Date:Mon, 30 Jun 2008 15:52:34 -0400
Reply-To:Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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Sender:Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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From:Tom Stagliano <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:Re: In all my days... a lesson - - - follow-up
Thank you very much for your reply to my questions. In doing so, the list
has some more info to turn into "lessons"
- Many of us have multiple games on a single field. If we terminate the
1st game, that doesn't necessarily mean that we have to "leave the area and
not work the 2nd game". If we (the crew) can go some place away from the
field, until things "cool down", we may very well be able to return to the
field, on time, to work our next game. In your case, if the field was
scheduled every two hours, and the game was terminated in the 38th minute,
there was well over one hour before the next game would start. Plenty of
time to "go away from the immediate vicinity of the field", and still be
able to return for the next game. NOTE: If the game was terminated in the
88th minute, then the next game "might have to start a little late"....
Again, one must be comfortable with the "tenor of the situation"
that you, your crew. or your personnel property (kit bag or automobile)
aren't in some danger by remaining. In this case, you determined that
there was no real danger of further safety issues from the terminated game,
and you and your crew could remain "near by". Indeed, I am glad you were
able to have a reasonable conversation with the dismissed player 20 minutes
later. I know that in the times when I have dismissed a player, it has
meant a lot to me (and to the player) if we can have a sane conversation
after the game. That doesn't mean that we the referees go looking for
that post-game tete-a-tete, but if it happens, then so be it, i.e. we
shouldn't go over-board to avoid a post-game gentlemanly discussion.
- As ARs we must be able and willing to move towards the referee at any
incident when a card is being displayed. If we can quickly recognize that
"things are escalating" beyond the norm, we should be there.... Not in a
threatening or escalating fashion, but more as a show of team unity, i.e.
unity among the referee team, while the other two teams are gathering. We,
as ARs should NEVER be caught "writing numbers down", while the incident is
still occurring. If we have time to extract a piece of paper and a pencil,
then we have time to move towards the incident. There is plenty of time
"later" to write.
- Yep, even the most innocuous situation can quickly flame up into a
dismissal and a termination. It shouldn't happen often. For many of us,
once in a career may seem a lot. However, we must be mentally ready for the
occurrence. Do we change anything? That is for you to decide. There is
nothing I would recommend Josh changing from the enhanced description. I
believe he handled it quite well, and I am very happy he was able to have
that quiet word with the player later, manage to keep his crew safe, and
manage to get the next game started on time. Seems perfect to me. The
one who is learning the biggest lesson is the dismissed player. He will
have to deal with anger management, and probably not play league soccer for
- Keep your reports succinct and to the point. In our state level recert
courses in MA we have several times practiced writing a game report and a
misconduct report, based solely on a brief description. The key is Facts
and Succinct. Let the facts speak for themselves, without your opinion.
Thank you Josh for keeping the discussion open. And thank you to Patrick
and others who have or will participate in this discussion.
--------- original posting exchange -------
Subject: Re: In all my days... a lesson
On Mon, 30 Jun 2008 14:23:28 -0400, Tom Stagliano <[log in to unmask]>
>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
>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
>my opinion) a good excuse to hang around. In my opinion, the ref's best
>friend is the ball in play. If the game is terminated, Everyone is upset.
>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
>a bit non-plussed and everyone (teams and referees) hanging around the
>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
>everything will be in the report and that the player must leave the field
>and nearby area if the game is to continue. Then if they can't make the
>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.
Did I feel threatened at the time, yes but not run for cover threatened.
The player was not swinging punches but it is the gesture of coming into my
personal space and pulling off a piece of my clothing. That conduct can not
be tolerated. I had already shown the red card, there was not much else to
do in my opinion. I blame the player and his previous referees for his
conduct. If we as referees let that sort of conduct go it is only going to
get worse for the next ref.
Yes I hung around because I did have a next game. Maybe not the brightest
decision but in this case it turned out OK. Many people were upset but also
knew exactly why the game was terminated. Many players came and apoligized
for his behavior and said they understood why I had done what I did.
>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?)
The incident happened a few yards shy of half field at the edge of the
center circle. It was the 38th minute of the first half and I had two
competent ARs. The ARs were watching from afar but as soon as I terminated
the game they sprinted to me and we left the field as a team.
>What did you say to the player as you cautioned him for the reckless
As I cautioned the player I stated "Using your elbows will not be
>Had there been any controversy concerning other of your calls earlier in
the same game?
No controversy, I had asked a couple players to check their tempers.
>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?
As I see it, a player will almost always deny any foul unless it is so
egregious that his teammates tell him they saw the same thing. Even then
most players can't believe they foul at all.
>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
>read the players differently and manage them as their dispositions are
>NOTE: It seems to me that this player will be charged by the league with
>assaulting you as a referee. Prepare yourself for the league hearing. Be
>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
>and as he was leaving the field, he ran back to you and "assaulted you"
>(removing your badge from your shirt), and you terminated the game for your
>safety and the safety of your crew. Period. Don't get drawn into a long
>discussion other than stating the facts.
How did you get a copy of my report!!! That is basically what it says with
numbers and names in the appropriate spots.
>Note: Get right back in there refereeing another game ASAP. It is best to
>"get back in the saddle" as soon as possible.
> - Stag
>------ 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
>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
>a yellow card cause you can't see anything". Here comes the second
>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 talk.
>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 happen.
>I still really can't believe it happened.