Richard Baker1 Foul Recognition, Selection & Severity – the Science of Decision Making
2 Foul Recognition Calling fouls in a football match is an art that must be developed with experience and practice.
Richard Baker3 Foul Recognition recogniseFirst Step – recognise when a foul has been committed. selectSecond Step – select the foul that you are going to call and whistle. severityThird Step – determine the severity of the foul.
Richard Baker4 What is needed for a foul? Ball needs to be in play Offence must be against an opponent* Offence must happen on the field of play *except for deliberate handling….
Richard Baker5 Foul Recognition Work and Move To be able to recognise a foul you have to be able to see it. This means being about 15 to 20 metres from the play and at the right angle to view. Most importantly don’t grow roots! Even if the game is slow or easy or does not require much movement, always keep moving. This can be a walk, jog or backpedal. Stopping leads to trying to look around or over players.
Richard Baker6 Foul Recognition Make the Easy Calls Do not over think things. Relax and call the easy fouls that the players give you. If there is a simple trip in the middle of the pitch, call it. This will get you into the match and will increase your game control. If you think about a play too long before deciding, the opportunity to decide is gone.
Richard Baker7 Foul Recognition Go Where the Ball is Going, not Where it is (WWG). Move to where the ball will be next and not get stuck watching where it is now. Understand the options that are available to the player and anticipate where play will be. Over time, your ability to read play and anticipate where the ball is going will improve. Watch and Learn. Be flexible and understand the options.
Richard Baker8 Foul Recognition Do a Pre-Game Instruction with AR’s Make sure to cover fouls and their role in recognising and calling fouls to assist you. Discuss how you want to call the match (loose versus tight) and ask them to adjust to your style for consistency. If they see a foul you may not have seen, what do you want them to do? Have a plan and help the whole referee team to execute it.
Richard Baker9 Foul Recognition Look Through Play to Your AR By running the diagonal and keeping play between you and your AR this will usually keep you positioned to see play and fouls. This position will tell you when to be wide and when to be tight to play. You will not only be at a good angle to see play and/or a foul, you will be able to capitalise on the help of your AR’s.
Richard Baker10 Foul Recognition Find the Right Focus Point What part of the players are you watching during a match? Most inexperienced referees tend to watch player’s feet. A better place to start is about mid-thigh. If there is more activity around the shoulders and chest (typical of men’s play), then move the focus point a bit higher to catch these fouls in your peripheral vision. If there is more activity at the calves, thighs and waist (typical of women’s play) move your focal point a bit lower to catch this action.
Richard Baker11 Foul Selection There are probably a thousand fouls in a 90 minute football game. If you called every foul that occurred, the players and spectators would not enjoy the match and the game would stall to a crawl, lacking tempo and rhythm. The art of refereeing starts with learning to select those fouls to call and those not to call.
Richard Baker12 Foul Selection Trifling Fouls Constant whistling of trifling fouls will destroy the flow of the game and generate frustration in the players, coaches and spectators. Fouls that do not have an impact on the ability of the player to play the ball should not be called. They are fouls and it is important to recognise that they are fouls but not important enough to stop play. If not calling the foul has a negative impact on your ability to officiate the match or undermines your authority as the referee, they are not trifling and warrant the stoppage.
Richard Baker13 Foul Selection Use of Advantage Advantage is an advanced skill that tells everyone that you saw a foul but have decided that calling the foul would be more damaging to the fouled team than not calling the foul. Some referees invoke advantage in their mind and seldom make it public with a sweeping gesture with the arms and a loud “Play on – advantage”. If you do not let the players around you know that it is an advantage decision, how can they know that you recognised it and gave them the opportunity to play the ball. In their mind, you may appear unaware and they just got lucky. The referee should wait 3-4 seconds for the advantage to be completely realised. If the anticipated advantage doesn’t happen the referee should stop the play and award the free kick for the original foul. –Note: the advantage might be a shot on goal (not the goal itself) –Or the ability to pass to a teammate (not the completion of the pass)
Richard Baker14 Foul Selection Feel the Heat An effective referee can sense when a game is turning from a friendly situation to a tempest in a teapot. Look into a player’s eyes. Read their body language. Listen to the tension, volume and intensity of their voice. If the pulse of the game increases, your effort should increase with it. If the game begins to come to the boil, tighten your foul selection. If the game cools, loosen your foul selection. Remember as tempers flare, you have to remain under control and bring calm back into the match.
Richard Baker15 Foul Serverity Once you have mastered recognising and selecting fouls, the final step is to define the severity of the foul. The indirect free kick fouls are seldom a major issue since they do not typically involve contact or violence. However, seven of the ten direct free kick fouls need to be defined as careless, reckless, or using excessive force.
Richard Baker16 Law 12 – Fouls & Misconduct *kicks or attempts to kick an opponent * *trips or attempts to trip an opponent * *jumps at an opponent * *charges an opponent * *strikes or attempts to strike an opponent * *pushes or attempts to push an opponent * *tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball * * * In a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force. Direct Free Kicks
Richard Baker17 Law 12 – Fouls & Misconduct holds an opponent spits at an opponent handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area) A Direct free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred. * * A penalty kick is awarded if any of the preceding ten offences are committed by a player inside his/her own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play. Additional Direct Free Kicks
Richard Baker18 Law 12 – Fouls & Misconduct Careless means that the player shows a lack of attention or consideration when making his challenge – without precaution. They are fouls that are not trifling and need to be whistled but lack the need to do more than whistle and point the direction of play. They are simple and easy fouls. No further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be careless. Reckless means that the player has made the action with complete disregard for, danger to, or consequences for his opponent. These fouls must be dealt with using more than just a whistle and signal – they are not acceptable. A caution is needed if a player plays in a reckless manner. Excessive means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent. If a player plays using excessive force he should be sent from the field of play. Do not waiver always send the player off. Foul Severity
Richard Baker19 Law 12 – Fouls & Misconduct An IFK is awarded if a goalkeeper, in his/her own penalty area, comments any of the following offences: Controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession. Touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his/her possession and before it has touched another player. Touches the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a team mate. Touches the ball with his/her hands after he/she has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team mate. * * The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred. Indirect Free Kicks
Richard Baker20 Law 12 – Fouls & Misconduct An IFK is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of the referee, a player: Plays in a dangerous manner. Impedes the progress of an opponent. Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his/her hands. Commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player. * * The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred. Indirect Free Kicks
Richard Baker21 What elevates a foul to misconduct? point of contact –ankle –knee –thigh –on the body direction of contact –from the side –from the front –from behind
Richard Baker22 What elevates a foul to misconduct? time of contact –before ball arrives –as the ball arrives –after ball is gone –during a “break away” severity of contact –reckless –excessive force
Richard Baker23 What elevates a foul to misconduct? intent of contact –intimidate –retaliate –injure –stop the play result of the contact –triggers retaliation –loss of referee control –stops a goal scoring opportunity
Richard Baker24 Law 12 A tackle, which endangers the safety of an opponent, must be sanctioned as serious foul play. A tackle, which endangers the safety of an opponent, must be sanctioned as serious foul play. Any player that lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious fo Any player that lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
Richard Baker25 Foul Recognition What’s Your Decision Developing consistency will depend on the following factors, and your ability to apply/judge them in a game. Remember the assumption is that the referee has the right position, angle and proximity to the incident. Considerational Factors (Characteristics) Remember – ‘DO A SCIP’ D = Danger / Safety / Aggression / Intensity / Force to opponent O = Opportunity to play the ball fairly A = Atmosphere of the Match (Understanding what’s at stake / the teams involved) S = Speed – Attacker and Defender C = Careless, Reckless or Excessive Force I = Intent – What were the intentions of the offender? / Identifying Body Language P = Position of the tackler (Front, Side, Behind) Non-Considerational Factors Players, coaches, spectators (Opinions, noise, pressure)Players, coaches, spectators (Opinions, noise, pressure) The result of the match (Irrelevant to us)The result of the match (Irrelevant to us) The time of the incident (an opportunity to be consistent)The time of the incident (an opportunity to be consistent)
Richard Baker26 Referee’s Decision Making Process
Richard Baker27 Foul Recognition, Selection & Severity – the Science of Decision Making Refereeing a football game and calling fouls is not a black and white affair, there is a lot of grey areas. It takes experience, skill and education to maneuver in these murky waters. Seek the advice of a mentor, assessor, instructor or experienced referee. Learn and develop a sense of how the game is played and how it meshes or conflicts with the Laws of the Game.
Richard Baker28 Foul Recognition, Selection & Severity – the Science of Decision Making Thank you for your attention and participation. Are there any questions?
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