RefSix

Another handball question

#1
Hi everyone (and a HNY!),

I'm a new poster who has completed game 4 of his "appointed matches" refereeing "career" (but I've had 10 years umpiring hockey to about the equivalent of the Vanarama conference - a subject I'll post about at some point when I have the time).

I gave a penalty a few weeks ago when a ball bounced up, hit a defenders hand in the box which caused the ball to be diverted away from two strikers. To me the defender had gained an unfair advantage through the use of the hand, even though the action was not deliberate, as the strikers would have received possession and (talent levels depending) had a goal scoring opportunity. It was a youth game and there was no "feedback" from any of the players (or the coaches afterwards - mind you it was 0.5C with a wind chill that brought it to -5), except visual disappointment from the defender. The ball had come across from a corner, was in the goal area, bit of a melee, hit the ground and bounced up onto his hand held in front of his stomach - he was standing a couple of yards in the goal from the post at 45 degrees from the goal, so the ball was moving away from goal to two attackers who would have received the ball landing (probably) on the ground just outside the 6 yard box in line with the post (interestingly one of these two scored a gem of an overhead kick ten minutes later - a really high quality goal!).

I try to go back and review the key points of the rules based on actions I take through the games I ref, and the IFAB rule book is not a thing of clear, concise clarity so I'd appreciate some pointers.

By the letter of the law it seems a handball HAS to be deliberate. Technically therefore it seems I am wrong to give the penalty for "handball". There is the denial of a goal scoring opportunity but perhaps not the "obvious" when a player dives across and pushes the ball around the post. I gave it as the defender had gained an unfair advantage through use of the hand, which I see in IFAB advice notes (undated) but I can't find in the latest rule book.

Any thoughts?
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
#2
gained an unfair advantage through the use of the hand
This is not a consideration when determining Handball
You merely need to decide if the HB was deliberate, taking into account;
1) The movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
2) The distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
3) The position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an offence)
It is farcical that professional referees don't follow this creed, but this is the Law as stated in the book
If someone is touching a ball round the post, that sounds deliberate and meets the criteria for DOGSO (and a dismissal)
FORGET the word ADVANTAGE
the IFAB rule book is not a thing of clear
Yes, I am not a fan of the fragmented, poorly worded book
 

spuddy1878

RefChat Addict
#3
Obviously you had to be there but if someones hand is tucked in a natural position next to the stomach im not giving handball for this.
 

one

RefChat Addict
#4
Hi @Durovigutum and a HNY to you to.

I think you pretty much answered you own question. Gaining an unfair advantage is not a consideration or a criteria. It may become one in the future though. Your decision was based in expectation and not the law.

One point on using refereeing terminology as you progress in refereeing "career" :)
The box = penalty area
IFAB rule book = Laws Of The Game (LOTG)
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
#5
Hi everyone (and a HNY!),

I'm a new poster who has completed game 4 of his "appointed matches" refereeing "career" (but I've had 10 years umpiring hockey to about the equivalent of the Vanarama conference - a subject I'll post about at some point when I have the time).

I gave a penalty a few weeks ago when a ball bounced up, hit a defenders hand in the box which caused the ball to be diverted away from two strikers. To me the defender had gained an unfair advantage through the use of the hand, even though the action was not deliberate, as the strikers would have received possession and (talent levels depending) had a goal scoring opportunity. It was a youth game and there was no "feedback" from any of the players (or the coaches afterwards - mind you it was 0.5C with a wind chill that brought it to -5), except visual disappointment from the defender. The ball had come across from a corner, was in the goal area, bit of a melee, hit the ground and bounced up onto his hand held in front of his stomach - he was standing a couple of yards in the goal from the post at 45 degrees from the goal, so the ball was moving away from goal to two attackers who would have received the ball landing (probably) on the ground just outside the 6 yard box in line with the post (interestingly one of these two scored a gem of an overhead kick ten minutes later - a really high quality goal!).

I try to go back and review the key points of the rules based on actions I take through the games I ref, and the IFAB rule book is not a thing of clear, concise clarity so I'd appreciate some pointers.

By the letter of the law it seems a handball HAS to be deliberate. Technically therefore it seems I am wrong to give the penalty for "handball". There is the denial of a goal scoring opportunity but perhaps not the "obvious" when a player dives across and pushes the ball around the post. I gave it as the defender had gained an unfair advantage through use of the hand, which I see in IFAB advice notes (undated) but I can't find in the latest rule book.

Any thoughts?
Yeh, knock yourself out with this complete list of abbreviations!
https://www.refchat.co.uk/threads/abbreviations.12786/#post-136850
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
#6
Hi @Durovigutum and a HNY to you to.

I think you pretty much answered you own question. Gaining an unfair advantage is not a consideration or a criteria. It may become one in the future though. Your decision was based in expectation and not the law.

One point on using refereeing terminology as you progress in refereeing "career" :)
The box = penalty area
IFAB rule book = Laws Of The Game (LOTG)
Sooo 2018 😂
 

socal lurker

Well-Known Member
#7
@bigcat gave a great answer here. The ultimate question is always whether it was deliberate, and the LOTG give several criteria to help us. There are other clues we can consider, too. While the Laws make clear that position does not necessarily mean an offense has occurred, the position of the arms can be a clue--why was the arm where it was? Was the arm where it was for natural balance, or to make it hard for the ball to get through? the former suggests there was no offense, the latter suggests a deliberate act. Similarly, where there is an exceptionally fortuitous nature of the handling, that can be a clue that it might have been deliberate--it's not enough to get to that conclusion, but may help us, in close cases, figure out whether it should be penalized as deliberate.

One final thought: those of us not doing professional games need to be careful about the conclusions we draw from those games. Professional athletes simply have far more control over their bodies than armatures or kids. Pro referees are therefore inclined to start from "of course it is deliberate" and work backwards to decide if maybe it wasn't--but that doesn't apply for those of us at lower levels with far less body control.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
#8
@bigcat gave a great answer here. The ultimate question is always whether it was deliberate, and the LOTG give several criteria to help us. There are other clues we can consider, too. While the Laws make clear that position does not necessarily mean an offense has occurred, the position of the arms can be a clue--why was the arm where it was? Was the arm where it was for natural balance, or to make it hard for the ball to get through? the former suggests there was no offense, the latter suggests a deliberate act. Similarly, where there is an exceptionally fortuitous nature of the handling, that can be a clue that it might have been deliberate--it's not enough to get to that conclusion, but may help us, in close cases, figure out whether it should be penalized as deliberate.

One final thought: those of us not doing professional games need to be careful about the conclusions we draw from those games. Professional athletes simply have far more control over their bodies than armatures or kids. Pro referees are therefore inclined to start from "of course it is deliberate" and work backwards to decide if maybe it wasn't--but that doesn't apply for those of us at lower levels with far less body control.
Welcome!
Just keep agreeing with my comments and we'll get along just fine...
 

one

RefChat Addict
#9
The ultimate question is always whether it was deliberate, and the LOTG give several criteria to help us.
I always thought of there being only one 'criterion', was it deliberate? The several other questiins are 'considerations'. I know, I'm a bit pedantic over the terminology used.
 
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#10
Thanks for the answers so far, it seems the adequacy of the rules for a grass roots context are the issue.

When I did the ref training course a big deal was made of the removal of the "intention" element on certain offences. Referees are human and not blessed with mind reading abilities, therefore how are they meant to know if a foul was committed intentionally? It appears, however, that we are meant to know if a handball is committed deliberately, as obviously there is a lot of difference between intentionally and deliberately.

I had another hand to ball in the area yesterday morning - gained an advantage but it wasn't deliberate. I let it go, it helped they were 5-0 down and went on to lose 12-1 and it wasn't a match turning decision.

The point on terminology is something that I consider puts a gap between referees and players - rightly or wrongly calling the 6 yard box the goal area makes you look like a pompous ar5e on a park pitch and I say that as someone with lots of bits of paper in technical subjects where terminology is vital. It's not a surprise most players don't read the rule book - it's poorly laid out, poorly written, inconsistent and it feels in reading as if they've got different people doing different parts and they don't talk. Even the course tutor hadn't noticed they'd left in the bit condoning charging where a few pages earlier it was labelled as reckless and demanding a caution....
 
#11
Hmm... I disagree. I am 6 years in so I’ve seen, well quite a few changes to the book. I’ve read and got involved in many very pedantic discussions on here, and even had my own (niggling) questions answered by the writers of said book.

My point is, don’t be so dismissive. The book has it’s own story and it is much much much better than it used to be. We are given a tough task as we have to make a lot of decisions that are not black and white. It frustrates me but it’s football,

On the charging point the LotG is quite clear and not at all contradictory. Charging is in the glossary. Fairly charging is allowed, as long as it is not careless, reckless or using excessive force. That’s what it says. The law is clear.

But why is charging singled out? I think it’s because in football there can be a lot of upper contact so it’s mentioned so we know contact is OK. The onus is on us to judge if it’s an offence. And yes that’s hard for us and often not black and white.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
#12
Hmm... I disagree. I am 6 years in so I’ve seen, well quite a few changes to the book. I’ve read and got involved in many very pedantic discussions on here, and even had my own (niggling) questions answered by the writers of said book.

My point is, don’t be so dismissive. The book has it’s own story and it is much much much better than it used to be. We are given a tough task as we have to make a lot of decisions that are not black and white. It frustrates me but it’s football,

On the charging point the LotG is quite clear and not at all contradictory. Charging is in the glossary. Fairly charging is allowed, as long as it is not careless, reckless or using excessive force. That’s what it says. The law is clear.

But why is charging singled out? I think it’s because in football there can be a lot of upper contact so it’s mentioned so we know contact is OK. The onus is on us to judge if it’s an offence. And yes that’s hard for us and often not black and white.
I have to say, I think the example you've raised both makes both sides points to an extent. Yes, you're right in saying that the law is clear.....ish. But in order to find this out you first have to read law 12 to find that charging can be an offence. Then you have to read the generic section on CRUEF. Then you have to go to the glossary to clarify what a charge is:
Charge (an opponent)
Physical challenge against an opponent, usually using the shoulder and upper arm (which is kept close to the body)
And none of this really gives you any particular guidance on what aspect of charging specifically makes it legal, careless, reckless or what a red card charge looks like. I've also personally been to quite a bit of extra-cirricular training and have never seen this discussed.

From previous threads on here, I get the impression that my personal level of consistency is that there's basically no such thing as a fair charge. While I find this fairly easy to apply personally, I know this makes me out of step with a lot of other referees - in my opinion not helped by a lack of clarity in the LOTG.
 
#13
... but then we get into the subtelties if refereeing. Upper body contact is allowed. But is there an attempt to play the ball, is the contact just an attempt to knock someone over, are the players running together, how natural is the movement, what’s the level, match, conditions, age, intensity... it’s what makes football refereeing very subtle.

For the OP, do these shades of grey exist kn hockey, handball, water polo...? Basketball the rules about contact are very clear. American Football allows a lot of contact with very technical rules and a lot of referees to spot the tiniest movements.

I’ve not read the hockey rulebook.., maybe rugby union is the most interesting comparison as there is also one main ref and a lot of contact, including the dark arts. Rugby seems a “cleaner” game but I think we also know that part of footy’s dramatic success (drama!) is down to how the laws are shaped and consequently incidents argued!
 

Kes

I'll Decide ...
#14
When I did the ref training course a big deal was made of the removal of the "intention" element on certain offences. Referees are human and not blessed with mind reading abilities, therefore how are they meant to know if a foul was committed intentionally? It appears, however, that we are meant to know if a handball is committed deliberately, as obviously there is a lot of difference between intentionally and deliberately.
Sometimes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. That's the nature of the job.

Regarding the deliberate/intentional handball question - it's a fair point you make and not one easily answered with any precise clarity. Most of these instances are "you had to be there" moments.

For a handball, particularly where the sanction for it is a penalty, I always try and ask myself the following question:

"Could the player have prevented the ball coming into contact with their hand at that moment?". That may help. :)
 
#15
... but then we get into the subtelties if refereeing. Upper body contact is allowed. But is there an attempt to play the ball, is the contact just an attempt to knock someone over, are the players running together, how natural is the movement, what’s the level, match, conditions, age, intensity... it’s what makes football refereeing very subtle.

For the OP, do these shades of grey exist kn hockey, handball, water polo...? Basketball the rules about contact are very clear. American Football allows a lot of contact with very technical rules and a lot of referees to spot the tiniest movements.

I’ve not read the hockey rulebook.., maybe rugby union is the most interesting comparison as there is also one main ref and a lot of contact, including the dark arts. Rugby seems a “cleaner” game but I think we also know that part of footy’s dramatic success (drama!) is down to how the laws are shaped and consequently incidents argued!
I love my football, despite being an Ipswich fan, and played hockey more down to my schooling. The hockey rule book is superior to the football rule book (LOTG) in almost every way but the game of football is superior to hockey.

Big rabbit hole, but two umpires not a ref and up to four assistants (champions League) would work nicely in football.... Sin bins and the green card as well.
 
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