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Date:         Wed, 12 Oct 2011 09:11:59 -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:         Gil Weber <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: Is it me or Hackett?
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Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Neil, I have inserted comments into your response. Gil (the original) On Wednesday, October 12, 2011 07:46:47 AM you wrote: > This one really surprises me. > > The combination of the two following facts: > > 1. A player was moving towards goal with an OGSO. > 2. The OGSO was denied by a foul. > > results in a red card 100% of the time. [Gil] Yes, by the letter of the Law that is correct. And Hackett is 100% correct by the letter of the Law. Anyone sending off the "tripper" can be assured that he/she is supported by the Laws of the Game. However, that doesn't mean it's the right decision for that game, for those players, for that circumstance. Remember Mike Goblet's manta: Cogito ergo Artibro. > To argue anything else is nonsense. [Gil] I must disagree. I am sure all of us can come up with a situation where strict application of the Laws simply doesn't fit the circumstances. Try this. It's a U-6 (yes, under six) game, and a player suddenly is facing the opponent's goal with the ball at her feet. She starts to dribble and as she gets closer to goal is being pursued by the swarm of "bumblebees" that is U-littles soccer. Suddenly down she goes as the heap of players collapses all around her. But the referee was able to see that the initial contact came from an opponent at the head of the pursuing swarm. Tweet! The referee isolates the "perp," displays the red card, and points to the benches. "Off" says the referee. The little girl, all 2'10" of her looks up at the referee, all 6' of him, standing over her. And she looks up at the referee with wide open eyes and open mouth not understanding what's happening. "Off" the referee repeats. And finally when it is obvious the little player doesn't understand the referee says, "You have to go off the field. You can't play anymore today." And you must realize what happens next. What a scene for all to see. The tears start to flow as the little U-6 realizes that her Saturday fun has been ruined. And she has no idea why. All she knows is that she was chasing the ball and now it's profound sadness that she can't play. Yeah, 100% right by the letter of the Law, but 100% "manure" (to use your terminology) in that circumstance. We have to be smart enough to know when to crack down on the bad guys and then be brave enough to do it. Be equally we have to recognize when it's reasonable and appropriate (even necessary) to bend with the circumstances because a strict application of the Laws will poison the situation. Why if considering the circumstances the players are content with a decision would we decide to start a fire by complicating things, and then throw gasoline on it just to prove that we know the Laws and will apply them? > To pile on historical claims on top of this nonsense is like applying > perfume to a pile of manure. > > To chime in with your agreement merely means you have willingly > jumped onto a pile of perfumed manure. [Gil] Again, cogito egro arbitro. > I 100% guarantee that those on the wrong side of this question in > this discussion are 100% entrenched in their incorrect views and > will attempt to convince me that up is down. They will claim I lack > "common sense" (such claims are always the last refuge of the > blatantly incorrect). They will claim I am a book referee while they > referee by the spirit. They will pull rank. They will attempt > derision and sarcasm. It will be a sad sight to behold. I will not > take the bait. [Gil] I must have missed it. Who "pulled rank?" Who was derisive to you, and who was sarcastic? It's certainly not a matter of getting you to "take the bait." Rather, in my case anyway it's simply suggesting that relentlessly rigid application of the Laws is not always the best course. Not in **every** circumstance, and certainly not in the original scenario. > All is not lost! I presume that when faced with this actual situation > on the field, almost everyone would come back to the forces of good > in the world and apply the Laws of the Game correctly in what would > turn out to be a largely non-controversial and non-game-ruining (if > unfortunate) relatively routine decision. [Gil] And with all due respect, I think in the scenario as originally described where absolutely **everyone** knew that the "fouler" was tripped, lost his balance, and then fell completely accidentally onto an opponent's legs that everyone from both teams would be satisfied with the PK. Further, I think they'd all be surprised if the obviously accidental trip were sanctioned with a red card and send-off. Overkill. DOGSO-F was meant to punish those who would subvert the game (cheating some would say). In the scenario as originally described there was not the slightest hint of that. Same as with the little girl in the U-6 game I described. > In other words - some people are over-thinking this one. [Gil] They're not. Rather, they are thinking outside the rigid constraints that you advocate must be applied. But that's just my opinion, of course. Gil (the original)

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