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How do you sell the unsellable call?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by OMGFigo, Feb 4, 2013.

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  1. OMGFigo

    OMGFigo Member

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    Boys HS (F/S—so you're solo), @ 60', everyone's driving up field over the halfway line as attack forms up. You glance towards the attacking team's bench as a collision well behind and off the ball catches your peripheral vision, but it's incidental contact so you continue trailing play (five yards behind the attacker with the ball). Then almost simultaneously, just as you're beginning to look forward to the attacking through-ball, you see the receiving attacker is clearly at least 3-5 yards O/S when the ball is played to him by his teammate (and your head hasn't made it all the way facing forward yet, that's how fast it happens). All the defenders in front of you instantly start throwing up their hands before you can get your whistle to your mouth and blow it for the O/S infraction. Attacking team's bench goes understandably apeshit.You know what's coming from the coach...

    "You're letting the players make that call, Ref!"

    How the hell do you sell that, or do you just pretend you didn't see the O/S? The latter makes me shudder, but at the same time I can't think of how the hell to sell that.

    Ideas?
     


  2. Paper.St.Soap.Co

    Paper.St.Soap.Co Member+

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Take the players holding their hands up out of the equation -- do you make the call? If yes, it doesn't matter that the coach is going to go crazy you need to blow the whistle. Now, the cleanup :)

    This needs to be public and I would suggest addressing the players before even acknowledging the coach. This is mental judo, because what you are saying to the players really is meant for the coach. Loudly inform the players that, yes, that was in fact an offside infraction but, "I don't need any help today gentlemen. I'll handle the decisions, you play." Alter slightly if the coach is out of earshot, adding some gesticulation that says you don't like them talking (make the hand puppet gesture) and that it's your call (poke your chest wildly). Finish with a big smile as you move back into position at the drop zone.

    Usually you won't even need to address the coach directly. In fact, I think it works better to convey this message through a proxy in this case.
     
  3. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

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    Mar 2, 2012
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    Blow, and holler back to the coach "NO! I SAW IT!" whilst banging your chest.
     
  4. OMGFigo

    OMGFigo Member

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    LOL. Of course this was my first thought...
     


  5. QuietCoach

    QuietCoach Member

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Littleton, MA
    Guys, I'll make the calls today. If you keep signalling for the obvious ones, I might have to let them go just so it's clear who is calling the match.

    - QC
     
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  6. Paper.St.Soap.Co

    Paper.St.Soap.Co Member+

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010

    It's funny that some of our most effective tools as referees would be found welcome on a National Geographic documentary following primates in a jungle.

    Just saying...
     
    Dave Anderson and OMGFigo repped this.
  7. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

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    Well yes but, mind you, I was thinking in terms of chest-banging with just the one hand ... ;)
     
  8. refontherun

    refontherun Member

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    Georgia
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    This has always been something that bugs the crap out of me. The coach that is complaining is probably one of those that trains his players to do the same thing to game the ref even if the call in marginal.

    It's similar with cards. You see an incident that you know will result in a caution. Before you can even get to the player, the coach or some parent is hollering, "That's a card!!" of something similar. Now, if you issue the card, it appears you are doing it on the recommendation.
     
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  9. OMGFigo

    OMGFigo Member

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    You mean saying that to the players throwing their hands up?
     
  10. BigManIntheMiddle

    BigManIntheMiddle Member

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    This is why, and I admit I am not as good in practice, at the first sign of a coach trying to "coach the ref", you need to nip it in the bud. Addressing sidelines early before you get to the 60' mark and have this type of problem is easy. My problem is, as a former player of several sports, you really learn to tune out the crowd. When you do that as a ref, you open yourself up for criticism as game management starts to slip away. My solution is that during pregame I instruct my ARs on a signal during stoppages to let me know that the sidelines are getting mouthy, if I haven't already caught it. This let's them help me, and them, ensure that the parents and coaching staff aren't contributing to attitudes on the pitch.
     
  11. jayhonk

    jayhonk Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    3 to 5 yards is waaaay off side! If you swallow that call, you will spend the rest of the game thinking about it, and then maybe try to find a makeup call, and head down a rat hole that you really don't need to.

    If he is that far offside, I would face the coach and chuckle, "No coach, I got that one. He was a mile off."
    Then maybe turn to the defenders and let them know that you appreciate their help, but it really isn't needed or wanted.

    Coaches (and players) calling for a *warranted* Yellow Card is much more problematic, IMO.
     
    dadman repped this.
  12. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

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    When it's that clear he's off, they are just trying to get in your head. Jayhonk has a good approach, another is to smile and say "just cause they put their hands up, doesn't mean they were wrong" Smile, move off to the drop zone and get the game going again.
     
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  13. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member

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    Take up your complaints with my AR, he is being paid the big bucks to make offside calls today!
     
    dadman repped this.
  14. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

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    I really don't see anything unsellable here. It's OS. Done. If I don't ignore the coach, I might go with Paper St. above. Or, depending on context, who the coach is, tone, etc., I might say something like:
    • "Didn't you see the AR flag? Oh that's right -- so give me a break, I don't have a lot of patience with whining about offside calls when I don't have ARs."
    • Laugh. "Couldn't you wait to complain till there was at least a close call?" Laugh.
    But you have to make the call, the right call, and if the player behavior is an issue in seeking calls, address that as a separate issue.

    (That said, I have let requests deter me in a different context. Careless/reckless tackle that could go either way -- I was about 90% of the way to yellow as I was pointing, when an opponent yelled for a card. Pausing the restart, I looked at him and said something like "Why'd you do that? Now if I give him the card, it looks like you're telling me what to do." And carried on with the FK and no caution -- but it is only something I would do with (1) a debatable caution and (2) a sophisticated enough game that the players will get it (both the fouler who knows he got lucky and the loudmouth). In my situation it worked -- both players got it and game flowed afterwards.)
     
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  15. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

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    Agree - I've done exactly that at least twice that I can recall.

    Do I not recall correctly that players' demanding a card is itself a cautionable act? Just looked and couldn't find the reference for that.
     
    dadman repped this.
  16. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member

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    You could probably put it under inflammatory or something of the like but I will look for the specific verbiage.
     
  17. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

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    Found it - March 23, 2007 USSF memo entitled "Misconduct -- Player Gesturing for a Card:"
    Don't see anything similar in the NFHS rules, but the analysis should be the same - perhaps extending also to the coach in an appropriate case (which would be quite rare, I think).
     
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  18. GKbenji

    GKbenji Member

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    "Coach, I saw it myself, and it was offside. I didn't pay any attention to the players. They just happened to get it right this time... next time, they may not be so lucky." ;)

    A similar scenario is when a team yells for something you were going to call anyway, and an opponent says, "Ref, don't let them call the game for you!" I reply: "Don't worry, I don't listen to any of you guys. I ignore both teams equally."
     
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  19. Law5

    Law5 Member+

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    And, since, as the original post said, he was solo, it's even funnier! "No, the AR already had his flag up!" There's something to be said for having them think that you just might be crazy.
     
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  20. kayakhorn

    kayakhorn Member

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    Location:
    Arkansas
    Our state switched to lone referees for HS JV matches last year. The new HS season is about to start and I can hardly wait to use the "AR had his flag up" explanation if I catch any crap for offside decisions in JV. Cheapskates.:p
     
  21. sjquakes08

    sjquakes08 Member+

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    This is why when I see an incident that I think I will give a card for, I immediately pull it out of my (side) pocket, and then start walking towards the player. This first of all shows that you were going card all along, it makes it so that if the player is surprised/angry he's getting a card, his initial surprise/anger won't come while you're in front of him (lessening the chance of you getting wopped in the face), and it still gives you some time to think about it, because you can always put the card back in your pocket and say "next time you'll get the card".
     
  22. Errol V

    Errol V Member+

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    Mar 30, 2011
    If the match is at a point where this really needs to be addressed I think you need cover both the "No I am not letting the players make the call" side of it and the "irresponsible behavior" side of it. I would probably stop play and go have a word with the coach along the lines of "Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I make the calls in this match, and what these kids say along the way does not influence my decisions. What I need from you is to not throw gas on the fire by publicly accusing me of being incompetent. Make sense?"
     
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  23. timtheref

    timtheref Member

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    Aug 23, 2010
    I would advise against this, particularly the last sentence. If you have a card out, even at your side other players will see it. If you don't give it, it will come back to bite you. I've seen it happen more than once. Also, while a quick card out of the pocket can be a good thing, sometimes crazy things happen. I once had a game where a bad tackle came out of nowhere and as I flew in with my yellow out, the victim of the tackle rolled over on the tackler and started laying haymakers. I couldn't get my yellow back in my pocket fast enough. (I ended up with a red for the VC and went back to the yellow for the tackler, who didn't participate in anything beyond his initial tackle, and no the tackle itself was in no way enough for a red.) But I've even had situations reaching for a pocket, only to change my mind and have players from the other team yell "no, you were right the first time, if you're gonna reach in to your pocket, finish it!" YMMV of course.
     
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  24. wykell

    wykell Member

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    So my idea of keeping a pair reading glasses in my pocket, pulling them out and tossing them to the coach if one ever tried this with me would be seen as "not ideal"?
     
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  25. cinepro

    cinepro Member

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    "What can I say coach? They made a great call!"
     
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