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Read this- your comments are welcome (Read 14961 times)
Dale_Brown
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Read this- your comments are welcome
23. Mar 2008 at 21:21
 
Firstly- for those who don't know me I manage two junior teams- U11 Saturdays in Caparo & U13 in Kalson so this entry is written with 14 seasons worth of watching, managing, refereeing and lining local junior football. By writing this I know that I am putting myself, my own teams and my own officials open to criticism in future games but I am writing this only in the hope that the spirit of fair play comes more to the fore. I have also witnessed this problem in a number of games I have seen on free weekends as a neutral observer. This isnt written as criticism to any one team, or club, or as result of any game or result, infact I havent had a game this weekend due to the 'Christmas' weather at Easter. This isnt written as an accusation of cheating and I also recognise that all match officials are volunteers and without these volunteers there would be no games. As you are probably aware it is normal practice for linesmen (referees assistants) to line for their own defensive line- over the years it seems to me that giving offside decisions is becoming more and more common- and now has reached a point where flagging for offside is becoming the main cause of disagreement between players, managers, parents and referees. Of course when a player is offside he or she is offside, according to the laws of the game and the linesman and ref should give the decision, but I believe what is happenning now is almost every decision which could be deemed as 50/50 or debatable is given as offside. This then has the effect of stopping the game, stopping the flow, stopping the attack,stopping  the chance of scoring, stopping the chance of a goalie making a save or stopping the defender recovering the situation, in other words stopping the development of skill and stopping the enjoyment of the game. Its obvious that the updated laws of the game have compounded the problem as inexperienced volunteers have to try to decide on a decision based on whether a player is active (or not) - but this isn't the main cause, I believe the main cause is a mindset which says 'it's close so I'd better play safe and give it as offside' .I havent written this to have a moan- I have written this to start a debate about what should or could happen to improve the problem, so would suggest either one of two potential solutions: Option 1 (not my preferred option) - linesmen line their attack rather than their defence, therefore if a decision is 50/50 the linesman would be inclined to let the game flow in favour of the attacking team. Option 2 - The league write to all clubs ahead of next season requesting that for 2008/2009 referees and linesmen are asked- by both managers ahead of every game, to give borderline offside decisions in favour of the attacking team, rather than the defending. I plan to send this forum entry in to both the Caparo and Kalson leagues for discussion at their next committee meetings, I would welcome you to agree or disagree to this entry below.
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Re: Read this- your comments are welcome
Reply #1 - 23. Mar 2008 at 22:35
 
I think the interpretation of the offside rule causes problems at all levels. Every week on MOTD, the offside debate is raised... active - not active - the player was level (so is onside) etc etc. I personally think that by swapping over lines men (assistants refs) to line their own attacking side would not necessarily mean that the correct decision would be made either. I agree the game might flow more, but if a player is offside - they are offside. If 50/50 decisions are given always in favour of the attacker then I agree this may allow the attackers to develop, but I would feel for the defence as keeping the line - stepping up - playing the offside, is one of the hardest skills a young team has to learn. I just wish the rule was more simpler throughout the game to reduce the amount of wrong decisions.
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markparktigers
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Reply #2 - 25. Mar 2008 at 07:56
 
This is always an emotive subject, i run the line for our team, also u13 and i have had plenty of abuse from parents. I think it probably is no worse than previous years.
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markparktigers
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Reply #3 - 25. Mar 2008 at 08:04
 
i pressed the send key prematurely. .... My eldest lad played also in Jack kalson a few over the also 4 years. There was a mix of fair clubs - and biased teams then. Fortunutely good refs often overrule blatent decisions. But alot of clubs use untrained refs.
 
Most of the probs come from over eagerness in assuming all players are offside including not active.i must admit it was so much easier in the <11 7 a side league.
 
 
 
I have made of course mistakes nd have had abuse, i have also been late in spotting true off sides which have led to goals against. at the end of the day, clubs which cheat are only cheating themselves.
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STEVE46
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Reply #4 - 25. Mar 2008 at 10:10
 
Spot on..The biggest issue by far is with the criticism of unqualified linespeople..Nobody's fault, just the way the game is at junior level, as it is hard enough to find referees never mind paying for qualified linespeople/officials.  
 
As it is invariably a parent who runs the line, it is fair to expect that, at times, they will miss certain calls, due to watching other parts of the game (as is their right!), that's why they go to the game, like everyone else. This is no excuse for unfair lining, but you cannot really prevent that, some people are built that way, sad but true!.  
 
Unfortunatley, the shrinking violets (usually other parents) who refuse to take up the offer of running the line, due inavariably to their own selfishness, but usually, they will state, because they don't know the offside rule, suddenly become experts at the very same, and this is wherein the problem lies.  
 
The solution, if ever there were one, may be for the adults who know best and are most willing, to run the line (fairly or otherwise), and, if a decision or decisions are harshly or continuously criticised by ANYONE from either set of spectators then, they are given the option by the referee of either  
A) Leaving the game and returning to their vehicle/home  
or preferably,
B) Taking over the task of running the line for whichever team they are there to support...They will be too busy to criticise then! If they refuse, they will look more stupid than the person they set out to ridicule in the first place.
 
Not perfect, but if it stops some of the noise then it is a start. We don't want to cut all the passion out, as God knows, as an ex-manager of a junior team, it is the passion that we thrive on..It just needs to be directed away from the opposition, other parents and 'unpaid'/involuntary officials.
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