When things go wrong

Discussion in 'Referee' started by voiceoflg, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. voiceoflg

    voiceoflg Member

    Dec 8, 2005
    In a class in Birmingham, @coreyrock had a segment on what to do when things go wrong. He shared a moment where he called for a corner kick and the CR called for a throw-in.

    I'm sure all 40+ of us in that class could have told at least one story, taking up the rest of the class time. But I'd love to hear your stories here. Tell us about a time something went horribly wrong and what you did afterward.

    The biggest cluster I had so far, thankfully, was only on a U9 girls game. I'm AR1 and the center just got certified a few weeks before and had never had the whistle until this game. I don't remember the colors...so I'll just say red leading blue 4-3 late in the second half. Blue throws the ball in over the heads of the defenders to a teammate in an offside position. But of course, there is no offside on a throw-in. Blue has a one on one with the keeper and the center blows his whistle. Blue coach loses it and I walk up to the center. I asked "What did you have" and he said "Offside. I'm surprised you didn't raise your flag." "There is no offside on a throw-in." His face went from "You idiot for not raising your flag" to "Dang, I'm the idiot." If the one on one resulted in a goal, it would have been 4-4. Since the soccer gods have a sense of humor, the final score was 4-3.

    The CR suggested a re-throw in and the coaches were OK with it. I had a brain freeze and didn't think it should have been a drop ball for an inadvertent whistle until after the restart happened. The CR worked hard, ran a lot and showed promise. I am convinced it was a mistake he won't make again. It was "only" a U9 game. But to the players, parents and even coaches, it might as well have been Moscow 2018.

    Your turn.
    dadman repped this.
  2. SA14mars

    SA14mars Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’ve had a number of games as a trail AR where I am the only one on the crew to see a VC offense that occurs near the center who either doesn’t see it, doesn’t interpret it the same way, or doesn’t know who did it.
  3. Dayton Ref

    Dayton Ref Member+

    May 3, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Chicago Fire
    I had that in a HSBV game where the ball was out for a throw a player was down on the ground, legs tangled with an opponent, and the opponent stomps on the guy on the ground. I separate the players, call the center over, and tell him that there was a stomp that made clear contact. He goes and hands out a YC then tells me after the game that I should have communicated that it was a RC offense. I wanted to smack him.

    I had a game where I played advantage on a reckless challenge then couldn't find the offender. I lost the fouled player at that point because he had been a target for a couple of fouls too. I still can't believe that A) I didn't have a RC in that game as it slowly went downhill and I couldn't turn it around B) neither of my ARs could help me find the culprit.
    dadman and GearRef repped this.
  4. GearRef

    GearRef Member

    Manchester City
    United States
    Jan 2, 2018
    La Grange Park, Illinois
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    U19B college showcase and I’m AR2. Play near the center circle/halfway line intersection closest to me and I’m jogging up with 2LD, quickly glancing at the defender to stay in position then quickly looking back at play. Then boom, whistle, yelling from parents, players, and cries for a red for a hand to the face. I missed the whole thing. And since all of my other games were canceled for that day, I missed a clear VC and I couldn’t even say “it was my X game of the day and I was out of it.” After hitting the whistle, R looked at me and tapped back pocket, but I could only give him a shrug because I hadn’t seen any of it. He ended up going yellow, because (in his words): a) college showcase so trying to keep players on the field and b) he didn’t have the reinforcement from me. Fortunately, it ended up not being a big deal in the scope of the match or the tournament (it was one of the last games and since it was a showcase we had no finals) and the R didn’t seem super bothered about it, but I was so pissed about such a textbook call for an assistant to make that I didn’t even catch a glimpse of.
    dadman repped this.
  5. GearRef

    GearRef Member

    Manchester City
    United States
    Jan 2, 2018
    La Grange Park, Illinois
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Your first story reminds me of a similar incident in a U18 girls MWC (former MRL) game. 2 players (attacker and defender) go down in the PA after a legal challenge by defender. They get tangled up and ball gets cleared away and the referee turns around to follow it, but I knew something was coming (it was a heated match) and sure enough, attacker kicks at face of defender. Fortunately my R was a young up and coming state referee and she immediately understood that it was a send off. One of my proudest moments as an AR. Sucks that your R dropped the ball on that one.
    dadman and IASocFan repped this.
  6. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    Lol that may be the worst thing Corey has ever done but I’ve done way worse than that. Way worse.
    rh89, Charron and dadman repped this.
  7. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    Probably for me, the time I called an offside late in a U12 or so game. The field was laid out on a diagonal to the fence line, and what I thought was clearly off wasn't. I wondered why my AR hadn't put her flag up - because it wasn't offside if you were looking at the correct angle.

    I wouldn't call R and AR disagreeing on throw-in direction or GK/CK that much of a "things gone wrong" situation. Although it can get into a little bit of a Alphonse and Gaston routine (look it up young'uns) if the center switches thinking the AR was in a better place to see it, just as the AR switches to agree with the center.
    dadman repped this.
  8. ptref

    ptref Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Aug 5, 2015
    Bowling Green, KY
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The best thing you can do when things are going in the crapper is just forget about it and move on to the next play. You can't change what has already happened.
    Kempa, voiceoflg, Gary V and 1 other person repped this.
  9. SkiRacer

    SkiRacer New Member

    United States
    Oct 19, 2018
    This probably wasn't the worst because it had no affect on the game, but certainly made me look the dumbest. I am center for U12 girls game. Attacking team takes a shot that I think went off the crossbar. Attacking team gets the rebound and puts it away. I don't look at my AR, signal for the goal and start walking to center circle. When I finally look over at AR he is standing there with flag out point for goal kick. I run over to talk to him and he says the ball actually did not hit the cross bar, it hit the bar behind the crossbar and was out of play. They were odd nets. I explain to the coaches what happened and we restart with a goal kick. The parents were furious. Oh well, at least we got it right. I learned my lesson to always look over to the AR before signaling for a goal.
  10. refjack951

    refjack951 Member

    Nov 25, 2018
    I had a similar situation in a HSBV game but the offender got into the crowd while I was dealing with the wreckage. Neither AR had the number. I had the teams segregated from each other. Went over to the perp's team and asked "who dun it?" Silence. Ok then, #3 (team captain), come here. He came over, I started reaching in my pocket to book him and he blurted out the perp's number. I got him and booked him. Later the team captain asked if I was really going to book him for it to which I just said, "darn right, if you don't have the integrity to make sure things are right, then according to Law 5, in my opinion, you're acting in an unsporting manner and deserve it not to mention by your silence, you condone it and you're a liar too. I appreciate your honesty sir"
    RefIADad, IASocFan, dadman and 3 others repped this.
  11. voiceoflg

    voiceoflg Member

    Dec 8, 2005
    There was more to it than just the throw-in/CK. And it led to a goal in a game that ended 1-0. If he wants, I'll let Corey tell the whole thing himself. But it was a bit of a mess from the video and audio he shared.

    I have another one from the U-littles. U10 state rec tournament, dual. Throughball to a player in an offside position. Parent yells "OFFSIDE" and the player was, in a non-buildout line game, offside. I blew my whistle and immediately saw the player receiving the pass was still behind the buildout line. Offside is not adjudicated until the player is on the goal side of the buildout line. I screwed up. A parent whined to me not once, not twice, but THREE times "It was a one on one with the keeper!" Yes, but if the goal had scored, it would have been 6-0 instead of the 5-0 it was currently. I made a mistake but it didn't warrant the amount of heartburn the parent had.
    gaolin and GearRef repped this.
  12. Dayton Ref

    Dayton Ref Member+

    May 3, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Chicago Fire
    Yeah, my captain chose to eat the card for his teammate...
  13. funref13

    funref13 New Member

    Dec 12, 2019
    My first game ever as a referee was as a 15 year old AR1 on a U15 game and my first flag was to call offsides on a throw in. Let's just say, I got a very quick introduction to the famous Scottish coach temper and accent.

    More recently, I have been doing a lot of D1 4th officials in college and have been working on where to focus my eyes. I had a game where I was the 4th where two players were coming near me and one player cleared the ball and I moved my eyes with the ball. I look back a few seconds later and one player is on the ground very pissed off and the coach is giving me the business for missing what happened. No evidence of conduct sufficient to trigger replay but a moment that really heated up the game. It was a very strong reminder of the importance of the 4th official acting as a trail eye.
    dadman and voiceoflg repped this.
  14. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    Why not just ask the victim's team, particularly the victim. E.g. victim is still down and both of you are waiting for the trainer. Squat down and say, real quiet, "Hey, I missed the number. Who did it?"

    Or ask the guy on their team who is the angriest. You'll make him feel a little better and, maybe, he'll calm down and not retaliate right after the restart and, given his emotional state, it's very unlikely, IMHO, that he'll give you the number of someone other than the perp. Just get him away from his teammates, if you can and talk to him as quietly as possible.

    If you haven't got what you need, use what you got.
    dadman, MJ91, voiceoflg and 1 other person repped this.
  15. RefGil

    RefGil Member

    Dec 10, 2010
    Not just for the 4th. For the CR, too: "Stay with the shooter, stay with the passer". Nothing is going to happen to the ball in the next 0.25 seconds, but something may very well happen to the person that just got rid of the ball.

    Just keep repeating it in your head until it sticks: "Stay with the shooter, stay with the passer."
    RefIADad, dadman, MJ91 and 1 other person repped this.
  16. SouthernYank

    SouthernYank Member

    Sep 21, 2010

    SemiPro/UPSL game. Away team already on a red card. 5 minutes left in the game and the losing away team gives a hard foul. The away player who did the fouling somehow ends up in the air and lands on the player on the ground. No stomp, and he really didn't have anywhere to put his feet, but.... It was going to be a yellow card even before his landing on the player. The player on the ground was understandably furious. I could tell from that look in his eyes that he was going to do something dumb, so I got in front of him and repeated, "he is getting a yellow card, he is getting a yellow card". After about 5 seconds of him looking over my shoulder at the opponent, he looks at me and calms down and is good. Now after all of this commotion, I have no idea who it was anymore. Ask AR1, who ran on in case of a mass confrontation, for the number, and all I get is a blank stare. Crap. Loudly announce the restart is on the whistle, and as I go to have the Captain who is setting up for the free kick move the ball to the correct spot, I say, "I forgot which guy did it. What number?" He gladly tells me, I call him over, card him and we are good to go.

    As Law5 says, use what you got. The fouled team can help, just be sure they are not setting you up at the same time and giving you someone on a yellow that didn't do it.
    Law5, IASocFan, dadman and 3 others repped this.
  17. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    Screw ups are like love... let me count the ways...

    Giving your CR the info:
    I was AR on a u17 state cup semi final. Attack results in a 1v1 with the keeper, who ends up blocking the ball with his hands outside the box. The attacker chased the ball down and shot wide. I return to the 18 and flag up. I called the center over and said “I have dogso on the keeper for handling outside the box.” He restarted with a dfk and no misconduct. The attacking team lost 1-0. The winning team was from the same club as my son’s u16 team, which also had the same coach- they won state cup the next day (as did the u16s). The CR who didn’t send off the keeper had no idea how much grief he saved me from my son’s coach.

    Staying alert as trail AR or 40 so important:
    AR1 for a d1 ladies spring game. I’m at midfield while a corner gets set up on AR2’s side for the home team when a visiting lady stamps the Achilles of a home player near the far goal line. AR2 was blocked and CR had turned to get into position and neither of them saw anything, but I had it clearly. The girl goes down in agony and it’s gonna get ugly (the one time I’ve ever heard a player yell “you ********ing psycho!”). I realized they didn’t have it so I ran over to help defuse and isolate and report- visiting coach furious I made the call from 60 yds away, home coach furious that the closer referees missed it. Fun times....

    my own personal failures are too many to list but here are a few...

    U17 boys, low level but competitive. Gave a dfk just outside the 18 for a team who had a mildly injured but on the ground (around midfield) player. Attacking team was setting up the kick and body language of kicker told me he was thinking quick, but the coach was going off about his player on the ground. I raised my whistle to my mouth, intending to hold the kick and address the injured player and the kicker strokes it into the net. I let the goal stand. I would handle this one differently now.

    Region III u19 boys. gave a delayed caution for a shirt pull by a defender on an attacker as he ran across the 18, outside the box and well away from play. The defender claimed his innocence and said “whose shirt did I pull?” I pointed to the player I thought it was and he said “I wasn’t even covering him!” I said (I am Asian) “all you white kids look alike to me.” It was an obvious joke but to be sure I heard about it later. I do not make such quips any more.

    U18 girls, state cup. I was CR. I had two younger but excellent ARs, one of whom is now in pro development. I crossed one AR a couple of times on oob calls no big deal. There was an injury on the spectator side and the coach came out and brought his sub on and then walked the injured player off the field off the same side. So player is off and sub complete so the other team starts playing right away. I didn’t whistle to restart but in the moment forgot it was required. Fortunately nothing came of it. The next day one of the AR’s was my center on a boys final. She asked the assignor to take me off the game. I pledged to her that I would have my act together and we did the game and it went fine. I remember that law very clearly now.

    U18 girls, state cup. I am AR 2 and the ref team has done well but we’re getting a fair bit of stick. Second half restart I unfurl my flag having counted 10 players. Center starts the half, and Lo! The gk in my half wasn’t on the field. That did not help our credibility. I still don’t count to eleven but I sure as hell make sure there’s a keeper in her area.

    u19 boys- gave a caution to an overzealous defender and later in the game he charges an opponent in the back. Not enough for yellow but I was going to talk to him about it. I’m pretty sure he’s the one on a yellow but I peek at my card (I use write on cards) to be sure. Opposing coach (British, of course) once he sees that I’m not giving the second yellow starts yelling about how I don’t have the courage to give the second yellow. He quickly backtracked but I make it a point to keep track of who’s on a caution a lot better now.

    whew! I wonder if this is what a catholic person feels like after confession. But, I think I improved a lot by reading others’ experiences on this board, so I thought I would share.
    Law5, IASocFan, dadman and 4 others repped this.
  18. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    My worst was some 40 years ago . . . I was around 13 doing a dual on U8 or u10 game with a ref who was probably in his first year and I was probably in my third. My colleague made a horrifically bad OS call with a few minutes late in the game--he lost a defender who was 10 yards or more back, probably picking dandelions. The OS call stopped a breakaway, and I got in my head I should try to fix it. I ran oer to talk to him, and he basically let me into talking him out of the call. So, of course the restart is a DB, right? So I did the DB, with only the attacker who would have had the breakaway there. (No, I didn't chase anyone away--it wasn't quite that bad...) That attacker was about the only one on the field besides me who had a clue what was happening, and he went down and scored, I think to tie the game. To the confusion of absolutely everyone. :( That was my major lesson in "there are some things you just can't fix."
    dadman repped this.
  19. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

    Mar 2, 2012
    Yep, Atlanta
    Atlanta United FC
    Heh, that reminds me of one of mine (my many). This was one of my very first duals ever, years ago, I think it was a JV boys game but it might have been middle school. I don't remember the precise particulars but somehow we got fouled up on the restart on encroachment on a PK, gave a retake, and then, with help from the screaming coaches, decided that hadn't been right. But, because we had already done the restart we couldn't change it.

    That was bad enough of course, but to make it way worse I told the teams "Yep, we screwed it up, but we can't fix it." :confused::eek:

    My partner had a little chat with me about that after the game.
    dadman repped this.
  20. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    Interesting. So much for sticking together. I don't know how I'd feel about working with someone who I knew didn't want me there.
  21. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    Well, it didn’t feel great but I certainly don’t blame her- it was my errors that made her not have confidence. And these games have stakes (regional play, club reputation blah blah) and as such are not the time for didactics and warm fuzzies, but rather the best crew for the game. And if I wasn’t one of them then that’s no one’s fault but my own.
    appwrangler and dadman repped this.
  22. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Sporting KC
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Great points on this whole thread. As a center, I try very hard to make sure I keep eyes on the passer for a beat or two after the ball's away. I need to do better doing the same thing for a shooter. My AR (assuming I have one who is paying attention) can help me if the ball goes in the goal.

    As a 4th, I work with the center to make sure he/she knows where I'm supposed to be looking to assist them. When I'm the center, I ask my 4th to first look for anything behind my back near the benches. I want to make sure the coaches and players know the 4th has eyes on things between and/or near the benches. If nothing is happening between the benches, I ask the 4th to watch the quadrant of the field that the trail AR isn't watching (the trail also watches behind my back) If the trail AR is watching near side because that's where the ball is, the 4th should look far side and vice versa.

    As a 4th, this has the added benefit of me legitimately being able to tell a coach that my primary focus is watching behind the referee's back, so I can say with truth that I'm not really watching the area around the ball during the inevitable times the coach screams, "Did you see that??" :)
  23. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Sporting KC
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    So my big mess-up happened in a girls high school regional final last spring. I was on a multi-use field with lines for football, soccer, and lacrosse. I had a total brain lock and initially awarded a penalty kick for a foul that was a yard outside of the penalty area. I just got my lines confused. Fortunately, my lead AR is an excellent AR and someone I trust completely - and one who knows that I won't be offended if he tells me I need to change a call. As soon as he motioned me over, I knew exactly why. I just said, "Outside the area, right?" When he nodded, I changed my call.

    I swung over to the attacking team's coach and just said I made a mistake. She was fine with it (I think she knew it was really a free kick). Fortunately, the attacking team in this case was up 3-0 and dominating the game when I made this call.
    IASocFan repped this.
  24. malackym

    malackym Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Warren Ohio
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Had a High School boys varsity game between two of the better local teams and I whistled for goal kick restart. I wouldn't say the keeper miss hit the short, but it was very weak past the 18 in the middle of the field. An opponent sprinted from around mid field and got to the ball quickly and scored after going one on one with the keeper. The keeper immediately began to argue that we shouldn't have restarted as his defenders were ushering a 2nd ball off the field that had come onto the field from one of the ball boys, and he tried to stop in the middle of his kick. The defenders said the same thing. I thought the teams were ready and that is why I restarted, I did, however, wonder where the defenders were.

    I checked with both AR's and didn't get any help from either of them, both thought play should have been restarted. The keepers coach wanted an explanation, and I went over and told him what I saw, that we were ready to play. He was a former High School referee and told me thank you and we went on with the game that ended up 1 - 0.

    The next day I received a very polite email from the coach with a video attached that was taken by one of the parents in the stands. The video clearly showed there is no way I should have restarted the play, both center backs were off to the side of the field getting a 2nd ball off the field, which was still on the field when I blew my whistle. I don't recall if I motioned to the keeper to restart or not.

    I replied to the coach, the AR's and the assigner of the game apologizing for my obvious mistake, thanking him for the video.

    Anytime I want a little bit of humble pie, I listen to the parents comments during the video, they were wondering what in the world I was looking at! It was a video of the whole game and the rest of the way no matter what was called, I had not credibility with the fans. I've been very conscious of 2nd balls on the field ever since.

  25. LampLighter

    LampLighter BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Bugeaters FC
    Apr 13, 2019
    I don't know about this, you whistled for the start yes but the keeper doesn't know where his CBs are? He just kicked it not knowing what was going on? Also it takes how many players to get a rogue ball off the field?

    Maybe for a lower level game where the players aren't very skilled or knowledgeable but I don't think you should feel too bad about this one. Maybe wrong to whistle to start but the keeper could've taken a bit longer if they were paying attention.
    malackym and Soccer Dad & Ref repped this.

Share This Page