MLS is back from its Copa America break with 10 matches this past weekend. A goal line decision and getting to that line are part of this week's review. Also, now that it is summer, do you know the hydration policy and how and when it should be used?
Getting to the Goal Line
Many have already seen the goal line decision that happened in Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas last weekend. Paul Rejer, PRO Training and Development Manager, explains the complexity and difficulty of this play on the PRO Referee website. Goal line technology and video replay would have been appreciated on this play.
The reason I add it to the Week in Review is to continue to emphasize following balls passed back to the keeper as part of your good habits as ARs. In the case in Kansas, Usain Bolt binge drinking Red Bull doesn't make it to the goal line, however if you want to have any chance of getting to the best position possible you will need to be already moving in the right direction and you are sharp and concentrated when you make that movement with quickness and speed.
The second clip is from NYFC v Philadelphia where a play happens on the goal line in front of the assistant. Instead of making the full move to actually be on the goal line to make a decision that no one would be able to disagree with, he is caught flat footed and simple leans his body to sneak a look. Look at the image at the right, wouldn't it be perfect to move the AR to the goal line?
That is why we also want to emphasize being on your toes, ready to move side to side with constant minor adjustments to be in the best position possible to make any decision.
Hydration Policy Review
Summer officially began this week and the hydration water break policy has already been used. As assistant referees it is important that you be familiar with all your league's policy concerning administering hydration breaks as they may vary slightly from league to league and you are responsible to know them.
MLS's policy, in the simplest of terms is: If, at the conclusion of the pre-game warm up, the wet bulb globe temperature (WGBT) measures 82 or higher there MUST be a hydration break of 3 minutes in BOTH halves. The only way the second break does not happen in the second half is if the halftime WGBT measurement has dropped at least 10 degrees to below 72. (very unlikely)
Here is a possible scenario: West Rejerwich Albion FC is playing Kennedy Koldspurs SC in Atlanta. The fourth official, Plex Arus takes the WGBT measurement at the end of the warm up and notes that it measures 87. Both teams are informed that there will be a hydration break near the 30th and 75th minute of the match. When the ball goes out of play at the 32nd minute, teams take their 3 minute break.
At halftime, with Rejerwich Albion up 2-nil, the fourth official takes a second measurement and notes that the WGBT has dropped to 78. At the 75th minute, referee Wally Walton says over the communication system that there will not be a hydration break because the temperature has dropped below 82 degrees due to an unusually cold wind coming from Canada. AR2, Bee Snarkey, who has read the hydration policy as part of his pre game preparation, states - "No you must still have the second break because the temperature has not dropped below 72." The break is taken at the 75th minute and Koldspurs come back to win 2-3 as Rejerwich Albion wilted in the heat.
Of course, there are a few more details that this, but the main idea is that if the pre-game measurement is 82 or higher both breaks will happen unless there is a reading of 72 or below at halftime.
Referees and assistants are advised that they also should hydrate themselves during the break.
More Boundary Lines and Helping the Referee
We end this week, with a good boundary line decision at the top of the penalty area where the assistant referee keeps pace with the play to make a good judgement that the foul has occurred just outside. Not seen (or heard) on the clip, the assistant immediately flagged the foul, quickly moved to the top of the penalty area and used the communication system to visibly and audibly indicate the location of the foul.
The decision makes the play by play announcer's boorish remarks embarrassingly wrong.