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2011 Referee Week in Review

The ussoccer.com Referee Week in Review is designed to address the issues facing referees at all levels by using video highlights from professional games as well as the U.S. National Teams. The Referee Week in Review will highlight specific areas of focus and current U.S. Soccer initiatives designed to improve performance and aid in the development of officials across the country.

Referee Week in Review – Week 35

The Situation: Los Angeles and Houston are tied 0-0 in the seventh minute.

The Play: Early in the first half, the attacking team completes a series of passes to penetrate the attacking third before an attacking player is fouled.

The Decision: The referee signals for advantage and the promising attack is allowed to continue.

My Take: The referee is in an excellent position to view the incident and determine whether or not to signal for advantage. Despite the foul, the referee sees that the attacking team maintains possession, continues to play the ball towards their opponent’s goal and has the ability to create a goal scoring opportunity. Considering all these factors, the referee makes a good decision to signal for advantage and correctly allows play to continue.

Laws of the Game: Law 5 gives the referee the authority to allow play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage.

The Situation: Los Angeles is leading Houston 1-0 in the 94th minute.

The Play: While in stoppage time of the second half, two players from the attacking team go over to the corner arc for a restart. Prior to the taking of the kick, objects are thrown onto the field.

The Decision: The referee didn’t see the objects being thrown as a threat and allowed the game to continue until all of added time was played and then ended the match.

My Take: In this situation, the referee must consider whether the objects being thrown are endangering the safety of the players and the assistant referee. Further, the referee must consider if the objects are interfering with play. If either is true, the main priority of the referee is to ensure the safety of the participants and the integrity of the game.

Laws of the Game: U.S. Soccer published a position paper on dealing with objects thrown on the field of play.

Michael Kennedy is a current MLS referee and has officiated in the league since its founding in 1996. In addition to serving as a professional referee, he has also represented U.S. Soccer as both a FIFA referee and assistant referee.

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