Date:Mon, 30 Jun 2008 11:48:44 -0700
Reply-To:Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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Sender:Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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From:Patrick Duffy <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:Re: In all my days... a lesson
I'm not going to be critical of Josh's story here.
First, I'm sure that Josh did not want to bore us with relating every
single detail in connection with this game's termination. In short,
there's probably more to the story that he's passed on.
Second, I will not be critical of any referee's decision to terminate a
game in which he was assaulted. I would point to the Denmark game
(don't remember who they were playing, Euro 2008 qualifying, I believe)
in which a drunken fan got on the field and assaulted the referee. Game
over. I'm sure that some people would say "Oh, it was just one drunk,
the police were there, no reason for the whole game to be terminated
after they got the guy off the field." Not a single word of that,
however, anywhere. The Danes were extremely embarassed that their fan
did this and that their security people weren't able to prevent the
field incursion in the first place.
Third, there is a huge amount of guilt that most referees feel after a
terminated game, whether it was due to referee assault or other reasons.
I recently assessed a State Referee on a game which he had to terminate
after a player assaulted an opponent and spectators came on the field to
join the fight. The referee had never had a terminated game before.
Although I have told him several times since then that there was nothing
he could have done to prevent this situation, he is still feeling very
badly about it. These things happen, rarely, but they do happen. In
the case I just mentioned, the player has a horrible record of reds and
yellows over too long a period of time. He also had a "spare" card, so
he's going to be sitting a long time for this. There are a few lunatics
out there and the administrators need to get them out of the system,
because the other players, often including their teammates, don't want
to play with them. It could just as easily have happened on someone
else's game. We can only send off someone for this game, but the
administrators have to keep them from playing in the future. "The
referee made bad calls" is NOT justification for assault and even the
bad boy's teammates know that. Grilling the referee about why he did
this or didn't do that only makes the guilt worse.
I will agree that going back out and doing another game well is the best
From: Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Stagliano
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 11:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: In all my days... a lesson
I like to turn anything that happens like this, into a learning lesson.
First: " I blow my whistle and announce this game is terminated..."
then "After about 20 mins he did come over and apologize..."
I am trying to grasp this time line.
The player that you dismissed came back over to you and pulled your
badge from your shirt. You then terminated the game (I am assuming)
because you felt threatened and needed to take yourself and your ARs
from that field for safety. So, why 20 min later are you still near the
field for that same player to come to you and have a discussion?
Either you felt threatened, terminated the game and left. Or you didn't
feel threatened and you hung around the field for some reason and had
the post-incident discussion. If you didn't feel threatened, and
stayed, then why did you terminate the game?
NOTE: Having another match at the same field following this game is not
(in my opinion) a good excuse to hang around. In my opinion, the ref's
friend is the ball in play. If the game is terminated, Everyone is
Why stay around? You and your crew should leave, next game or no next
I am trying to understand the dynamics of a terminated game, the teams
being a bit non-plussed and everyone (teams and referees) hanging around
Thus, in my mind, you didn't feel threatened, and probably could have
finished the game.... i.e. stating to the team of the dismissed player
that everything will be in the report and that the player must leave the
and nearby area if the game is to continue. Then if they can't make
player retire to a "safe distance" the game can be terminated for that
reason. Not safety, but the fact the team was not ready to continue and
this forfeited their right to continue playing.....
Maybe there is no difference, but that is what I am trying to learn.
Second: When did this event occur in this game (of the 90 minutes)?
Did you have a crew of two ARs and what were they doing while all this
was happening (how could the player who was being escorted off the field
by his team mates, turn around, avoid your ARs, and then actually get
close enough to you to touch you?) What did you say to the player as you
cautioned him for the reckless
Had there been any controversy concerning other of your calls earlier in
Why would a player who just obviously elbowed an opponent and then has
been cautioned by you for that incident, then proceed to claim there
wasn't even a foul let alone misconduct?
Understanding the events in that game that led up to the incident are
very important for you and your ARs to fully understand, in retrospect,
so that this also becomes a learning experience. Anything that you
learn from this incident will assist you in later games that you
referee, in your ability to read the players differently and manage them
as their dispositions are changing.
NOTE: It seems to me that this player will be charged by the league
assaulting you as a referee. Prepare yourself for the league hearing.
succinct and to the point in your answers. Remember: you cautioned him
for the elbow, cautioned him for the dissent, thus dismissing him from
the game, and as he was leaving the field, he ran back to you and
(removing your badge from your shirt), and you terminated the game for
safety and the safety of your crew. Period. Don't get drawn into a
discussion other than stating the facts.
Note: Get right back in there refereeing another game ASAP. It is best
to "get back in the saddle" as soon as possible.
------ Original message ---------
Subject: In all my days...
I had a, hopefully, once in lifetime event happen last night. I was the
CR on a local mens DI game. I cautioned a player for USB, he threw an
elbow during a shoulder challenge. In my opinion, reckless, not
happening on this field. As I was showing the yellow card he takes two
steps away turns around and now states "You must need glasses if you
think that was a foul or a yellow card cause you can't see anything".
Here comes the second caution, insulting/dissent, and his send off. His
teammates are now trying to get him off the field but he comes over to
me, reaches out and pulls my badge off my shirt. I blow my whistle and
announce this game is terminated. I was astounded to say the least.
After about 20 mins he did come over and apologize and we has a good
He still disagrees with the cautions but did say he should have not
pulled my badge off. And to top it off his dad is a very good state ref
that I have ref'd with many times, both as AR and center.
I have made my report to the league and it is up to them what will
I still really can't believe it happened.