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US Soccer Associations changing the LOTG to suit themselves.

b2ap3_thumbnail_NCAA.jpgThe FIFA Laws of the Game are supposed to be applied to all associations around the world but not, it appears, in the USA.


The differing governing bodies that control Intercollegiate and other soccer associations there appear to “tweak” the “rules” to suit themselves.


The 2015 “SOCCER GUIDE INTERSCHOLASTIC (HIGHSCHOOL) EDITION” by Don Dennison, NISOA National Clinician, sets out where these tweaks should be. Mr Dennison wrote the guide based upon:


  • “NCAA Soccer Rules and Interpretations – 2014 – 2015
  • National Federation Soccer Rules Book – 2015-2016
  • [USSF] FIFA Laws of the Game – 2014/2015
  • And Other Authorised Supplemental Materials.”

 Revised March 29, 2015.


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UPDATED: In-depth analysis of DOGSO-H.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DOGSO-blog.jpgWe wanted to provide an important update to our recent blog on this subject matter because of the additional information that has been brought to our attention after our blog was published (If you have not read the blog, we strongly encourage you to read it first before continuing further).  Namely, one of our regular readers and forum contributor, Alex Fletcher, pointed us to a quiz posted on this website containing one question that is directly relevant to the type of hypothetical situation that we analyzed in our blog.  The questions is as follows:


A defender on his own goal line, between the goal posts, deliberately handles the ball which rebounds to an opponent who scores a goal directly. What decision should the referee make?

A. The referee sends off the defender for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball to prevent a goal and awards a penalty kick.
B. The referee applies advantage, allows the goal and cautions the defender for unsporting behaviour.
C. The referee applies advantage, awards the goal and sends off the defender for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball to prevent a goal.
D. The referee applies advantage and awards the goal without taking any disciplinary action.   


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DOGSO-H & application of Advantage: in-depth analysis.

b2ap3_thumbnail_DOGSO-blog.jpgWe recently had an interesting discussion on our forum about one particular incident that occurred in a match between Real Madrid v. Ludogorets Razgrad.  As can be viewed in the video below, in the 19th minute of the game, Ludogorets’ player, who was standing on the goal line between the posts, illegally prevented the ball from going into the goal by intentionally deflecting it with his arm.  The deflected ball, however, bounced and luckily landed right in front of Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale who volleyed into the goal.  Bale’s celebration was cut short, however, when he realized that the referee blew the whistle and signaled for the penalty kick instead. Following his decision to award the penalty kick, the referee dismissed the offending player for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.  The resulting penalty kick was – fortunately for the referee – converted into Real Madrid’s goal.


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Uneducated match commentators making our jobs even more difficult.

Referee Neil SwarbrickWe are no different than most of our fellow referees who, from time to time, vigorously shake their heads in disbelief and amusement when something unexpected – nay, idiotic – comes out of supposedly knowledgeable game commentators’ mouths.  Now, we will admit that this sort of comes with the territory.  They are, after all, paid to be entertaining and perhaps saying something controversial that boosts the ratings.  We get that.  But sometimes they take things too far and, by sounding authoritative, they actually create and sow confusion among the fans of the beautiful game and in the process make our already difficult jobs even more difficult.


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Peter Walton, GM of PRO – Laws of the Game “illiterate.”

Martin AtkinsonThere’s an old saying that says if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys.


Sadly this appears to apply to the current head of PRO (Professional Referee Organization) who is responsible for administering professional referee programmes in North America, including the MLS.


The issue concerns an interview given to ESPN sports by the head of PRO, Peter Walton. Mr Walton is also a former UK Premier League referee and a very poor one at that.


He was commenting on a decision by referee Martin Atkinson in the Arsenal vs. Liverpool game last weekend. During the game Mr Atkinson blew for a foul on Liverpool player Luis Suarez. Suarez quickly got to his feet and restarted play which ultimately resulted in a goal.


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