A couple of scenarios on gamesmanship for you to mull over this morning.
Scenario A: Home team is losing by one goal with 10 minutes left in the game. Home team launches a shot on goal that goes high and wide. The ball travels to the parking lot. The Home team supplies ball chasers but they are lolly gagging so the visiting goalkeeper goes after the ball at an intermediate trot (not a hard sprint, but not an easy walk.) Retrieving and then returning the ball to play takes 20 seconds. The Home team wants the referee to either stop the clock (high school and college rules) or add time (FIFA rules). What do you do?
Does your decision change if it is the Visiting team is down by 1 and it is the Home team goalkeeper taking an intermediate 40 yard round trip trot to retrieve the ball?
Scenario B: One of the major points of emphasis for referees in the past three years under all rule sets of soccer has been to be extremely sensitive to head injuries or possible head injuries. At the college level, we are being told that if we see or think we see a head injury kill play immediately to assess the player and get extra help if needed. This is to happen even if the ball is halfway into the net. We’re not medical professionals, so we want medical professionals to tell us a player is good to play. If we don’t stop play, we, as referees, take on all future liability from a potential head injury without any insurance support as we will have violated procedures.
1-1 game. Gold and Black #8 have a fair challenge on Gold’s defensive third that sends Black #8 to the ground. Gold plays the ball long to a streaking forward who just beat an offside trap so the forward has ten yards on the nearest defender and just the keeper to beat. Black #8 is still on the ground as he calls out “My head, my head hurts.”
The referee stops plays, and calls on a trainer to assess. The trainer pulls the player to the side, and Black elects to play down as #8 is evaluated. Thirty seconds later, #8 is allowed back onto the field and he plays the rest of the game.
#8 pulled a fast one and everyone knows it, so how do you manage that situation?
You’re refereeing a double header, the women play first and then the men play second. Both visiting squads are notably superior to the home teams.
The visiting women’s team is in the stands during the men’s game and they are sitting behind the home bench (as that is where the stands end). The players make up 75% of the fans. They are into the game and letting the home team know how bad they are and what poor choices they are making. As AR-1, I am enjoying the commentary as it is cutting, on point and knowledgeable.
A couple of minutes into the second half, the home team botches a set of first touches that leads to a visiting goal. I hear from the stands
“Hey Red, if you’re going to suck, suck like this”
I half turn my head to see what is happening, and I see a girl on her knees aggressively blowing a fairly large and realistic dildo.
what do you do?
Scenario A is easy. The Home team controls the ball chasers. If the ball chasers are being lazy, and the visiting goal keeper is moving at a work rate that is consistent with how everyone was moving before there was a difference, I am not touching the clock. The Home Team should monitor their ball chasers. It sucks to be them.
Now if the situation was reversed with the visiting team down and the ball chasers are still being lazy, I am stopping the clock (college/high school) or adding time (FIFA) as they don’t control the ball chasers.
As a referee, you’re fucked. Everyone knows #8 pulled a fast one, but it is a legal fast one. All the referee can do in this scenario is keep an eye on #8 to watch for any other cheap stunts he might pull and for retaliation.
#8 loses all benefit of the doubt in all cases going forward. The story will be that he has a visible history of head injury concerns so anything that sends him to the ground will require him to be evaluated by the trainer and removed from play for a minute or two in order to promote player safety (and get all liability off of the refs).
The proper response is for the assistant referee to flag the 24 year old women who is running her second college center of her career and let her deal with idiots in the stands.
She dealt with the situation by watching for 10-15 seconds silently. She then stopped it by mocking the girl’s technique while getting all of the players on the field laughing their asses off. She also informed the visiting coach that no more sex toys will be seen in the stands or the game will be played in an empty stadium.
The improper response is to laugh one’s ass off as I never thought I would have seen something like this.
Update 1: You also wonder why the fuck there is a dildo in a player’s game bag especially as the visiting team’s campus is only 45 minutes down the road so they are driving back after the game and not spending the night at a hotel. Is that standard issue for that particular player? Or was this a premeditated stunt?
A report was filed with the league, and again, I don’t think they ever expected to see an incident report like that one.