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Ask The Ref! - All Your Questions Answered

By: Dave Larder
Date: 03/06/2001

The Fishy has arranged with an English 'Class One' referee to answer all your questions relating to the refereeing game. Not so much what the rules are, but more how referees interpret the laws and how they apply them to achieve their aims without interfering in the game too much.

Different referees have different views on subjects such as offsides, free kicks and throw ins. The aim is always to ensure equality to both sides, consistency throughout the game and avoiding numerous stoppages, which can disrupt the flow of the game. Here is your opportunity to ask the questions about your favourite moan in regard to refereeing.

We asked the ref a question to give you an idea of what we are looking for.

Question: During the taking of a throw-in, it was noticed that the Referee allowed the player take it about four yards from the spot where the ball went out over the touchline. Later on in the game, the Referee was seen to be very particular about players taking throw-ins from the exact place where the ball had left the field of play. Why are Referees so inconsistent?

Answer: Most Referees allow some latitude on the exact positioning of throw-ins. Especially if the location is away from the goals, and near the middle of the field. This allows the ball to be thrown back into play as quickly as possible. Players are usually receptive to this type of common sense, and are less interested in adhering strictly to the Law about exact positioning. Players do not often argue over such action, this demonstrates a good sportsmanship that will normally have little or no effect on the result of the match.

If the throw-in, is in such a position that could affect the outcome of a game (for instance, if a team has a good thrower, and the throw is towards the corner arc), the Referee should ensure that the thrower does not gain an advantage by moving too far along the touchline to be nearer to the goal. Some Referees are more particular about making players take the throw from the correct position every time - but in my experience, this (along with the finicky positioning of free kicks) is the easiest way for a Referee to frustrate players and spoil a match.

If you have a question to ask the ref, other than inquiries about his parentage, you can post your question on the "Ask The Ref" message board which will let others see the question so we are not all asking the same one.

Ask your question here: Ask The Ref

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