Saturday, June 27, 2009

Risk Taking

By now most of you should have seen this diagram at least once. This representation of Game Management isn't really something new; in fact, its a concept that has been around for sometime. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the elements of this model and struggle to apply these "new" concepts in our games. But in reality we are likely applying all of these concepts in our matches without assigning the terms to them. For example, when we choose not to call a trifling foul near midfield to keep the ball moving we have just demonstrated the Risk Taking element. Or when we issue a caution for a player removing their shirt to celebrate a goal (even though its not a "big deal") we are adhering to 100% Misconduct.

Over the next few weeks both on this blog and at the ASRA Meetings (if you live in Albuquerque) we will continue to examine some of the elements of this model. I find drawing the correlations between this model and previous procedures is helpful. Take a look at the clip below and think about Risk Taking.

The Advice to Referees on the LOTG is very clear when it talks about Law 5 and the referee's power "to decide that an infringement is trifling or doubtful and should not be called at all." We see in the video that if the two minor fouls were called that a goal probably wouldn't have resulted (affecting the Entertainment value). So in this case we saw that there was enough game control to allow play to continue (take a risk) and getting more flow in the game. Keep in mind we must be careful when risk taking. Never do we want the player's safety to be endangered or lose control of the match. Watch how players react to the foul being ignored: Do they keep playing? Are they frustrated? Do they look for revenge? Communicate with players to let them know you see the contact, but are allowing them to continue. If you have less game control you will not be able to take as many risks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Keeping with a tradition I started but didn't stick with here is another acronym that is commonly referred to when gauging contact about the shoulders.


The F-I-R-E Principle for Dealing with Above-the-Shoulder Challenges

Actions aimed at the face of an opponent must be dealt with severely REGARDLESS OF THE FORCE USED if the actions are:

  • Deliberate
  • Intended to intimidate
  • Endangering the safety of an opponent
  • Insulting and/or offensive in nature
  • Potentially inciting further action on the part of opponents

The following lists some specific examples (but not all examples) of the manner in which the contact can be initiated are:

  • Use of the backhand
  • Open handed slap
  • A push/slap to the face
  • The jabbing of a finger(s) to the face
  • Grabbing hair
  • Use of a fist

To assist referees in recognizing and properly addressing these situations, the acronym F-I-R-E was provided to assist officials with the identification of elbows that should be defined as red cardable offenses (violent conduct):

  • Frustration
  • Intimidation
  • Retaliation (payback)
  • Establish Territory or Space

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Far West Regionals 2009

The weather sort of reminded us of New Mexico over the seven days spent in Lancaster, CA for FWR 2009. A total of ten referees and one assessor represented NM at this large event. Days consisted of usually 2-3 games, several hours out at the field, evening meetings and later meetings to get yelled at by the SYRA (or given assignments). Even though the days often started early and ended late the group had a good time overall.

Congratulations to those that were selected to attend this year (roughly fr
om left to right): CJ Merritt, Amanda Forletta, Santos Toquinto, Mark Merritt, Frank Serianni, Kerstin Shrader, Oscar Toquinto, Jorge Garcia, Kris Grano and Seth Gilpin [not pictured: Nigel Holman, assessor]. Once again we had a great showing on the final day of games with four of our referees getting final assignments:

Mark Merritt - 4th Official Boys U-12

Oscar Toquinto - Referee Girls U-12
Santos Toquinto - AR1 Girls U-12

Kris Grano - Referee Girls U-18

Would you like to attend Regionals next year? Since the process can be a bit ambiguous look forward to a post giving you the steps necessary to better your chances of being selected. Remember that next year FWR is coming to Albuquerque so we'll have more opportunity to provide local referees!