How can a coach cancel a match?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by JeremyEritrea, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. JeremyEritrea

    JeremyEritrea Member+

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    According to DCIst

    A source close to the team also told DCist that even match referee Mark Geiger (who you'll remember from Geigergate) wanted to play the match unless the pitch was frozen, which it wasn't.​

    However, in the following paragraph

    The lone holdout, it would seem, was Red Bulls Head Coach Hans Backe. "In a way it would have been a joke. And then it's all about luck, some individual mistakes or anything that will decide a game," Backe said. "Still, it's a semifinal. A conference semifinal, and it has to be more serious."​

    I thought the only person with the ability to determine whether or not to play a game due to safety issues was the center ref.


  2. Paper.St.Soap.Co

    Paper.St.Soap.Co Member+

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    Usually the decision to start the match is up to the competition authority, i.e., the league, local staff, etc. The referee most certainly has at least some say in the matter at that point, too. Once the match has begun it is the referees decision whether or not conditions are safe to continue. I'm sure the MLS has a policy that specifically lays this out.

    *Someone correct me if I'm mushed together FIFA/MLS/USSF/NFHS/NCAA rules and missed this altogether.
  3. JeremyEritrea

    JeremyEritrea Member+

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    So Backe tells Rodriguez "it's not safe" and Rodriguez says "you're right Hans" and the match gets postponed, even though Geiger and Olsen both say "looks good to us."

    Major League Calvinball strikes again.
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  4. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

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    No, the league/team(s), etc all have a say before the match starts.

    Don't be all pissy at Backe. The league commissioner, deputy commissioner, the competition director were all there. The TV network was there. This not on Backe, Olsen and Geiger.

    If Backe got his way for complaining, good for him. He is doing what he feels is best for his team, and really shouldn't give a crap what anyone else says.


  5. JeremyEritrea

    JeremyEritrea Member+

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    That was why I asked. I honestly thought that the referee decided if it was safe to start a match.

    And I blame Garber, Rodriguez, Backe, Henry, and MLS in general for postponing the match until today.
  6. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator Staff Member

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    In theory, per the Laws of the Game, yes.

    In practice, each individual competition is going to have regulations or a process about determining whether or not to start and/or continue a match due to weather or related conditions. I can't think of a major competition--particularly a televised one--where that decision would actually rest solely with the referee.

    Last night, it was evident Nelson Rodriguez had the final say. Whether that was because he happened to be on-site or because he's given that power through MLS regulations, I can't say. But it's not outside the norm for the sport worldwide. Recall at EURO 2012, the UEFA match delegate appeared to have equal or more authority than the referee in regards to lightning-related issues.
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  7. JeremyEritrea

    JeremyEritrea Member+

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    Thanks for the answers. Needless to say, I'm more that a little angry that I took a bus trip with another 699 or so DC United fans to stand out in the cold and watch people attempt to shovel snow for about two hours.
  8. NC Soccer United

    NC Soccer United BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    Really? That kind of crap is going to get you no sympathy. Calvinball?? What are we, 12 yr olds? Keep that garbage in the fan forums please.
  9. Lucky Wilbury

    Lucky Wilbury Member

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    Let's not be naive:
    Garber/Rodriguez: "NBCSN, would you have to air an old NHL game if we don't play tonight?"
    Dick Ebersol: "Not if you would give us the rights to air your SKC/HOU game tonight for free since it's only available online and kicks off at 9:00 ET"
    G/R: "Ummmm...."
    Ebersol: "Also, you need to let us conveniently fill the first hour of our programming with interviews and then decide to cancel this game right before SKC/HOU is supposed to kick"
    G/R: "Deal. Game will be cancelled just prior to 9:06 ET"

    Garber: "We should ask the coaches too, don't you think?"
    Rodriguez: "I guess"
    G/R: "Benny, what do you think of playing a Conference Semi tonight on this field?"
    Olsen: "Can DC host both legs? If not, I'm going to say the field is in great shape"
    Garber/Rodriguez: "Hans, what do you think of playing a Conference Semi tonight on this field?"
    Backe: "This field sucks. I'm going back to Sweden"

    Garber: "We should let the referees know what is going on"
    Rodriguez: "I guess"
    G/R: "Mark, in case we can't play, can we rearrange your itineraries to have you and the boys do the game tomorrow night instead?"
    Geiger: "CJ flew. The rest of us drove"
    G/R: "Great see you tomorrow night"
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  10. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

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    Stop with the crap guys. Ebersol has absolutely NOTHING to do with NBC Sports anymore for starters. Sure, it upsets the apple cart a bit when it comes to programming but that's what live sports is all about. (Trust me I know what I'm talking about). The weather in the area was a shock. No one expected what occurred and in fact no one knew fully whether it would stop or not. So, you took a bus ride. Wow. Those of us in the Metro area have lived the last 10 days without power, mass transportation, loss of housing, no gas, and then a snowstorm. You took a bus ride. Must be a life changer. They should have called it off four hours before, but no one accurately forecast what occurred. And tell your bus ride story to the folks on the Long Island Rail Road who spent 6 hours getting home last night for a fifty minute ride. I have no dog in this fight, only to root really hard that United gets blasted by NYRB tonight, just so you guys can all enjoy the whining bus ride home.
  11. SA14mars

    SA14mars Member

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    Let's remember 2 things. First, this is the top division of soccer in the US. While the referee is allowed to voice an opinion, they have no authority over the cancelation or delay of the match. That comes straight from the MLS referee handbook (or at least a previous edition of it). The power to suspend or terminate a match rests soley with the League and with the stadium security/safety personnel. Second, the MLS is a business. The players are the products (or rather the sport they players play), so player safety is paramount. Also, although I have no direct knowledge of this, I'm sure fan safety was also a consideration in this. The League needs to make money. They can't do that if players or fans get hurt.
  12. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator Staff Member

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    Other than the allusion to Ebersol (and maybe the joking portion of the coach's comments), I wouldn't be shocked if Lucky Wilbury has things just about right. Even if he does not, his post was clearly in good fun.

    And I'm not sure what the aftermath of the hurricane has to do with last night's decision. I realize there's been some back and forth among the fan bases regarding homefield advantage, but let's leave that aside for a moment. You want to make decisions about a sporting event that put the players and fans at the least risk. The fans from DC did have to travel in bad conditions. The fans also likely had to take time off work, which also adversely affects them (add in a second night in a hotel, where applicable). So there are clear financial inconveniences. Are these life-threatening matters? No. But I don't think anyone said they were. If the match could have been postponed earlier, it should have. If no one truly could have anticipated these conditions, then so be it. But I think invoking the plight of those displaced by the hurricane in order to contrast it with an inconvenient night for DC fans is a bit much.
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  13. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

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    Mass ref....you have no idea how bad the conditions were. And it wasnt a tongue in cheek post. The TV networks have zero to do with league matters. I worked in TV sports for years, hence the last 3 letters in my screen name. The league screwed up, but the weather that evening was awful, and was forecast to get worse. However, the forecast made earlier in the day was not what happened.
  14. Lucky Wilbury

    Lucky Wilbury Member

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    Just to clarify a bit,
    The dialogue in my post was clearly intended as a humorous translation of what happened. I won't speak for the other posts that you may or may not be referring to. You are correct that Dick Ebersol is no longer NBC Sports president. In my over-the-top post, I originally thought it might be nice to pretend that they consulted Chet Simmons, Tom Hammond, Al Trautwig, or even Phil Liggett. I didn't think that the written-joke delivery of those names would be as good as throwing in someone both so popularly associated with NBC Sports, and so over-the-top as Ebersol. It was literally as simple as that.

    Outside of the humor, I do believe both the order in which the conversations happened, and the facts I suggested about the series of events are both true. We can agree to disagree, and that's cool. I don't know who to "blame" because I did not pay attention to local NYC weather forecasts for that evening. I honestly don't think anyone is to blame.

    I had a long paragraph typed about TV influence, but it's not really on point. I will remind everyone that MLS got a bigger monetary offer from Fox Soccer than from NBCSN this year, but chose NBCSN. TV carries a big stick. I would also point out that the leagues also carry a good amount of weight in the post-"Heidi" era we live in.

    I agree with @MassachusettsRef's comments about associating it with the hurricane. I don't really get the connection, but I'm not there right now.

    No hard feelings
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  15. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

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    And I'm here to tell you that the influence a television network has on a league on a short term basis (ie that game that night) is non existent. Unless you have witnessed the devastation down to the local level on this storm, the less said the better.
  16. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think he was speaking about the influence that a network would have on the match, so much as he was referring to the opportunity that MLS might have seen with the network (though, by a strict reading of his fake transcript, I can see how that would be ambiguous).

    MLS had a non-televised 9pm match that was going to kick off. They were likely losing the 8pm match. If there was a way they could ensure the 9pm match would become televised, that involved delaying the cancellation an extra 20 or 30 minutes, I don't think it's a fantasy to believe that they sought it. Any good business entity would. After all, someone had to negotiate with NBC to make sure the 9pm game ended up on television--it's not like NBC just unilaterally made that decision--and that negotiation had to be ongoing between 8pm and 9pm, unless the plan was put in place previously (which would be somewhat crazy, considering the forecast wasn't that bad).

    I'm still confused about this, Rufusbac. You're the only one who has brought up the hurricane on this thread. I don't think anyone has diminished the destruction or tragedy.
  17. stangspritzring

    stangspritzring Member+

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    Actually, conditions at the site weren't terribly bad, if windy and snowy. There was no devastation around Harrison excepting the loss of power. Admittedly, the weather forecast in the early afternoon did not match what occurred later in the evening, but it WAS one of the significant possibilities forecast. If fan safety was a concern, which I seriously doubt, the call would have been made much earlier. I'm in the gamesmanship by Backe/RBNY FO camp, for the lackluster effort and horribly poor prep-work and contingency planning. The "we weren't prepared for this weather" card is just too easy to play.
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  18. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

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    Your signature says you are a dc united fan and live in Maryland. So, i'm glad you think there was no damage in the area. No train service for starters. No PATH trains. Areas nearby without power. A lot of the NYRB supporters unable to get to the match. People from NY spent upwards of 5 hours getting home that night. But, you think everything was fine on site. I wasnt there, only drove by at 5pm. Wicked weather. Game should have been postponed at 3 in the afternoon.
  19. techguy9707

    techguy9707 Member

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    Wild guess here... from a purely operational point of view, the TV network had a fair amount of money invested in getting the broadcast trucks, equipment, sound/camera/technical, etc. crew and broadcast talent in place to broadcast this game. They likely would have preferred to show this game. The facility had a reasonable but not excessive cost in preparing and several hundred employees (vendors/lot attendants/ushers...) coming into work that they will need to eat the costs of canceling the game. This cost is "normal" in that they know how much it is each hour and saved some of it by sending them home (but not all, if they were on-site). The fan, especially the DC fan, is inconvenienced but not a primary factor in the TV's broadcasters mind.

    I must assume they decided that it was unsafe for all parties involved.
  20. NC Soccer United

    NC Soccer United BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    Ah the punching bag is back to spew more idiocy.
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  21. stangspritzring

    stangspritzring Member+

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    Yes, I live in MD. Yes, I drove up that day. Yes, I was on the Turnpike with heavy snow. Yes, I stayed with friends who live not 15 minutes from RBA after the game. Yes, I saw the roads that were closed as a result of flood damage. Yes, I saw the PATH service being out to the area. Yes, I saw the intersections without lights. Yes, I went around the area with the aforementioned friends (who, as I said, live not 15 minutes from RBA in Jersey City, who were themselves without power for a few days) and we did the usual "with friends" things like go out to eat, run errands, have fun, go shopping. In fact, I saw much of Jersey City, Newark and Harrison. What would ordinarily have been a 15 minute ride to my friend's house was closer to 25 because of the road re-routes and blocked intersections.

    Know what? I've also seen a lot worse. The conditions of the surrounding area were manageable and no excuse for the poor contingency planning of the RB front office NOR MLS, because the only thing, at that point, which could have affected the match at game time was their inability to remove snow in a timely fashion, which directly relates to their poor contingency planning. Nothing else. What happened outside the stadium was irrelevant, because if safety of the fans is your concern, yes, the game would have been cancelled no later than 3. But it wasn't. A lot of NYRB supporters weren't able to get to the match Wednesday, but they sure were able to Thursday, and guess what? Excluding the snow, every single one of the external conditions still existed. Every. Single. One.
  22. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

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    Since none of you commenting live in NJ, i can safely say the conditions Wednesday on top of the destruction from the hurricane prevented many supporters from getting to the match. That alone should have forced a cancellation. Getting around is not easy.
  23. NC Soccer United

    NC Soccer United BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    Only the DC fans are spewing that nonsense. Trust me, everyone outside of DC is aware of the devastation.
  24. stangspritzring

    stangspritzring Member+

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    Sooooo...the criteria for match cancellation is because "not enough home fans could readily get to the match"? That's patently absurd. 1-The stadium was fully functional (except for their contingency planning regarding snow removal) 2-The stadium was well staffed in terms of both courtesy and security personnel. 3-The teams were there. 4-The field was deemed playable. 5-The officials were present. Anything else is not relevant to the rules governing the tournament. The safety argument was absolute garbage.
  25. stangspritzring

    stangspritzring Member+

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    And did I mention the whole "friends in north Jersey" thing? I've quite a lot, actually. The topic of the hurricane and storm effects MAY have come up in conversation over that day.

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