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Question Number: 31861

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 10/4/2017

RE: Rec (AYSO) Under 11

Ozzie Macedo of Los Angeles, California United States asks...

So my question is in regards to quarter breaks and restart. After the first quarter we were drinking water on our sideline and I was giving player instruction. According to the referee I was taking too long and he said he blew the whistle twice. Obviously I didn't hear it. He decided to restart the game with the other team and they scored while we were still on the sideline. Referee said that it's in the rules. Is that a correct call? Or is it simply just an unsportsmanlike play?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ozzie
Thanks for the question.
Clearly without two teams there is no game. There is no rule that allows for an uncontested goal with one team not on the field of play and on the sideline
The referee here in my opinion has taken exception to the tardy attitude to the restart and he decided to restart the game as a harsh lesson. In some way the opponents have contributed to this by scoring what is a *cheap* goal.
As referees we have all been tested by coaches who chose to ignore referees and their instructions yet that is no reason to act in a manner that is contrary to the proper playing of the game.
Now a referee could technically say that if there were seven player including a goalkeeper stood ON the field of play close to the sideline in their own half the team met the requirement of a *legal* restart
Have a look at this video
The referee here in my opinion took exception to the excessive lengthy celebrations and decided to allow the kick off based on the fact that all White players were in their own half and that there were a mininimum of seven including a goalkeeper technically ON the field of play. In fact it looks like all White were on the FOP along with a substitute. As advantage can be played the extra White player is not an issue.
Personally it is extremely poor form by a referee and not in the spirit of the game. There are other measures such as cautions for delaying the restart and adding on all the time lost to deal with these situations. Also reporting a late start can also attract League sanction.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ozzie,
AYSO games are basically played under the IFAB's Laws of the Game (with some modifications for younger age groups). There is nothing in these laws that says restarting a game can be done if one team is not present. For me, if your players were off the pitch while you were talking to them, the game should not have been restarted. It is not within the spirit of the game as far as I am concerned, to allow one team to score an uncontested goal in this manner.

Even for the most egregious offences such as cynically preventing a goal being scored using illegal means, the other team is not allowed an uncontested goal so I really don't see how being tardy in returning to the field of play would merit such an extreme and game-changing remedy. There is a general principle that the punishment should fit the crime and in my opinion that was not the case here.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Ozzie,
NO one likes to be disrespected
Yet there is no excuse for pettiness just because one perceives they have been disrespected . Particularly as the referee in a soccer match has some authority to actually take action Punishing the kids because of an adult squabble is a lame action.

The obviously you did not hear is what I would like to address. The time outs and stoppages many fields are under duress to get the match played and over so the next group can get their time in. In tournaments we are often told there is no time to add or they use a horn to end a match just to take out the referee option.

Speaking as a referee I suggest that if other referees PROVIDE a FAIR and intelligent warning system by advocating to the teams a warning of the available time it might alleviate these circumstances.

I use a direct eye contact thumbs up acknowledgement and say loudly to each ("1 minute to restart coaches!" )to give them a heads up . I whistle after 60 seconds and give them 30 seconds to take the field . If I whistle a second time after the 30 seconds it is LOUD very prolonged and easily identifiable as hurry up or else! Most teams like a last second rah rah cheer. In doing this I have NEVER had to chastise a team into taking the field promptly. Prior to using this method I would whistle at the restart time expecting them to take the field then getting into useless arguments or needless cautions with coaches who simply were in my opinion trying to test my patience. Telling them (ahead of time) THEN whistle, was far more effective then just a whistle expecting them to comply immediately.

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