To color red or not….

Last night I had a rare USSF U15 girls match for me.  (I have been 90%in NISOA and High School this fall)  I am late in the game with about 13 minutes left and the score is 4-1.  One of the forwards #25 for the winning team has not scored yet and you can tell she is really pressing to get a goal.  I have called two fouls on her in the last 5 minutes where she was simply push the defender off the ball to try and get to the goal.  She has lost her patients at this point in the game. 

She is dribbling hard towards the goal and takes a long dribble.  The smart sweeper came through and cleaned that ball up and with her third touch cleared it out of the back field.  Well after the ball is gone here come #25 in hard and slides into the sweeper who just finished clearing the ball, taking out the defender.  I hit the whistle hard and instantly went to the yellow card.  She says nothing, she knew it was coming.

From this point forward I could hear her chirping about every little touch with an opponent or call I made.  Finally there was a play where two players were battling for the ball, both bumping so I let the play go on.  She starts yelling behind me to call it.  Finally the forward for the losing team gets her elbow up cleans the defender out of her way which I quickly called.  Once I made the call I turned directly to #25 and said “no more, I don’t want to hear it.”  She responds “Then call it both ways”.  (Yep I should have tossed out the second yellow and said good bye) I simply returned my closest “look of death” that I have in my bag of tricks.  Well with 30 seconds left in the game she get a long ball and heads to goal.  My AR raises his flag for offsides and I hit the whistle.  She turns throws her hands up in the and says “You have got to be kidding”.  Their team captain is standing next to me at this point and I look at her and said “get control of her because I am working hard to keep her in this game.”  The captain jumped to action and quited her down. 

Once the game was over the head coach came over to grab his team cards from me and I mentioned to him that she started talking to me after she got the yellow and it took a lot to keep her in the game.  He looks at me and says “thanks I appreciate it but next time please toss her, she won’t figure it out until she gets the red.  That is why I left her out there was to get the red.  She hasn’t grasped it yet with me talking to her…” 

WOW…..OK two things I went through in my head.  1. YES second game this week I failed to pull the red when I probably should have.  When the coach is asking for the red on his own player that is a sign I should have tossed out a red.  2.  So this coach has a problem player and he just lets her play on????

Great game other then that.  Ran 1.5 in first half (one sided half with losing team against a wind) and 2.2 in the second half.  I didn’t wear the heart rate monitor. 

I have an over 30 match tonight with a U14 boys game at 9am in the morning followed by the 5A girls quarter final game.  Both centers.  I will update on Sunday on a much needed day off.


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2 Responses to “To color red or not….”

  1. uthamm Says:

    I think the coach is trying to tell you that he does not want to do your dirty work. If you don’t like how the player is playing, why should the coach have to communicate this? I have a player like this on my team. Good kid, just loses his head once in a while. My calls for better behavior fall on deaf ears as he never has to own up to what I am telling him are the consequences of his bad behavior.

    On the other hand, I can totally sympathize. Had the same thing last Saturday in a youth game – tried my hardest to keep a player on the pitch (successfully) and still regret it a week later. Taught me a lesson.

    Thanks for the time. I like knowing that I am not the only one who struggles with this kind of stuff!

  2. CSR Says:

    In my mind, you should have sent her off. There are a couple reasons for this.
    First – it sounds like the first caution could have been for PI just as easily as it was for UB after the reckless challenge. This should have sent a message, not only to the offending player but to everyone else on the pitch that day.
    Second – She clearly did not get the message after receiving the first caution, as her continued dissent showed. You even gave her another chance to get the hint by saying “no more, I don’t want to hear it”. You drew the line in the sand. . .she crossed it. . .and you caved.

    When giving a card, you obviously consider what you want to get out of the card. But. . .I think too few referees (myself included, on occasion) don’t consider what message is being sent when we don’t give a card that really needs to be given. Players will do with what they are allowed to get away with. When you don’t enforce your line in the sand, it sends a conflicting message.

    I empathize with the coach, to tell you the truth. Many times a coach will have a “problem child” and will tell them and tell them that they need to control themselves. But many times, especially as the player gets near HS age, the coach’s message won’t sink in until the player gets the message from another source – like a referee. If a player is sent off and has a match or two off to think about it, it gives them a chance for an attitude adjustment.

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