Ponder This (A Formal Reply to “larbitre”)

Posted: January 10, 2014 by thirdblindmouse in Uncategorized
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My good friend larbitre posted a great topic for discussion:

Detecting Tension between Players: The Second Look

…and this particular scenario got me thinking that there is an even more crucially important talking/learning point here – not to take away from larbitre’s point of taking the second look…which is also a very important tool in game management.  It was the second clip of Howard Webb at the 2010 WC.

Larbitre says “Mr. Webb appears to have his head in the direction when the foul occurs however makes no immediate visible reaction (oddly). It appears more likely that he was advised by his fourth official/assistant referee of the misconduct. Experienced referees tend to linger their look after the ball is kicked to watch for late tackles or incidents like these as sometimes the ball’s air time can spare a second or two before having to re-focus on play.”

This scenario seemed quite odd to me and I remember watching this 4 years ago and thinking to myself “WOW! Webb handled that immaculately!”

The foul happens, almost right in front of Mr. Webb who, in my opinion wasn’t looking at incident at all.  It seems as though his eyes follow the ball and the late tackle happens just as his eyes move away.  However, regardless of whether or not Webb saw the foul, the key action to note here, and to take away from this match incident is how Webb handled the situation.  A lot of times, younger, more inexperienced referees will either blow this play dead right away to deal with the misconduct, or they will wait for an advantage and then a few moments later, they will not revisit the incident – almost as if nothing happened.  Howard Webb does exactly what he i supposed to do and the commentators haven’t got a clue as to what they’re talking about.  Webb (whether he sees the incident or not, and was notified by his AR or 4th), allows play to continue and waits to see what happens.  Since the incident takes place in Spain’s attacking third, Webb is correct to wait and see if Spain can still get a good chance at goal.  The ball then makes its way to a Spain attacker and Webb raises his arms to correctly show that an advantage is being allowed.  The Spain player then chooses to kick the ball out of play.  THIS is where younger, less experienced officials need to take notice – Webb first tends to the injured player (player’s safety is first priority), and then, even though he allowed play to continue (advantage), he then goes back and punishes the misconduct and shows a yellow card!  IMHO, this is the most important thing to take from this clip.

Referees need to be able to recognize misconduct when they see it, and deal with it properly either at the moment that it happens, or come back to punish misconduct if play is being allowed to continue.  A sure fire way to make sure you don’t forget is to vocalize this point.  When this happens in my games, I will yell “Play on, advantage!” and then I will tell the offending player that I will be coming back to caution him.  I also say his number out loud so I don’t forget which player it was: “Play on, advantage!  #5 that’s a yellow and I’m coming back for you.”

Don’t be afraid to do your job!  You have the tools, powers and duties to do your job right!

Happy Whistling!

The Third Blind Mouse


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