Friday, July 31, 2009

Week in Review - Week 19

The latest version of Week in Review is available for viewing on You should read up on the full article if you haven't already by clicking here.

While reading up on the events I was drawn to the section on Dissent. For most of us the Fall season is looming ahead. That presents a new, fresh start for many teams. We will be doing a wide variety of matches from youth up to collegiate levels; many with a high level of intensity. Players and coaches are under a lot of pressure to perform so, occasionally, emotional outburst will occur. How to do we handle them? Here are some tips from the article to gauge these situations and deal with them accordingly. The time to set the tone is early on!


Dissent: More than an Emotional Outburst

The 2009 U.S. Soccer Referee Directive entitled "Dissent" outlines several important factors for officials to consider when deciding whether comments/actions from players or non-playing personnel require official sanction or action. There is a spectrum of potential actions and each requires a different response by the referee. Actions can range from “emotional outburst to dissent to offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures.”

Emotional Outburst: Verbal Admonition
Usually a one time factor. It is said and over. Normally, not specifically directed at an individual. A brief, quick reaction to an incident.

Referee Response: Attempt to manage with personality and presence. Send a strong verbal and visual message to the player.

Dissent: Yellow Card
Use the “personal, public and provocative” criteria provided in the "Dissent" directive to determine whether the comments and/or actions were disrespectful to “any referee.” Normally, words, tone, body language and facial expressions which demonstrate a negative and condescending attitude toward a match official. The actions are usually more extended in nature and persistent than those used in an “emotional outburst.” Consider gestures, directed at an official, that show disgust or disrespect. Look for aggressiveness directed at an official.

Offensive, Insulting or Abusive Language and/or Gestures: Red Card
Considering the “personal, public and provocative” criteria, the referee must judge the severity of the actions (verbal and non-verbal). The more aggressive or directed the action, the further up the scale (toward a red card) the referee must consider. Each situation and its context within the game must be addressed and evaluated individually using the “personal, public and provocative” criteria. However, if a player’s or non-playing personnel’s actions exceed the boundaries of the “personal, public and provocative” standards, the player must be sent off or the non-player dismissed.


You can see that we have methods to handle Dissent that don't start with a Caution. Also think how the severity of the player's or coach's reaction compares to the intensity of the situation. A strong reaction may be acceptable during, say, a penalty kick. The same outburst is not acceptable when debating a decision of who gets the throw-in at midfield. Try to keep a level head when dealing with emotional situations to show your control.

As a side note if you have issues viewing the videos on the Week in Review due to the small frame size, you can download the videos to your computer using the newest version of Real Player (download here). During the setup process ensure that you leave the box checked regarding the "download" link in browser windows. Once the program is installed you will then see a Download to RealPlayer link near the US Soccer videos. Once downloaded the videos can be played through RealPlayer and a fullscreen option will be available. Not the best quality, but certainly easy to to see.

Note: Download programs at your own risk! I am not responsible for anything that results from the download and use of any program.

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