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Persistently infringing LOTG

callmemyref

Well-Known Member
Level 6 Referee
What if a team makes many fouls, can I give a YC to the one player of that team who made the first foul?
 
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Matthew

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
A caution for persistently infringing the laws of the game would generally only apply to a number of fouls by a single player (i.e. one player commits several careless fouls that, as standalone fouls, don't merit a caution). In the event that a team is committing a number of offences, an approach I've always used is to caution the next foul, even if it wouldn't ordinarily be a caution by itself - it can be an effective way of just taking a little bit of the temperature out of the game, though I'm sure different refs have different approaches.

Are you referring to a number of fouls being committed in the same passage of play, or just a number of offences in a short space of time?
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
I think you have 2 options to caution for persistent:

1. As @Matthew says, if a single player commits numerous careless tackles. There's no set amount, could be 2 or 6 depending on severity and frequency during the match.

2. If a team commits a number of careless fouls against a single member of the opposition you could caution the next careless foul as persistent.
 

RefIADad

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
The Laws only say that referees can issue a caution for persistent offenses. The Laws also say that "no specific number of pattern of offenses constitutes "persistent".

So that means referees, in theory, can caution for persistence whenever they feel like it. However, these are the two general patterns that are widely accepted as persistence.

1) A specific player (i.e. #6 on the blue team) is committing a higher number of fouls.
2) The team is committing a pattern of fouls against a specific player (or maybe a small number of players) of the other team. For example, the blue team is fouling #10 of the red team.

The third type of pattern that could (and I do stress COULD) be considered as persistent offenses is if one team is fouling the other team in the same type of situation (say that once the defense passes to a midfielder, then the defense fouls the midfielder before being able to pass to the forwards. If I'm guessing, this may be the type of "persistence" to which the OP is referring.

I generally do try to give one warning before a card for persistence. Example - I was refereeing a U16 girls match, and the team in white was fouling a specific player of the team in orange. After the second foul against this player, I told the specific player (and loudly enough for the team to hear) that the fouling of this player had to stop.

Less than five minutes later, the same player on Team Orange was fouled. I immediately cautioned the player on Team White who committed this third foul.

In my opinion, recognizing and sanctioning persistent offenses is one of the best ways to have excellent match control. No team wants to be fouled by the same player too much or have one player be fouled a lot. Deal with this well, and you will get good reactions for your work. In the case of the OP, I'd say that if you feel like one team is fouling a lot in general, but it's not one of the two cases I mentioned above, I'd talk to the captain of the team doing the fouling and tell him/her that the team needs to stop the constant fouling. If the team keeps fouling, then caution the player doing the fouling for unsporting behavior like @socal lurker said. If you feel like you need to add some additional explanation in your match report, do that.
 
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Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
"Persistent" is fairly straightforward description. The only grey area in the application of this law stems from the fact that you caution an individual rather than a team.
That hasn't stopped me in the past however. I've cautioned a player for being the 6th or 7th person in a row for the same team to give away a free kick.
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
I generally do try to give one warning before a card for persistence. Example - I was refereeing a U16 girls match, and the team in white was fouling a specific player of the team in orange. After the second foul against this player, I told the specific player (and loudly enough for the team to hear) that the fouling of this player had to stop.
I'd say it more strongly--never give a card for PI without having given a clear and visible warning. (An effective way to do it is to point at the locations of the various offenses.)

I'm going to quibble slightly on use of PI, per se. Law 12 says "a player is cautioned if guilty of . . . persistent offenses...)

Where the team is regularly fouling a particular player, the player you finally caution has not actually done that--the player has only offended once. I believe the caution is more properly classified as USB in this "team" context. Not a major distinction, of course, as it is simply a caution either way.

What if a team makes many fouls, can I give a YC to the one player of that team who made the first foul?
This is a bit confusing as framed. Others have set out the context for a caution, but it would go to the current foul, not to someone who fouled before.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
If a team is persistently fouling a particular player, but sharing it around the team to avoid one player being cautioned for it, as the referee I would be speaking to their captain and making it clear that unless it stops cautions will be happening.

It is something that has happened to Messi a lot in his career, and I've frequently seen the Spanish referees adopt this approach.
 

RefIADad

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
I'd say it more strongly--never give a card for PI without having given a clear and visible warning. (An effective way to do it is to point at the locations of the various offenses.)

I'm going to quibble slightly on use of PI, per se. Law 12 says "a player is cautioned if guilty of . . . persistent offenses...)

Where the team is regularly fouling a particular player, the player you finally caution has not actually done that--the player has only offended once. I believe the caution is more properly classified as USB in this "team" context. Not a major distinction, of course, as it is simply a caution either way.


This is a bit confusing as framed. Others have set out the context for a caution, but it would go to the current foul, not to someone who fouled before.

This is a fair point. I normally try to do this as well. The one time I didn't was when I had a player commit a borderline yellow card offense, and I gave him a pretty public chewing out. However, it was his first foul. Less than 90 seconds later, the same kid committed a slightly lesser, but still pretty rough, foul. Despite not giving him an official PI warning, I gave him a caution for persistence. The coach was upset, and kept saying "But that was only his second!". However, the fouls were both borderline yellows done so close together that I gave a PI caution despite it only being his second and only giving him the warning after the first one.
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Persistent offences does not specify how many fouls. In fact it says no specific number or pattern of offences constitutes persistent.
So in theory you could call 2 fouls persistent (or even one!).

My suggestion is to caution the next player who has more than one fouls (after warning the captain). Given the team has 11 players on the field and limited subs, this should be reasonable. For example if a team with 15 players and subs has had 16 fouls, at lease one of them has has 2 fouls.

As mentiined above, if the fouls are targetting the same opponent, it's managed differently.
 

Peter Grove

RefChat Addict
I was never a big fan of the now-discontinued USSF "Advice to Referees" document but it did get some things right.

I think their section on "team" PI was one example where they pretty much nailed it.

It went as follows:
The referee must also recognize when a single opponent has become the target of fouls by multiple players. As above, upon recognizing the pattern, the referee should clearly indicate that the pattern has been observed and that further fouls against this opponent must cease. If another player commits a foul against the targeted opponent, that player must be cautioned but, in this case, the misconduct should be reported as unsporting behavior, as must any subsequent caution of any further foul against that same targeted opponent. Eventually, the team will get the message.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
I was never a big fan of the now-discontinued USSF "Advice to Referees" document but it did get some things right.

I think their section on "team" PI was one example where they pretty much nailed it.

It went as follows:
I like the last line.
"eventually the team will get the message" 👍
 
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