How can you tell a dive from a real foul?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Linus Tulagi, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Linus Tulagi

    Linus Tulagi Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    St. Paul, Mn
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How can a ref tell a dive from a real foul? I know that a lot is missed and that there is some Oscar-winning acting out there, but are there some tell-tale signs out there for knowing when it's a dive? I've been watching soccer for years now and the only thing I've heard along these lines is that if the player roll over and over after a foul/dive it's most likely a dive.
  2. falcon.7

    falcon.7 New Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    For me, it's sort of an instinctive feeling. There are times when it's obvious (i.e. you know there's no contact, the player goes flying, and the other guy looks at you like "I didn't touch him, I swear!"), but if you see enough trips/pushes/clips/elbows, you get a sense of what happens when two players come together in certain ways. Also, 99% of the time the player does not expect to be tripped, so you get this sort of rag doll effect when they go down. It's the full extension arms, both legs in the air, grimacing face, and the "I'VE BEEN SHOT" scream that usually reveals the truth.

    Generally though as a referee, when you see a true dive, you know immediately. It's the first thing that pops into your head when the guy goes down. And that's because most players aren't good enough at diving to simulate the effects of actual contact. They just go airborne and hope for the best. :rolleyes:
  3. NJ Ref

    NJ Ref New Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Central New Jersey
    Ask them if they are Italian?

    My apologies to non-diving Italians. Seriously, it is clearly the judgment of the official. I don’t know if you could rely on the “rolling” phenomena. I’ve seen real injuries where the play does the roll thing.

    The problem for the official is that you want to error on the side of safety for the players. For limited-sub matches (where subs are limited to 3 to 6 per match), injured players that leave the pitch should have to stay off for some time…say five minutes. You see too many so-called injuries where the player does all the dramatics of rolling around holding some body part. Amazing, they are miraculously cured as soon as that hit the touchline. They typically re-enter within seconds of leaving the pitch. This time constrain would hopefully reduce the dives and could be justified by saying that it’s time need for a physician to thoroughly evaluate the severe injury before the player returns to the pitch.
  4. campton

    campton New Member

    May 1, 2007
    Or you know its coming (ie my highschool season). I was dribbling straight into the 18 at the half cicrle. A kid flys into me studs up into my knee and i knew there was no way to get ou t of it. I dive up still get hit, start screaming in pain. Referee comes over to yell at me (sees my bloody knee) cautions the other guy :). He thought i dove. Dont always use the "they didnt see it coming" as a reference point.
  5. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If the player lands in the dirt, it's a foul; on the grass is a dive. :D
  6. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    A player who dives is also likely to make a few rolls on the grass (or dirt) as he clutches the hurt body part.
  7. SccrDon

    SccrDon Member+

    Dec 4, 2001
    Colorado Springs
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Absolutely agree. Only when diving really hurts the teams will coaches get their players to quit doing it.

    Great dive call against Palacios (FA Cup game) over the weekend. It was obviously a dive at live speed, and the replay confirmed that there was no contact, but as stated above it's hard to define exactly what made me so sure it was a dive.
  8. ThreeCards

    ThreeCards New Member

    May 31, 2005
    Texas Hill Country
    A couple of things to keep in mind here.

    1. An attempt to trip someone, is still a foul. I've seen fouls not called simply because contact is not made, which is incorrect. If a player trys to initiate contact, causing his opponent to jump over him, no matter what happens after that, including intentional contact, a fall, and a few rolls, the foul was still "attempting to trip an opponent". Obviously, if a player is simply standing his ground and an oncoming opponent makes contact before hitting the ground, the call should go the other way.

    2. If you don't see a foul, you shouldn't call it. If I don't see someone hit the ball with his hand, I don't call handling. If I don't see someone trip or attempt to trip a player, I don't call the foul, no matter what theatrics follow.

    Actually, I still think that the whole diving issue could be resolved in large part if referees would simply quit applying advantage when players are fouled within shooting distance of the goal. I understand that we would all rather see the player continue his attack after being fouled, but chances are he's going to lose what little goal scoring opportunity he had, or take a dive anyway, so we might as well make the call and let take his chances with a free kick.
  9. saabrian

    saabrian Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Leicester City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If they roll over once or twice, it might be legit. More than that, it's probably a dive.
  10. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    May 3, 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC
    The decision needs to be made before the player hits the ground...based on the contact (or lack thereof) and not on the reaction of any of the players. IMHO
  11. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    You can't go soley by this, players easily can be tripped with a real foul, then play it up when they hit the ground. You see this all the time. It's still a foul, and yes it can ALSO be embellishment, but it doesn't remove the foul.
  12. campton

    campton New Member

    May 1, 2007
    Ask them if their last name would happen to be Drogba :)
  13. striker

    striker Member+

    Aug 4, 1999
    When the first thing that the "fouled" player does is to look at the ref, some times even before he/she hits the ground.
  14. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    May 3, 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Definitely a "tell" that they're "bluffin'"!!!!
  15. DerbyRam54

    DerbyRam54 Member

    Apr 26, 2005
  16. lmorin

    lmorin Member+

    Mar 29, 2000
    New Hampshire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If a player is running full tilt and clipped at the heel, he can go down instantly like a ton of bricks. He doesn't take any extra steps, then fall down. Compare that with the two feet trailing mode characteristic of many dives. Soccer divers, as do swimming divers, use a two-footed launch. If a player falls or dives forward head first and both feet trailing, it is almost certainly a dive.

    Running players nearly always have one foot either in the process of swinging forward or already there. In either case, that front foot should reach or be on the ground. If, somehow, it never gets there, you have to ask, "Why not?" By far the most likely answer is that the player kept it in the air and thus, contributed to the appearance of being fouled because he can't stay up without that foot on the ground. If it looks like a two-footed launch, it's a dive. There are exceptions, but they are few and very far between. One clear exception occurs when the path of the foot moving forward is blocked. That, in all likelihood, would be a trip.

    Remember that good soccer players have exquisite balance and it really takes a significant touch to knock them down. Two feet trailing is not conducive to good balance.
  17. Press

    Press Member

    May 8, 2007
    Also note the field location where the potential dive occured. Players will almost never dive in their defensive 1/3 of the field, and they will only rarely dive in the middle 1/3 of the field. However, in the attacking 1/3 of the field and the PA, where there is a clear benefit of a good dive, the players will dive more frequently. In addition, teams with a good FK specialist will dive frequently in those areas where that FK specialist is particularly accurate.

    The most important aspect of calling the dive/foul is the positioning of the referee. The referee must run hard to be close enough to the play to see the tackle clearly and must view the tackle from a wide enough angle to see the separation between the opponents just before and at the moment of the tackle. This position will allow the referee to make the correct call. Any other position results in referee "guess work".

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