the incident to be completed before making their decision.  The visual of referee and assistant calmly going over what happened and what misconduct is needed, without appearing to be rushed, is professional and adds to the confidence in their final decision. 

Tripping in Chicago v New England

It is always a difficult decision when there is contact between players behind the referee's back that is seen by the assistant referee.  It is important then to make sure you apply several considerations to the play.

  • Were the actions of the player involved excessive with regard to physical contact?
  • Which part of the body has the player used to make contact?
  • On which part of the opponent's body was contact made?
  • What is the degree of speed or intensity is the player using when making the challenge?
  • Were the original or initial offenders punished appropriately?

Rarely does misconduct happen in isolation.  As we saw in the previous clip, the Seattle player reacts to an initial tripping foul that the referee chose to apply advantage.  In this clip the players appear to cross paths and the Chicago player reacts by tripping the opponent using his foot and making contact at the feet of the opponent without a lot of intensity.   It is hard to say from the angle provided what the initial offense was, but there was a reaction to something.  However, even on its own, it appears to fall short of the considerations for violent conduct.
You can add another consideration.  If the referee had seen this play, would he have punished it the same way?
Before deciding to get involved in plays similar to this consider the factors that may have caused it and apply the considerations.

Getting to the Goal Line

This clip is included this week to point out why speed and getting to the goal line are so important to making a decision.  There can be little argument when the assistant referee is at the corner flag to decided if this ball wholly crossed the line or not.

Yeah, This Was a Hard One

We will continue to stand by the assistants that apply the benefit of the doubt on offside decisions as in the vast majority of the cases you are correct.  However, every now and then one can slip by.  Check this offside decision where the attacker is ever so slightly offside, but his movement to the ball would put doubt into the most experienced AR.  It is so disguised that the announcers and defenders do not pick it up. 

Call of the Week #31

Brian Dunn wins Week #30 beating out Corey Parker and Sean Hurd.   This week, even though there were several good offside decisions that negated goals, we like the ones where the flag stays down and goals are scored.  So the candidates are Jonathan Johnson at NY Red Bulls where a goal is scored in what appears to be an obvious offside position, but it turns out a lone defender, completely out of the play, has kept him on. Versus Anthony Vasoli who keeps his flag down on Chicago's first goal.   To be honest, both these decisions are standard fare for PRO assistant referees, but go ahead and go at it.

John Johnson

Anthony Vasoli

Who had Call of the Week #31