My fault sendoff(s)

Discussion in 'Referee' started by chwmy, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    I had a hs boys game the other day. Varsity, for whatever that means around here.

    Team A is getting hammered at home, last game of the season. They have a couple of skill players who have no sense of team involvement, so all they do is dribble, lose the ball, and get frustrated.

    A #11 is heating up. I can see the mist forming. He is swearing at his teammates for being "lame as f*ck." His challenges are sloppier and he's grabbing more, but still not over the level of physicality that I've allowed so far.

    Six minutes to go he is legally dispossessed by B #25 with a shoulder charge and he snaps. He shoves B25 from behind, who stops, turns around and pushes back. A11 then throws B25 to the ground. I'm already heading in after the first shove but both players' teammates are in faster and separate the two. Since it is a crowd, I stop at a little distance and watch. As the players are moving apart, B25 turns back and charges A11 again, and is prevented from reaching him by being literally tackled by his teammate at the last second.

    Until the last bit I had red for A11 and yellow for B25, but given he went back for more after the situation was defused, I sent him off too.

    My issues: 1: I wonder if calling a smaller foul or two on A11 could have given me a chance to talk him down. Doing so would not have been consistent with how I had called the match, so may have just inflamed him more. 2: I feel like getting in and sending off A11 immediately would have kept B25 from charging back in, but there were so many players about (and in front of B bench) that I didn't want to miss anything until it was clear the situation was cool.

    So in sum, I feel like I could have prevented two reds, and didn't. I know every mass confrontation is different, but in this case it wasn't really mass confrontation, just two with several people separating them.

    Any thoughts from those wise on this board, to whom I am already indebted?
    dadman repped this.
  2. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

    Mar 2, 2012
    Yep, Atlanta
    Atlanta United FC
    Sometimes HS idiocy just happens. But in reading your account, what struck me was that to some extent you did sense it coming and perhaps could have done something before the explosion, like maybe when "A #11 is heating up. I can see the mist forming. He is swearing at his teammates for being 'lame as f*ck'" happens, you blow and take that opportunity either to talk him down a bit or even to caution him then and there for UB -- which I think is probably supportable at that point in a HS game and gives you the further advantage, in a HS game, of getting him off the field to cool off.
    BTFOOM, dadman, chwmy and 4 others repped this.
  3. Pittsburgh Ref

    Oct 7, 2014
    da 'Burgh
    Yeah it sounds like even though Dr Schweitzer was physically in line with the others, there was a countdown clock ticking. Even if not calling a foul, sometimes the break of a couple stern words in his grill can put the bear back in his cave. And it's fine for X action to be fair early and foul late, especially if you can taste the stupid coming.

    I think confrontation-wise, you did right not to wade in (solo, right?) once the lizard-brain party started.
    dadman and chwmy repped this.
  4. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    When the game is no longer in doubt, and tension is rising, it's a really good time to take air out of the game. Lower the foul bar -- on everyone. Slow down restarts. Talk to players who are getting hot. The "maybe" caution becomes a card -- handled calmly and slowly. We can't always save them from themselves, but sometimes we can.
    camconcay, BTFOOM, dadman and 6 others repped this.
  5. ptref

    ptref Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Manchester United FC
    How about deal with the foul language? That's an easy thing to deal with. Even though he was speaking to teammates, if you can hear it, it's an easy thing to deal with.
    chwmy and fairplayforlife repped this.
  6. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    There's nothing wrong with doing a fly by and telling him "Don't do anything stupid" or "I know you guys are struggling but keep your cool," etc.

    If you sense that he's still getting close to the boiling point, I've actually waited until the next stoppage, called over to the coach, "Coach, 25 is doing stupid stuff out here. You want to sub him or shall I?" The coach couldn't get his sub up to the halfway line fast enough. Of course, some of being able to pull that sort of thing off is that you aren't a newbie and you have a general idea about whether the coach is likely to respond the right way to your suggestion. IMHO, high school coaches are much more likely to respond favorably to that sort of approach than any other level of the game. In our state, they may be inspired by the cost of red cards, and the fine doubles in the last game of the season. The kid sitting a game is no big deal but you've got to explain a fine to your AD.

    I agree with socal lurker than slowing things down in a blow out is also a very good idea. Just a half second longer whistling for a restart, getting the throw-in or free kick location just right, waiting not only for the exiting player to be completely off before waving on the sub but also giving the sub all the time they need to get into their position, etc.

    When bad stuff starts anyway, hard whistle and I mean HARD. Anybody near you should be covering their ears. And get there instantly, especially if it's just two guys. I'm small but I will still jump between them if I'm close enough. They aren't mad at me, just each other. That way, I'm the excuse they have for not doing anything more. "I woulda kicked your ass, but the ref wouldn't let me." If you stand back and let two guys fight, in my experience, it will become a mass confrontation. You are giving permission for them to fight. I'm not talking about grabbing people's arms, etc. because that's not going to turn out well. (The other guy will punch him while you're holding him or they start kicking each other.) I am saying that you and your whistle are close enough to get them to break their focus on each other and look at you. Now the chest goes down, they take a deep breath and you can dispense plastic.
    camconcay, Bio-Hazard, dadman and 5 others repped this.
  7. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

    Mar 2, 2012
    Yep, Atlanta
    Atlanta United FC
    ...especially if you use your backup Sonik. :whistling:;)
    uniqueconstraint, Raider025 and chwmy repped this.
  8. cmonref

    cmonref Member

    Oct 16, 2016
    chwmy repped this.
  9. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

    Mar 2, 2012
    Yep, Atlanta
    Atlanta United FC
    The Acme Thunderer is actually rated for 130db vs. 120 for the Sonik and the Valkeen. Anybody use a Thunderer for breaking up fights? The Sonik is pretty darn painful when wielded appropriately.
    dadman and chwmy repped this.
  10. seattlebeach

    seattlebeach Member

    May 11, 2015
    Thanks for posing this one, @chwmy. A few thoughts/conversation starters.

    First, note that nobody has said anything about your second issue - preventing the second red. It sounds to me like you handled that exactly correctly. Unless the players were yelling at you for not having (yet) carded, you're right to handle the incident first, the consequences second, even if the incident ends up going longer. It's not like presenting the red card would mean he would teleport off the pitch (can't wait for that science), so you can't know what B25 would have done. It's certainly not your fault that you gave a second red card: his charge, his card.

    Second, how to handle the foaming-at-the-mouth player is really tricky, because it's not always clear what is going to calm him down. The lesson I've learned over time is that the ref's authority at that moment may not be important to that player - you have to figure out what's going to bring change. Most of the time, at least for me, calling an extra foul on that player or doing a "don't do anything stupid" fly-by makes it worse - I'm calling him out specifically in a public way, and he doesn't care about me at that moment. So if there is a quiet moment where I can talk to him about his frustration and keeping him on the pitch (which hardly ever happens), or (more often) if there's another player on the pitch who I can trust, I try to find a way to do that.

    I also will talk to the coach, although I tend to get close and use language that's more like "Coach, can you help me with 25?" If she doesn't know what's going on, I'll explain - act as if we're a team. Obviously it does depend on the in-game relationship with the coach and your on-field personality.

    Sometimes you don't have a lot of options, and so cards are the thing you have left. I just try very hard to make that the last piece.
    RespectTheGame, BTFOOM, dadman and 2 others repped this.
  11. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    Many thanks for everyone's comments. Always trying to add to my toolbox!

    I tried to review what/when I could have said on a flyby, or had called a decompressing foul to A11 and certainly I had a chance or two- as Seattle beach had insight to, I think I was hesitant because it seemed that this kid was not going to respond to the usual inputs. I also have to admit that I might not have tried as hard because he was such a brat.

    I feel bad for B25 because he's a good kid and without provocation would never have given any trouble.

    I will definitely make a point of taking the air out of a decided game. Sure, it's dull but safe! And the kids deserve that. I will also use my whistle (valkeen) more persistently when a situation is ongoing. I feel like if I had read this a little better, I could have been less passive and spared b25 from a sendoff.
    dadman and Bubba Atlanta repped this.
  12. BTFOOM

    BTFOOM Member+

    Apr 5, 2004
    MD, USA
    FC Bayern München
    I salute the idea behind your quote above in bold, but the specifics of that statement won't go over well with any coach. You think you are helping, but in fact you are making things worse. You are now telling a coach how to manage his team - not a ref's role. If you look at @seattlebeach and his discussion, you will see how much more palatable it is to a coach.
  13. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    i think these sorts of strategies suggested by law5 and seattlebeach are all tools, and as such they are excellent to have and remember, but which one you use when will be variable. so the more tools you have, the higher chance you have of successfully navigating the situation. unfortunately, only experience can tell you when to use what, but i know the surest way to flounder is to have no tools at all.
    Law5, dadman and chaoslord08 repped this.
  14. wh1s+1eR

    wh1s+1eR Member

    Apr 23, 2017
    You already had read it better - when mist formed (is this american slang, for smoke before fire).
    I am new here, but referee long while. To us better practice is to nip in bud. My practice is to manage early as soon as recognise situation.

    This is boys school match, so 16-17 years. I do same in men matches. Call captain and this shouting player. Place them away so no other player hearing. Then I talk to captain mainly that I will take action if your teammate continue with shout and other stuff. I add (if necessary), I like the passion/intencity, and like to maintain, but this shout/bad language must stop. Understand? Then talk to him, now. I tell captain that this is his chance to show leadership. This way, he take charge. Only after no success I involve coach.

    I dont do hard whistle, and I dont wait for game no longer in doubt. (no disrespect to other people here) I create that quiet moment at the immediate next stoppage, even if I must go run across the field. The message is then transmitted to everyone watching. It never takes more than 30 seconds for me. I find later, when everyone see me working hard, then they start believing in my ability. Many match people tell me, not good to influence flow of game, then my back answer is to have good influence. When it happens, more bad, right?

    I work in kitchen, so to me, things must not get too hot, spoil everything. Same method. The player foaming at mouth, I observe during their warm-up, I find. Any information I use, do he also upset then? Generally, on one team purhaps two players are trouble-makers, no? They are not difficult to find. as others write, come with experience.

    And to me second caution red card is good indication of effective referee. Only one time I had this, also boys match, high level tournament, player commit two reckless challenges in back-back play. For me second caution is avoidable, very hard work, but great happiness.
  15. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    As I tried to make clear, the tool in question is suitable in some situations and not in others. You have to know the coach's most likely reaction.

    But, as far as "telling him how to manage his team," the alternative is to just caution the player which, in high school, means he goes to the bench for a while, i.e. I can "sub" him out by giving him a caution. How many coaches would prefer that I make that choice?
    roby and cmonref repped this.

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