NH Referee Fall Update: 10/6/2020
Greetings Fellow Referees:
We hope all are staying safe in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now that some leagues are playing, a few issues have arisen over the last 2-3 weeks involving referees, and we believe it makes sense to remind everyone of some key points.
2020 LAWS OF THE GAME CHANGES
Based on input from multiple referees, coaches, and league administrators it is apparent with the lapse in time since the 2020 LOTG changes were rolled out some may have forgotten some of the key changes. A summary document is attached to highlight the most significant changes. This document may also be found on the NH Referee Website Here for your reference. Of course, you can also download an application for your Apple or Android phones directly from The IFAB Website that contains the LOTG for easy reference.
One of the most significant changes is the ability to show coaches yellow and red cards. Please review what type of issue is a warning versus caution (yellow card) versus send-off (red card). I have seen game reports where referees have stated they asked multiple times for coaches to calm down and stop yelling about calls. In most cases, a yellow card was likely needed and would likely have calmed the coach down. Of course, there have been multiple situations where coaches have entered the field to dissent a call. Per the law changes, this is a straight send-off (red card). While we might always agree with the changes, it is our jobs as referees to enforce the current LOTG. Do not go looking for situations to display cards to coaches; however use the tools FIFA has given you to help diffuse situations and restore order to the game.
US SOCCER REFEREE GAME REPORTS
A reminder anytime there is a caution (player or coach), send-off (player or coach), serious injury or other unusual event, e.g. terminate game due to weather, then a US Soccer Referee Game Report must be submitted to the League and SRA. Most of the online assignment platforms allow you to submit this report online to make it easier. However, it is your responsibility to insure a copy is sent to the SRA for documentation.
In cases of injury, this report may be needed to ensure the player is able to use their supplemental player insurance.
In situations where there is an allegation of referee abuse or assault, without this report, the SRA cannot advocate on your behalf for player and/or coach disciplinary action. Take the time to ensure these reports are forwarded to the SRA for recordkeeping.
On the topic of game reports, many sessions have been presented over the last 4-5 years on proper report writing. In a couple of cases the referee sent-off the coach, yet the wording in the game report indicated the coach should have only been shown a yellow card and the red was rescinded and replaced with a yellow card. The SRA was an active participant in these decisions and supported the change in discipline to the coach. Take your time, insure the report is accurate, and use the words in the LOTG to insure the discipline matches the behavior. If you are unsure, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will contact you to assist. Remember be brief and to the point on game reports. In addition, if foul or abusive language is the issue we need to know the exact words used.
Keep safe out there and if any questions, reach out to us at email@example.com.
The NH State Referee Committee