An interesting scenario happened to me last night while officiating a senior women’s match. In the 68th minute of play, as Blue #18 was shooting on goal, Red #6 screamed loudly in her opponents face as the shot was taken. The scream startled the Blue player and caused her to mis-kick the ball. I stopped play and awarded an IDFK to the blue team. I found Red’s action to be grossly unsporting and cautioned her for USB. Blue went on to score the tying goal and the game ended in a 2 – 2 draw.
This incident got me thinking about technical offences and how there are some technical offences that can very easily be turned into penal offences and sometimes even become misconduct. The question is however, at what point does this happen? There is one technical offence for which an IDFK is awarded that can quickly turn into a penal offence or worse…Plays in a dangerous manner.
The 2 most notorious reasons for making this call are what is commonly referred to as “High Foot” (a term which gets under my skin) and “Studs Up”.
A ball is cleared and punted up the field by the White goalkeeper. As the ball makes its descent back to the field of play and approaches two opponents challenging for the ball, White #8, instead of jumping to head the ball or control it with a part of his body, decides to kick his foot high into the air and into the face of Red #16 which causes the Red player to recoil in order to avoid a collision. Since White #8 is playing in a dangerous manner, we are to stop play and award an IDFK for Red. However, the moment that White #8’s foot makes contact with Red #16 the infringement now become “kicks an opponent” and turns into a penal offence where a DFK is awarded to Red. The referee may also want to consider cautioning the White player for USB.
NOTE – an over the head bicycle kick (although pretty and beautiful especially if a goal is scored) performed while other players are close by and/or challenging for the ball, should be deemed as dangerous play and sanctioned with an IDFK to the opposing team.
White #8 is attacking the Red goal. As White prepares to take a shot on goal, Red #11 come in to block the shot with a semi straight leg and “studs up”/showing. Although Red #11 does not make contact with the White player, this sort of action is dangerous and can cause serious damage is contact was made with the opponent and should be sanctioned as dangerous play, with an IDFK awarded to White. However, this sort of tackle can quickly become a penal offence and more seriously, misconduct if contact is made with the opponent. A dangerous tackle like this can turn into a reckless tackle which warrants a red card, and more often becomes serious foul play depending on the force of the tackle which endangers the safety of the opponent if excessive force is used. Personally, I tend to caution this sort of tackle right away because it is indeed reckless and players know full well that these sorts of tackles are indeed very dangerous and not tolerated. Players usually understand right away and I don’t get much complaints when this happens. I guess they’re happy that I haven’t deemed their tackle as using excessive force and sent them off.
So, while your out on the field of play, trying to manage the 22 plus wild animals, please keep in mind that there is a line that can be crossed which pushes a technical offense over the edge and turns it into a penal offense, with possible misconduct. 🙂
The Third Blind Mouse