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    Is this happening in County FAs nationwide? Cambs FA are going to put under-18 referees in purple rather than black as a reminder to fans.
    http://www.cambridgeshirefa.com/news...ee-development

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      It's been happening in the Cheltenham Youth League. I think it does make a difference.

      As I run the line for my boy's team, I make a point of telling the ref he's had a good game and thanking him as well afterwards. I get stressed running the line, so I'm full of admiration for these lads.

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        I'm currently watching Fleetwood Town-AFC Wimbledon and there was a moment where a Fleetwood town player tried to pass the ball, it hit the ref, and came right back to the player. This had me thinking about intentionally banking the ball off of the ref. For example, the pass appears to go from left to right which pulls the defending players in that direction but the ball goes off the ref and bounces back to the right to create a chance). I know this seems a bit bizarre, but has anyone ever seen such an attempt? And for the refs who post here, if it was clear that a player was doing this, would such a move merit a talking to or a card?

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          Ref's a part of the field of play, so nothing illegal about that - but you'd have to be a very accurate player to use the ref for a wall-pass, especially given that the ref is likely to jump out of the way of the ball. And if you play the ball too hard in a deliberate fashion then obviously you risk a red card because it might look like you're assaulting him/her. I remember George Shipley once scoring for Lincoln after unwittingly getting a pass straight back off the ref's heel that put him through on goal. The defenders whined, but the goal had to stand.

          Re. intent on fouling - thank God, there is no law similar to the handball law, so a foul is a foul, classifiable as careless (direct free-kick, no card), reckless (DF, yellow) or serious foul play (DF, red)*. In the case of the stumbling defenders, though, because it denies a clear goal-scoring opportunity it would have to be red - though as I wrote above, maybe with some common-sense applied depending on the game situation.

          *these too are of course open to interpretation, but nothing like as much as having to read a player's mind.

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            One of the Michael Hardcastle books had a related scenario - a wayward shot hitting the ref, and looping into the net with the goalkeeper wrong-footed.

            I've an idea it's the book where the players in a struggling boys' team agree to contribute 10p each towards buying a new striker. He turns out to be a fine player, but also a troublemaker and he quickly leaves the club. The rest of the team then realise that their dalliance with the transfer-market was a mistake. They regroup, but lose their next game to the goal described above, despite a gallant, committed showing.

            Hardcastle is effectively giving his young readers a tutorial in the rules of the game through the ref's kindly explanation of why he has to let the goal stand.

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              Not sure if this link will work for everyone but I was interested to see if people think that the goal (Luis Súarez, so we will already have some prejudiced views!) is legal or not.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qWlmJ_t784

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                Originally posted by Sporting View Post
                Not sure if this link will work for everyone but I was interested to see if people think that the goal (Luis Súarez, so we will already have some prejudiced views!) is legal or not.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qWlmJ_t784
                I don't think there's any problem with the goal. The ball broke between two players who both had a right to play it. It's not a high foot, he's not reckless or overly forceful, it's just one of those unfortunate ones where the keeper is likely to come off worse.

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                  The Madrid sports press are adamant that it wasn't a goal, of course. I agree with you, though, seand.

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                    It looked to me (though I could be seeing it through Luis Suarez tinted spectacles) that there was a bit of unnecessary follow through after he'd got the ball. Not sure if that would disallow the goal, or if there would be the possibility of a goal plus a yellow card.

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                      Great save on the first strike, wasn't it? But I bet he's pissed off he didn't manage to turn it over the bar now though.

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                        Wouldn't have been a problem if Leganes number 8 hadn't ducked out of the way of Messi's shot.

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                          This week in my Soccer America column, I made the exploratory case for more than one touch at free-kicks and corners. I think that arose out of a discussion on here about serial encroachment.

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                            While in the real world, it was back to getting moaned at in the frozen climes of Frankfurt's youth scene. (Not sure about this new way of linking to off-site articles. It's proper confusing an old dog like me.)
                            Games 11-12, 2018-19 There are 15 minutes to go in a dirty and unpleasant U19 game. I've already shown five yellow cards and delivered ...

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                              Pensioners moaning in monologue, coaches with schoolboy excuses, fat but useful strikers, 'your mother' insults, and over-motivational captains - all duly checked off and present in last night's game.
                              Game 13, 2018-19 There were some regular features in last night's game that anyone who plays or refs in local leagues will instantly re...

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                                Originally posted by seand View Post

                                I don't think there's any problem with the goal. The ball broke between two players who both had a right to play it. It's not a high foot, he's not reckless or overly forceful, it's just one of those unfortunate ones where the keeper is likely to come off worse.
                                Sheffield United's second goal (I'm sure it's somewhere online) against Aston Villa yesterday was vaguely similar.

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                                  Fucking hell, I've just looked at the line-ups for the game I'm reffing tonight, and the away team's number 8 is Colin Stein. Born in 1989, though, so possibly not the Colin Stein. Not going to be possible for me to not look at him funny, though.

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                                    Originally posted by imp View Post
                                    Fucking hell, I've just looked at the line-ups for the game I'm reffing tonight, and the away team's number 8 is Colin Stein. Born in 1989, though, so possibly not the Colin Stein. Not going to be possible for me to not look at him funny, though.
                                    You get the team sheets at least 5 hours before kick off ? That's about 4 hours and 59 minutes earlier than I normally got them in - once I'd made sure the ringers had memorised their new names.

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                                      Originally posted by Stobart View Post

                                      You get the team sheets at least 5 hours before kick off ? That's about 4 hours and 59 minutes earlier than I normally got them in - once I'd made sure the ringers had memorised their new names.
                                      I can see the provisional line-ups online on the day of the game. Final line-ups theoretically presented on a printout 30 minutes before kick-off. Happens about twice a season. Ringers can be a problem. Once had a player slip out the back entrance at half-time when I asked his coach to send him out to me with an ID. He looked in his 40s - according to the team sheet he was 19. They've just re-introduced player pass control in Frankfurt's youth leagues - that is, you have to stand in the changing room, read out the names and check their faces against their passes while they mumble their date of birth. Proper pain in the arse, and means the games always end up kicking off late. Not yet for the adult leagues, though.

                                      I couldn't help asking Colin if he'd heard of his namesake. Indeed he had, but he was very polite about me asking.

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                                        I'm going to expand this thread again to briefly take in all sports officiating. Because I've just dropped a clanger...


                                        My Hockey Club needs to provide one Umpire each week to the local county pool, as our Men's 1sts play at that level. Currently we have someone who has been enthusiastic about this to the point that he wasn't only Umpiring one of two games per Saturday but also became the County Appointments Secretary. However, he recently announced that he felt his progress was being blocked as his face didn't fit and it was an old boys network, so he was going to take a sabbatical and concentrate on cricket umpiring that he also does and rein back on his hockey commitments, only playing or umpiring* within the club and that occasionally. This is bad news for the club as we need to fulfil our obligations each week otherwise our Men's 1sts get no officials and automatically lose their games, and he was the only Umpire we had of a suitable standard who wasn't also trying to combine it with still playing. Getting player-umps to neutral games at other venues is regularly tricky to sort out.

                                        I am one of those player-umps who could cover this level of match, and have done occasionally in the past to help things out. However, whilst I have the minimum qualification to Umpire in this pool, there is an expectation that those who do it regularly will be at the next level up. I'm pretty confident that I can get to that, but I wanted to know the logistics of it and whether we can sort it out before the end of this season, which finishes before Easter so there isn't that long to go.

                                        So I emailed the chairman of the County Umpires Association, explaining what I wanted to know and why.** I copied our guy in, as he can also provide the information. I've just got an email back from him saying that, whilst he had told us of his sabbatical plans, he hadn't informed the Association as yet! So I've dropped him right in it...

                                        Aargh!!!!

                                        I really thought, from what he wrote, that he had gone public with his intentions.


                                        * - as Hockey games require two Umps, the usual league rules at lower levels are for Club Umpires rather than neutral Umpires, i.e. each club provides one Ump for each game. In most cases that morphs into a "two home umps" deal, simply for travel and logistical reasons. In this area, such arrangements extend up to the Hockey equivalent of step 9 in Football, with neutral Umps only kicking in at step 8/FA Trophy level and higher.

                                        ** - frustratingly, our Ladies 1sts are on the brink of also getting to the County Pool Umpiring level (well, that isn't frustrating, it's good), in which case we will need to provide two Umps to it each week next season. I could have asked for the same info on that basis. That would not have let secrets I didn't know were secrets slip. Or indeed I could have asked for the info on what I needed to Umpire regularly in the pool without any explanation of why. An explanation wasn't actually needed.
                                        Last edited by Janik; 14-02-2019, 11:14.

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                                          Hmm, that's pretty... awkward. But at least that shows the association that, as a club, you are taking your umping commitments seriously?

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                                            Hardly your fault, Janik, that he didn't let you know he hadn't yet gone public.

                                            This week's reffing blog entry from last night's game is one for Laws of the Game nerds - namely, my annoyance at the Law stipulating that the penalty for infringing on goal kicks is merely a re-take. It doesn't seem to make any sense (though I may be missing something). I don't mention Colin Stein.

                                            Game 14, 2018-19 There's one football Law that I dislike in particular. A given team is taking a goal kick, and the goalkeeper, say, ...

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                                              I tweeted a link to the blog to IFAB and they tweeted back:

                                              Replying to @RefereeTales
                                              Hi, we are proposing a Law change for 2019/20 regarding the goal kicks: the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves (eg. it does not have to leave the penalty area). The decision will be made on 2 March (our Annual General Meeting).

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                                                https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47303498 interesting. They already do this in Ireland.

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                                                  They do it in Romanian ice hockey (which is very undeveloped and underfunded, but somehow manages to find the cash for this), whenever there is an important match between a "Romanian" and a "Hungarian" team, and they want to find a neutral ref (usually from Ukraine)

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