The Letter? - "Observations on MLS' handling of Referees"

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Hitman, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Statesman

    Statesman New Member

    Sep 16, 2001
    The name says it all
    Evans is actually retired and lives in California, writing science articles in his free time for publication in various journals. He's published a few books and also helps with the instruction of soccer officials. He does indeed have a PhD in Geology though and a lot of us refer to him as Dr. Bob.

    Personally I refer to Contiguglia as "sir" but maybe that's just me :)
  2. sljohn

    sljohn Member

    Apr 28, 2001
    Out of town
    Okay, thanks for the clarification. Little did I know there are two Dr. Bob's associated with US soccer... in that case, I sure hope that Dr. Bob's missive will encourage Dr. Bob to put pressure on Mr. Garber to address the issue.
  3. Viking64

    Viking64 Member

    Feb 11, 1999
    Tarheel State
    Re: Observations on MLS refs

    two points. One, judgement is exactly what the issue "hurt." I think that refs could have been better than they were, because the meddling made them look dumb.

    Valderrama and Mastroeini could have been red carded during the Dallas vs. Colorado series. Neither were. I was waiting for a post-game suspension for Valderrama, and none came.
  4. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    JCU pondered:
    Llamosa was given an extra match suspension for his bump of a referee and failure to "not" go quietly into that good night. Not simply due to the 2nd caution. Good job, MLS.

    As far as RatsAss, many, many fans would have screamed bloody murder if MLS had let him off with only one game. Even some Chicago fans that I have heard from felt that three games was a light sentence. Personally, I hoped for 5 games and $5K fine (and maybe a referal to the DA for A&B charges ;) ).
  5. O-Maps

    O-Maps New Member

    Mar 13, 2002
    New Hampshire, USA
    When I saw Ratzov's assault, the question in my mind was not how many games he should be banned; it was how many years. Three would be about right.
  6. soccertim

    soccertim Member

    Mar 29, 2001
    One more thing about late game yellows. I've posted this before , but probably not here. The Revs had a game in August where Twellman was getting taken down all over the pitch by people who were carrying yellows and they kept getting "stern talking to's". It was determined at the time that of all of the yellows given (over 480) only 9, or 2%, were second yellows.

    Since this is the referee forum, I'm sure that dissent is probably your biggest issue. For me, though, it's the viloent and reckless play that goes unpunished. Not only do the skill players frequently get injured, but I can't imagine that such tactics would be beneficial to overseas recruiting.
  7. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, the cynical professional fouls and persistent infringement against the best players are the biggest detriments to the beautiful game. While we have created a permissive atmosphere that condones player dissent, a lot of dissent is also a result of the failure of referees to take action against these types of fouls.

    Flame away gents.
  8. SoFla Metro

    SoFla Metro Member

    Jul 21, 2000
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Totally agree
  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Alberto, who the hell is going to disagree with this? I don't think you'll need your asbestos suit for this commentary.
  10. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You never know. Someone may want to delude themsleves into thinking we make no mistakes and all dissent is a result of spoilt rotten players.
  11. Robert Evans

    Robert Evans New Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    MLS and this'n'that

    To clarify a few points:
    A few people who evidently know me starting referring to me as "Dr. Bob". I want to thank them for their respect but I do not routinely use the title, unless I am in an academic or medical environment (the latter gets the attention of personnel rather quicker than does one's name only). But for the sceptics, my genuine Ph.D. degree in geology was awarded by the University of Kansas on October 23rd, 1972. Call the university to verify; I am no Majid Jay.
    I wrote the article to stir the Referee Committee and the establishment into action to correct an obvious wrong. I hope that referees with knowledge of FIFA (Esse Baharmast, Vinnie Mauro, Arturo Angeles, for example) would take up the cause on behalf of the Federation that sent them to the World Cup, and on behalf of the international organization to which they contracted when they took up refereeing. Their contract was to "control the game" and "enforce the laws". If they are not supporting that objective, they should have the courage to say so.
    To reassure the person who writes from Colorado, I am not interested in a professional position as assigner of assessors for the USSF. I am a happy freelance writer who enjoys working without someone looking over my shoulder, unless it be one of my cats. And let me correct the impression that "Statesman" may have created; I took an early retirement from a corporation, but am now working full-time, not part-time, as a writer, and have no intention of giving up that position to become a servant of the MLS or the USSF. What work I do--continue to do--for the federation I can do in my freedom of independence.
    Incidentally, I notice that the syntax of the letter from Colorado bears the distinct style of an originally non-English speaker. I challenge him or her to put an identity to the assertions so that he or she and I can have a public discussion. My name has been on my statements: do you have the courage to put your name on your pronouncements?
    To repeat: Everything on my original article is accurate, and can be documented. You can take the statements literally.

    Bob Evans.
  12. Greyhnd00

    Greyhnd00 New Member

    Jan 17, 2000
    Rediculously far nor
    How remarkable that the actual dr bob would post on this board!! This reminds me of a couple of years back when I made a semi-appropriate post directed at someone who turned out to be landon donovans father..........Great to converse with these people!!! Who is next? Maybe Sepp Blatter? Maybe Jesus?
  13. Jesus C.

    Jesus C. New Member

    View from the top.

    Don't drag me into this mess.
  14. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City

    <whew> pure craziness! =)

    Seriouesly, fifa's gotta pull their heads out of their rears and find ways that technology will enhance the game. Yes, there are drawbacks, too. But that can be said for anything in life.
  15. MPJ334

    MPJ334 New Member

    Dec 19, 2001
    Chelsea,New York, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    is this a referee thread record for replies? (BC or AC)
  16. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's in second place AC. This is the 90th reply in this thread, and the "Hand Signal" thread with its comments on high school vs. USSF had 111 posts with its last post in early Sept. (Hopefully that's as far as it gets. :))
  17. Scott Zawadzki

    Feb 18, 1999
    Midlothian, VA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think that BC was probably The Referee's "Dirty Little Secret" thread.

    91st reply

  18. Brushes Sand

    Brushes Sand Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Mr. Evans,

    Thank you for your candor on this subject.
    Many MLS fans, and for that matter fans
    around the world, believe full-time professional
    referees are required at the highest level
    in the top 20 or 25 leagues worldwide to
    insure the issues you raise are resolved.

    However I think an additional caveat should
    be discussed, and I would like to solicit your
    opinion on this.....

    With the current Laws, and only two card types
    (red and yellow), beyond a "stern talking to"
    which appears to have little effect (as witnessed
    by Dallas fans watching Valderamma and Maestro
    in the recent playoff series), discipline may only be
    allocated in one of four methods:

    1. single yellow
    2. first yellow + second yellow = red
    3. first yellow + straight red
    4. straight red

    Thus, 75% of the discipline options result in a
    sending off. Limiting the "arrows in the quiver"
    for a referee prevents him/her from taking in
    to account all the subtle nuances and degrees
    of transgression in each and every foul.

    Is it not time for a more extensive, expanded
    system of discipline cards?

    If we remember our grade-school crib sheet,
    ROY G. BIV is the acronym for the electromagnetic


    Here in the states, the idea of showing a player
    a "green card" has a double entendre, but only
    here in the states would that be a problem.

    However, on TV yellow and orange look too
    similar, as do orange and red.

    So the ideal solution would be to "skip" orange,
    green, and indigo, and then have a four-card
    system as follows:

    Blue (Sky Blue or Aqua as opposed to Navy)
    Violet (Lavender as opposed to Deep Purple)

    A potential accumulation schema:

    1 Red = 2 Yellow
    1 Yellow = 2 Blue
    1 Blue = 2 Violet

    Another way to think about it is you get
    ejected with 8 discipline points in a game.

    Red = 8 pts
    Yellow = 4 pts
    Blue = 2 pts
    Violet = 1 pt

    Thus, 8 "violets" equals a red. Yes, this will
    slow down the game somewhat. But it would
    also allow the referrees greater autonomy to
    meter out discipline, and allow a much greater
    variance in level of discipline metered out given
    the severity of each situation.

    I forsee various mandates, like every instance
    of verbal abuse equals a Violet card, regardless
    of any other circumstances.

    Failure to immediately adhere to the 10-yard
    rule on free kicks results in a Violet card.

    Handballs in the box, like the one by Ryan
    Suarez of the Burn v. Metro, could be
    properly graded with a blue instead of a red
    as there was zero intent, and the only reason
    the handball occurred was because Suarez
    was attempting to shield his face from the
    oncoming shot. Remember the Warzycha
    handball at the end of a game two years ago?
    That's a red card: upright, and arm extended.
    Final corrolary: Torsten Frings on the goalline?
    Yellow, upright, but arm not extended.

    Dangerous play could be graded on severity.
    Tackles from behind could be graded on severity.

  19. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If the referee felt that there was zero intent on that play it would not have even been a pk let alone a send off. In this case, there would be no need for an additional type of card. If an offense like this is not considered a send off, then players would be encourage to try to con the referee in these instances and it would give some referees with a "crutch" to avoid a send off. That would do more IMO to create "political referees".

    As far as the Frings play, there was no handling on that play as there was no intent in the opinion of the referee. What you're suggesting in this situation, is a rewrite of law 12 that punishes even incidental handling.

    Now I'm not Mr Evans, but I did read the book that he co-wrote with another distinguished former US Fifa referee. In that book, it was stated that many things were made mandatory in the laws, because referees weren't doing their jobs. For instance, the caution for failing to give 10 yards was added because referees were not getting 10 yards. The point is, that referees have a set of tools. We need to use those tools to ensure a fair match. If we don't do that, the players will take advantage of us. If players are not responding to the set of tools that the we have, then the players aren't respecting the game and we as referees aren't doing our job.

    I'm not sure having a rainbow of cards at the referee's disposal is going to do anything to improve the game. If a player fails to respond to the quiet word, he should be cautioned. If he fails to respond to the cauition he should be sent off. It's that simple.
  20. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Don Garber is going to be on ESPN Chat at 6pm today. Please feel free to send in your questions? :D

    Since I will be at soccer practice, I will sadly miss the discussion. I would appreciate if someone could let me know if the issue of this thread is discussed. I did post my questions earlier today at the ESPN site in the hopes that Mr. Garber might have the courtesy of favoring a reply to my message on this evening's chat.
  21. Viking64

    Viking64 Member

    Feb 11, 1999
    Tarheel State
    the only thing I want to know is, will this start an earnest dialogue between the parties?

    Brushes Sand offers an option. Somewhat complex, but exacting.

    I'd go simpler. Every red card gets an automatic review by an MLS and ref assessor committee, that can rescind the suspension (but the player keeps the demerit points) or leave the suspension in place. With MLS doing video feeds over the internet, it cannot be too hard. (a red card that includes a persistent infringement will take more video, but that's surmountable.)

    For the good of the game, the referees need to feel free to show cards, period. For the safety of players, game decorum, and for the attacking nature of the game. If a post-game review shows that a suspension is harsh, they can rescind it. A joint discussion of assessors and league officials, split evenly, should be able to preserve the integrity of the game, the referee, and the assessment. If there is no majority, the call stands. On a given weekend there's what, 2 or 3 red cards at most?

    From what I can discern, MLS seems primarily concerned about having a star player suspended for another game. Most of the time the player deserves it. The small number of times it's questionable, MLS might prevail. I consider this a small amount of accountability, but enough to mollify MLS brass.
  22. Greyhnd00

    Greyhnd00 New Member

    Jan 17, 2000
    Rediculously far nor
    WHile I dont have a good feeling about the different color of cards(where would we put them all?) I think that the current NFHS rule of soft reds for second cautions is a good idea that allows referees another tool to keep a game under control. It is easier and less contriversial to send off a player when you know he can be replaced. Lots of crimes fit this punishment that dont fit the punishment of being forced to play a man down.
  23. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I understand where Grey is coming from on the soft red to an extent, but I can't totally agree. I think that once a player is carrying a caution he has to modify his behavior. The onus needs to be shifted back to the player to use his head and stay in the match. A caution can modify a player's behavior, but if it doesn't right away and he does something marginal, a referee can always reaffirm that the player is carrying a card and that HIS next act will put his team at a dissadvantage. In this case, the player's teammates can help keep a player in check. As referees, we can use this type of "quiet" word to our advantage. Besides, if the referee is fair and even in the way he deals with players, it is the player that is getting himself send off, not the referee sending the player off.

    Is DOGSO a soft red in NFHS?

    In a pro match, a soft red still presents problems because there are limited substitutions. If a player gets sent off on a soft red and all the substitutions are used, then the team still plays short. Referees need to have less fear when issuing a second caution. I think we need to be smart about it and make sure it is absolutely deserved, but it is the player who puts his team at a disadvantage, not the referee.

    As far as MLS reviewing red cards, this doesn't solve any of the problems that Mr Evans brought to our attention. The league would still be interfering too much with the officiating which flies in the face of Fifa and the laws of the game. Law V says that the decisions of the referee with regard to the facts associated with the match are FINAL.

    This is why the EPL only reviews incidents not seen by the referee.
  24. Greyhnd00

    Greyhnd00 New Member

    Jan 17, 2000
    Rediculously far nor
    NO.It is referred called serious foul play and handled with a straight red.
    I dont still think we need to be strict on these types of fouls by the way. I was more referring to the smaller potatoes that can take away from the beauty of a match but may not justify a straight red. ie jersey pulling, dissent, reckless tackles, tactical fouls, persistant infringment etc. etc.
  25. kevbrunton

    kevbrunton New Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Edwardsburg, MI
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, all the "individual" infractions that are red cards in USSF are also "straight" reds in NFHS. The player is sent off without the team getting to make a substitution.

    There are a couple of additional infractions such as excessive celebration that are "soft" reds in NFHS and the second yellow is a soft red.

    I happen to agree with Grey on this one. The soft red provides another tool -- you get the player causing problems off the pitch without EXTRA penalties to the team. If he's one of their key players (like the stars we've been talking about in MLS), then IMO it's penalty enough to have to try to play without their key playmaker or key scorer, etc.

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