What to do when a team is fighting amongst themselves?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by fiddlestick, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. fiddlestick

    fiddlestick New Member

    Jul 17, 2001
    The 4 8 0
    Had the situation come up in my game yesterday.
    I'm assuming the Laws don't discriminate if someone is commiting violent conduct against their own player?
    It was also amusing that as these 2 guys on the same team got in each others' faces and started shoving each other that one of their teammates asked the referee if they could have a "timeout real quick" :D
  2. Gunners11

    Gunners11 Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Arsenal FC
    I don't know what to tell you because that has never happened to me when I was reffing. The only thing I can think of, and hopefully u did this, is have the coach take both players off the field. Depending on the age group (the older the worse it is), hopefully one of the teamates/captain was able to get this under control. Both players should have been taken off the pitch though.
  3. njref

    njref Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    New Jersey
    This has never happened to me either. But if you read rule 12 literally, "Violent conduct" is not limited to VC against an opponent, or even against a player. So if the VC would warrant a Red Card if done to an opponent, why not a RC when done to a teammate?
  4. kevbrunton

    kevbrunton New Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Edwardsburg, MI
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    VC is most definitely not limited to opponents or players.

    I have had this happen. Two players from the same team came to blows. We red carded them both.
  5. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There is a big difference between violent conduct and getting in someone's face and shoving. For the former a red card is appropriate, for the latter a yellow. The key in the latter is quickly letting them know that their behaviour is unacceptable. If you think yellow cards will settle them down (probably the best choice) use them. Sometimes a loud whistle and a firm suggestion that the play soccer or leave the field might suffice.
  6. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI
    Agreed. I'm not sure I would have yellow carded the two in the above example, especially if their teammates stepped in quickly to settle things down. However, if it came to blows I would simply let the teammates seperate them and then red card both of them. I would feel bad in a way because you are really taking the team down 2 players, but that is something for the teammates to take out on the 2 fighting players. I've seen this close to happening in many of my adult league games.
  7. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just terminate the match and go home! :)

    In all seriousness though, this will happen occasionally in adult matches and I saw it happen once. If the situation escalates to something that would be a red card if done to an opponent, then I don't think we have a choice but to send off one or both players. If you can deal with it before things get to this point though, then by all means do it without destroying the entire game. What I would worry about in a situation like this is the affect it has on the other team. If I am successful at getting the teammates away from eachother's throats, then do I have to worry about frustrations being taken out on the opponents now? That wouldn't be fair either and it could result in an even more tense situation.
  8. blech

    blech Member+

    Jun 24, 2002
    i thought i was heading toward a similar incident a few weeks ago. the forward wanted everyone to pass him the ball, and at a couple of points the exchanges between him and his teammates got rather heated (although all verbal, nothing physical). i gave them a very firm, "knock it off and play", and did nothing more at the time. if it really came to blows, then i think you have to do something, but i'd otherwise try everything i can to avoid cards and impacting the game.

    interestingly, i mentioned it to the coach at the half, and he was completely unaware of any of it.
  9. HoldenMan

    HoldenMan New Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    NSW, Australia
    I may have cautioned. I doubt I'd treat it any differently to opponents getting in each other's face - maybe caution, maybe a strong word.

    Reminds me of another issue that is occasionally a concern to youth referees - one team picking on one of their players on the field. Likewise, the law doesn't discriminate between baggin out an opponent and bagging out a teammate (although we're probably going to have a bit more discretion in the latter, but my point is that even with verbal issues we may have to draw the line somewhere).
  10. Caesar

    Caesar Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    I've had this happen to me once as a referee, and a couple of times as an assistant. One thing I've noticed is that although players expect the referee to mediate when it's opponents going at each other, with teammates the referee is forgotten and it becomes more of an internal issue. A caution lets the players know that getting uppity with a teammate is going to be treated the same as if it was an opponent, and does a great deal to calm the situation.

    Of course, as others have mentioned, I usually preferable to not card unless it's necessary.
  11. SccrDon

    SccrDon Member+

    Dec 4, 2001
    Colorado Springs
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I had this happen when I was playing in an adult co-ed league. One opponent was yelling at his teammates and using fairly colorful language. Since we had my 2 young daughters at the game, I asked the player (well within earshot of the ref) to watch his language because I didn't want to hear it and there were young kids present. After a couple of minutes, another of his teammates missed a pass :eek: and he went off again. He got a yellow (and 10 minutes off the field per league rules) for his trouble.

    When he came back on, he was very quiet. :D
  12. chrisrun

    chrisrun Member

    Jan 13, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And the restart is an IFK for the opposing team in cases like these, where you stop the match to caution or send off teammates. It's not a DFK since there was no foul, as fouls must be against an opponent.
  13. penquinref

    penquinref New Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    new jersey
    Re: boys will be boys ????

    This happened to me last week in an O-25 MENS" INDOOR GAME!!!!! Blue team all foreign speaking. Losing big and chirping at each other all game. With 90 secs. left 2 of the players started yelling at each other about who missed a mark( I think)
    Any way, the ball is in touch and they keep yelling at each other, and all of a sudden one player HISSES at the other and karate kicks his teamate!! They start rolling on the ground kicking, punching and scratching each other. All the blue teamates tried to pull them apart. The white team watched in stunned smiles while the final 90 secs. went off the clock. I blew the whistle, they carried the players out to the parking lot, and everyone went home!
  14. maturin

    maturin Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    It doesn't matter if a player hits his teammate or his opponent, it's still VC. In the case of a full-scale brawl, you show each player who threw a punch the red card and continue with an IFK for the opponents. If after you eject each offending player there are fewer than 7 players remaining eligible, you terminate the match.

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