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Question Number: 32232

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/12/2018

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

Advantage in the PA question: I couldn't find an exact answer in a search here, so would appreciate a clarification.

An attacker brings the ball into the box and is tripped enough to throw him off but he doesn't fall.

Ref yells 'advantage, play on!' and the player fully recovers his footing and takes a shot. If the ball misses the net, or the keeper makes a save: do we say the advantage was realized (and squandered) or do we give a penalty kick?

One could argue that the trip gave the keeper an extra second to set up, or that it threw the attacker off his intended line, thus the advantage wasn't as sweet as the initial chance. This rewards the defence.

However, it has been said here many times, 'We do not reward mistakes' (which the attacker made here.)

It has been said here a number of times that in the penalty area, refs should 'wait and see' for a few seconds - then bring it back to the spot for a PK if a goal has not been scored.

Does yelling 'advantage' take away some of the freedom to grant a delayed PK?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Shouting and signaling advantage somewhat puts pressure on the referee as the conceding team will protest that advantage was realised in certain situations. If the referee waits to see he can make a call without the baggage of signaling advantage. You know doubt hear it all the time when advantage does not materialise after being signalled and play is brought back or for that matter not brought back.
Now each situation will be different and time taken can be a factor. A few seasons ago I recall a foul by a goalkeeper just on the edge of the penalty area. The ball was in the process of being passed to another attacker so I allowed play to continue without a signal. The second attacker moved the ball on to around the six yard line and kicked the ball wide of the post which was an incredible miss. I went with a goal kick as in my opinion advantage was fully realised. It was somewhat accepted as a bad miss rather than the foul having any influence on the subsequent play. There was also the question as to whether there was a foul in the first place and that is opinion based. Advantage says that there is no question that there is a foul.
So the best advice us to wait and see rather than signaling advantage. It gives the referee more control of the situation.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
The last line in my esteemed colleague Ref McHugh answer is really the crux!
'So the best advice us to wait and see rather than signaling advantage. It gives the referee more control of the situation'

Over the years I have learned to EAT the whistle and WAIT & SEE rather than IMMEDIATELY hammer the whistle or yell & signal advantage, particularly but not always inside the PA.

When a harsh foul goes down and a player is swept away by a tough tackle screaming for a card or how the player is contacted or meets the ground heavily. A quick piercing whistle was the norm as I felt it was almost an almost-- ' oh my Gawd did you see that horrific tackle?' & if I did not stop play immediately more bad things were going to happen or life was about to be tested.

I learned that if I was far away I hammered the whistle in a series of hard blasts as I ran right into the epicentre to sell the idea---' I got this, I saw it & everyone just back the heck off! '

But then I noticed on occasions, even when I was not so far away, a player would hit the ground, skid and get up and just keep going particularly on a leading through ball where few defenders were in a position to do much as the trip or foul WAS the play to stop this attack.

Now this was a refreshing change from the divers and the exaggerators.
I could see and hear their visible disappointment in having to whistle down their continued run as I had too soon stopped play. Rather then say, 'Damn I am sorry I felt you might be hurt' or 'I wanted to give that guy a card', I could see they were taking advantage of the very fact the opposition were convinced their foul would stop play and the striker was aware if he just kept going he could be free and clear
Give the player a moment or two to recover BEFORE considering stopping play to see just what the player is made of. Remember that we could STILL show a card at the next stoppage. Look to see or gauge the pain or retaliation threshold but the satisfaction of a player being unceremoniously dumped before you , sliding along the ground, the opposition relaxing fully expectation the whistle and up he pops and off he goes on a clean break away is one of those as good as it gets moments that we find in a match.

Wait a moment or two to see if things go well. Signal with ARM SWEEP and yell ADVANTAGE, then watch and see if in fact this advantage is one we are ok with yell PLAY ON ! and drop the arms. WE are not coming back here. Card might be required at the next stoppage but the free kick opportunity has passed. You can say things like, I will be back to you #14 blue if the culprit is antsy and to signify your ARs, hey do not let me forget.

In the area in and around the PA. Shhh quiet lets WAIT & SEE what transpires in the next few seconds, if the result is a goal we are thumbs up! Kick off great decision!
If there is a clear DFK foul inside the PA then as a PK it is a 80% certainty of a goal being scored. If the player was on his way in or about to shoot chances are no matter what transpires, the PK WILL be awarded unless a goal results. I can tell you if it is a red card SFP or VC ONLY a goal result stops the PK. If you yell and signal advantage and when everybody is resigned to a PK and then a decent opportunity taken misses it puts you in a tough place.

If the result is a fail, a header gone awry, an off balanced stub or the defenders close in enough to take away the angle. The opportunity must be at minimum equal the of a PK, not just a shot, then we are in PK mode.

If the ball was alone, 1 yard out from the goal line in the middle of the goal and the onside attacker with no one near pops the ball up & over the crossbar we might not go with that PK as it could be self evident the opportunity to score was EVEN better than the PK . In my opinion only, if the initial incident was a red card incident then ONLY a goal stops the PK. .

For the most part either the ball winds up in the back of the old onion skin or we are 12 yards out and the red card thus send off could be added to what likely was only yellow before. Although I think the new yellow for a reasoned attempt is a better solution than an auto red for DOGSO !

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Here the referee must ask:

What is a better chance to score, the PK (85% goal or higher at pro levels) or allowing play to proceed. Keep in mind if you allow play proceed, then the attacker will not have the ease of knowing that he gets a relaxed 12 yard shot in which the keeper has to remain on the goal line until the ball is kicked opportunity. That said, I would argue that most of the time...the PK is the better deal...but NOT ALWAYS. The referee must make a decision. What you cannot do, is give 2 bites at the cherry. That is if attack is given advantage and they 'mess it up'...we cannot give them the PK. If you determine the advantage does not pursue (in a few seconds, per the LOTG), then you can always call the PK. I know that doesnt answer the question as clear as you wanted...but do you see what I mean?

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