This week we discuss what is the appropriate action to take when a foul or misconduct happens out of the view of the referee. We will compare situations from two different matches where the assistant's communication is vital in making a correct decision.
Also, we highlight some of the excellent decisions made in last week's matches where the common denominator is the assistant in perfect position to make the call. Finally, we present a new play to let you determine if it is offside or not and whose has the responsibility to determine if there is a deliberate play or a deflection.
Misconduct Behind the Referee
Last week's clip from the Kansas City v Portland match generated some good comments and a bit of variety in how you would handle this situation behind the referee. Simply put, none of you are necessarily wrong in what you would do, you're not robots after all, yet some answers are clearly better because they take all the variables into consideration.
The point that we are trying to make is that when you see a foul/misconduct that is not in the view of the referee, what you communicate not only needs to be accurate, but needs to reflect a nuanced appreciation of the "big picture" of a match. The time, players, level of foul, climate, history, location, and even the strength/personality of the referee all need to be part of your decision making. Since the referee has no knowledge of what happened he will act on your word.
In this situation, at the eight minute, with two important and difficult-to-manage players involved, 0-0 scoreline, a foul that results in both players going to ground and with an experienced referee in charge, a flag is appropriate. The referee should be informed of the actual facts, Feilhaber's tactical foul is first and should be penalized and Adi's push came after. No misconduct is mandatory, but a stern warning should be delivered to both players. This result is balanced as both players should see the justice in that the foul and the push are both being addressed by the referee. The result (if the players are smart enough to figure it out) is that there is a team of referees in control of the match and for the remaining 82 minutes are watching all the action. Also, a caution for a second instance by either player can be seen as fair as they had been warned.
Misconduct Behind the Referee in Colorado v Vancouver
Interestingly a somewhat similar situation happened twice in the Colorado v Vancouver match over the weekend and so we can look at how that was handled.
Part 1 starts in the 65' minute and you need to watch the actions of Vancouver defender #4 Waston as he trips #11 Colorado as he is about to make an attacking run. This is a tactical foul. This is seen by the assistant referee (and the fourth) who inform the referee using the communication system. Since the ball had already gone out of touch the referee chooses to warn Waston (not seen on video).
Part 2 of this sequence is in the 88th minute where Waston again steps into the forward's path with a tactical foul. Although the referee sees part of this foul in his peripheral vision, the assistant referee's flag and communication clear any doubt the referee may have had in giving this foul and merited caution.
Since these type of fouls require teamwork and communication it is important that this be part ofthe pregame instructions.
Surely the AR was Wrong
Last week featured many good decision that at first glance appeared to be mistakes by the assistant referee, but after further review proved the assistants were correct. We highlight five of them here. The common denominator in all of them: The assistant is in perfect position to make the call.
The Best of the Week
Even after all the great decision already presented, we have selected two that standout.
These two excellent decisions can be contrasted in one that results in a goal and the other pulls the ball out of the net. First Cameron Blanchard uses the wait and see technique to keep his flag down and allow this goal to stand.
Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho spots New England's Kamara half a body in front of the second to last defender.
Toronto v Real Salt Lake - Offside?
Is this situation offside? For sake of argument, let's just assume that Toronto's Giovinco is in a offside position (in the video it is unclear). What we need you to determine is whether the defender's actions are a deliberate play or a deflection. If it is a deliberate play then, obviously, no offside infraction. Also, is it the referee's responsibility to let the assistant referee know if he thinks it is a deliberate play or not? How should he let the AR know either way. Please vote and add your reasoning to the comment section below.