(V)AR check

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Beau Dure, Jun 22, 2024.

  1. Beau Dure

    Beau Dure Member+

    May 31, 2000
    Vienna, VA
    I must be losing my mind -- or maybe I've been watching too much soccer on TV.

    Last week, I saw what I was 90% sure was a handball in the PA in which the defender's arm was outside her body frame. But I didn't blow the whistle right away because I managed to peek over at my AR, who was a good experienced AR who knew to make eye contact with me for confirmation. He seemed unsure.

    I decided to let play continue (the attacking team and several spectators, of course, were dutifully "informing" me of the handball) until a stoppage maybe 10 seconds later.

    THEN I asked the players to hold off on the throw-in, and I went over to check with the AR. Did he see something different, did he simply fail to give me a clear nod of the head, or did he not have a clear view? Turns out it was the latter. Feeling confident that he didn't see anything different, I pointed to the spot.

    No one objected at the time. The attacking team was, of course, quite pleased.

    It's only now, a week later, that I'm starting to wonder -- did I actually have the authority to make that decision after the fact in consultation with the AR?

    I thought I'd be able to find something conclusive in the LOTG. I could not. It actually doesn't say much about consulting with the AR at all, as far as I could tell.

    If we had VAR, of course, this would've been standard procedure. Ball out of play, VAR informs me that they're checking and maybe asks me for OFR.

    So what if we remove the "V" from "VAR"?
    DaveRef and dadman repped this.
  2. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, unequivocally. You are empowered to change any decision so long as play hasn't restarted.

    The wisdom of doing so is always contextual. But this power is straight from Law 5 and written as what you cannot do (change a decision after a subsequent restart) rather than as an enumeration of all the things you can do.
    Ismitje, DaveRef, MJ91 and 7 others repped this.
  3. sulfur

    sulfur Member+

    Oct 22, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    In fact, @Beau Dure , the process you followed sounds like you did everything the right way too.

    Considered, consulted, decided.
    MJ91, dadman and frankieboylampard repped this.
  4. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    If you need any help to "sell" it, tell the AR to vigorously shake their head "yes". Even if they mean "shrug".
    jayhonk repped this.
  5. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    I had one last year where a ball bounced off of the ground on a corner and hit a defenders arm: I was straight on and the arm was within his body laterally but I couldn’t tell how far forward his arm was extended. AR gave me nothing, and the defending team immediately after scored on the counter. I went back to talk it out with the ar and he didn’t have a clear view of the handling. Relieved that I didn’t have enough to nullify the (home team’s) goal and give a pk going the other way, I gave the goal and the game finished without any issues.

    of course after the game a fellow ref who was in the stands opposite the AR told me he thought it was 100% handling.
  6. soccerref69420

    soccerref69420 Member+

    President of the Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz fan cub
    Mar 14, 2020
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea DPR
    You are fully in your rights to change a decision before the next restart. Do not listen to idiots who say that once you make a call, that's it.

    I still remember few years back on a U17 or U19 boys comp game when I got caught 50 yards behind play after a corner kick counter (only two of us, me and AR1) and the GK came out to challenge in AR1 quadrant, attacker went down, but I couldn't see for sure if contact was to player or ball. Ball goes OOP for a throw in, everyone yelling. I go over to AR1, he tells me 100% it was a foul. I signal for PK and give RC to GK for DOGSO. Arguing happens, field player swaps gear into goal. Right before I whistle for the PK to happne, I say oh shit,this was right after the DOGSO YC rule went into effect. I call all parties to the midline and explain that it's only a YC, not a RC since he played the ball. Rescind RC, issue YC, GK gets gear back on. Took almost 5 minutes from the initial challenge, but I changed my decision twice before the next restart (no foul to PK, RC to YC) and it's all legal.

    Also, if you don't take yourself too seriously and it's not an intense or scrutinized match, do the VAR signal when you go to talk to your AR and when you come out of it. I've done it a few times and got laughs from players and spectators.
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  7. SA14mars

    SA14mars Member+

    Jan 3, 2005
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I second all of this except the VAR signal part. Unless you are in a game with actual VAR, that signal can't be used. You can make it very clear any of a number of other ways that you are changing your decision or that you received help from your AR. But you can't use that signal. It's the same as we can't spray foam except in approved competitions.
    davidjd repped this.
  8. davidjd

    davidjd Member+

    Jun 30, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not sure this would even be a question pre-VAR. You always consult your officiating crew (AR, 4O if there) if you think they may have more/better information to make the right call. That can't happen live. There is a reasonable time limit which makes you highly question it where the ball hasn't gone out and you haven't had a chance to talk with your AR, but that's the case with VAR as well.
    dadman repped this.
  9. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There's a chance I regret asking, but this also could be edifying (in a good way, to be clear)...

    Did you ever learn why your AR didn't tell you this without a consultation that you had to initiate? I mean, if he has a 100% DOGSO foul but he's only telling you because you stop play to go over and prompt him, that is a problem. Maybe it's as simple as inexperience or shyness on his end. But if it's something else, that needs to be corrected (and even if it is just shyness or inexperience, that also needs to be corrected!).
  10. Beau Dure

    Beau Dure Member+

    May 31, 2000
    Vienna, VA
    One area in which I'm improving: In my pregame, I emphasize to my ARs that we have six eyes on this field, and I want to use them all. It helps with older ARs who may be used to working with some old-school "don't tell me what to call" refs, and it helps with younger ARs who, as you say here, have some shyness or inexperience to overcome.
    dadman and MJ91 repped this.
  11. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    There's probably still referees who have instructions to AR's like, "Give me first crack on fouls, and the PA is all mine." Maybe this AR heard that instruction and was reluctant to call a foul for a PK.
    dadman and ilyazhito repped this.
  12. Soccer Dad & Ref

    Oct 19, 2017
    San Diego
    I wish the old school refs saying simply added something like "BUT, if I do miss something in the PA and you'd like to talk about it, please signal me by doing X, Y, or Z".

    Any thoughts on what that XYor Z should be?
    dadman repped this.
  13. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    Uh, yeah, follow the signals in the magic book to signal a PK . . . .

    I mean, there is only so much you can do when someone is fundamentally bucking the way the game is meant to be managed in the modern era.
    Kit, Soccer Dad & Ref and ilyazhito repped this.

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