Thursday, September 29, 2011


I was cruising the net the other day and ran across Dutch Referee Blog. It's a good blog with some interesting content worth reading.

I found one article ... interesting. See 15 minute stop to check the Laws of the Game.

From the article there are a couple of things that caught my attention. First was the lede:
Referees, always make sure have the number of the FA office in your cellphone, just in case you forgot the latest changes in the football rules.
Okay, fair enough. Good to have the league office number in there so pre or post match if you need to report an incident or get a clarification about something (can that player play?) you can do so. Not a bad idea ... right?

Then this came:
The Dutch women’s match between Odysseus’91 and Wartburgia on second amateur level was stopped for at least fifteen minutes, because referee Nielen was not sure he made the right decision.
Oh no ... 
Nielen doubted and made a call to the KNVB, the Dutch FA, and after fifteen minutes he got his answer ...
WHAT!?!? Hang on coach, let me whip out my iPhone and call the league office, or better yet consult the LOTG I keep in electronic form on there.

Are you (bleeping) me?

Friends, know the LOTG and the respective rule of the competition BEFORE going into a match. While things like substitutions can generally be sorted out on the fly and corrected before an error occurs, goal - no goal decisions on penalties have to be automatic from a referee.

Yes, "getting it right" is critical by using non-traditional methods (jumbo-tron anyone?), but is not a substitute for proper preparation.

While the referee was happy about the decision, I would frankly be embarrassed that I did not go into the match knowing the black letter law about when a goal could be scored. I don't know what the league said on the topic, but I have to believe that are not completely happy either.

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