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GraemeS

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Level 5 Referee
The irony is that if it was at the other end he would be saying a sure penalty
Answered about 4 questions in his post match interview, spent 3 of them saying fairly overtly that decisions are given differently in the Spurs box vs the other end of the pitch. Snide git is happy to go on TV and accuse referees of actively cheating to harm his team, but absolutely loses his mind when people mention that his teams aren't afraid to actually bend the laws to their advantage.
 

Ben448844

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Level 6 Referee
Baffled by the idea people are trying to make this into a "moral" decision.

As Souness quite astutely said on today's Sky coverage, we are actually seeing a fairly high degree of consistency on handball now compared to what we're used to, so this law would make perfect sense if it was dropped in from nowhere. The only reason people are having (what I will now sarcastically refer to as) a "moral" issue with it is because it's too different to what they're used to.

The end game as demanded by all the whiny players and pundits was "greater consistency". So far, it's a small sample size, but I think we are undeniably seeing that. It's much easier to complain that something is wrong than it is to actually make a proper improvement.

Its not a 'moral' issue in my opinion. For me we need to take a step back and think about why the handball law exists and what football wants/expects from it.

Nobody wants handball to be interpreted as it is now, certainly not in the UK. We don't want to see penalties awarded for what are essentially non deliberate handball. Thats my issue with the law. Trying to define deliberate isn't possible, it actually has the opposing effect.

Yes players and pundits whine about consistency, but that certainly isn't limited to handball.
 

WiisardNic

Member
Level 4 Referee
What minute of the game was the OP?

By the way I think I figured out the new natural position of the arms

View attachment 4586
Especially in England, I didn't expect that to be a new thing over there. Back when I was playing youth football here in Australia, my club got a few guys from around Swindon (well, the one I'm mainly talking about was from Swindon at least) for the senior team, and one became the Assistant Coach for my youth side, and anytime he was in the penalty area (which as a CB, was a lot), he would be doing this. This is going back almost 15 years mind you
 
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GraemeS

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Level 5 Referee
Its not a 'moral' issue in my opinion. For me we need to take a step back and think about why the handball law exists and what football wants/expects from it.

Nobody wants handball to be interpreted as it is now, certainly not in the UK. We don't want to see penalties awarded for what are essentially non deliberate handball. Thats my issue with the law. Trying to define deliberate isn't possible, it actually has the opposing effect.

Yes players and pundits whine about consistency, but that certainly isn't limited to handball.
But as I said - it's easy to go "This isn't what we want", but difficult to say "What we want is...."

You want to go back to what we had a few years ago? There's a reason it got changed - and it's because every referee interpreted it differently. The same contact would be penalised one day and let go the next. Pundits and players hated it and it's frustrating how intellectually dishonest those same pundits are being by pretending it used to be fine!

No one has been happy with the handball law for at least as long as I've been refereeing. Players should understand now what will and won't be penalised - go back 5 seasons and they would have no idea. It's important to consider what benefits this change has brought as well as what negatives are considered.
 

GraemeS

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Level 5 Referee
What's really strange for me is that I hate every a lot of these refereeing decisions (the handballs we've seen in the PL this season) and yet every single one of them has been correct, to my mind, in law.
Bingo! Consistency!

Everyone who's moaned for years has got what they asked for.
 

GraemeS

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Level 5 Referee
That's not an unfair question, but again it highlights how short-sighted the previous moaning was. Now we can at least discuss your question. 2 or 3 years ago, everyone just assumed "consistency" was the correct answer.
 

onthebrink

Well-Known Member
That's not an unfair question, but again it highlights how short-sighted the previous moaning was. Now we can at least discuss your question. 2 or 3 years ago, everyone just assumed "consistency" was the correct answer.

Indeed.

There was a lot of moaning in the media last season about the Premier League going it their own way and doing things differently to the rest of the world. I distinctly remember pundits and the likes of Keith Hackett saying it was a madness how lenient PL referees were being on defensive handball when attacking handball was being so strictly penalised.
 

Ben448844

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Level 6 Referee
But as I said - it's easy to go "This isn't what we want", but difficult to say "What we want is...."

You want to go back to what we had a few years ago? There's a reason it got changed - and it's because every referee interpreted it differently. The same contact would be penalised one day and let go the next. Pundits and players hated it and it's frustrating how intellectually dishonest those same pundits are being by pretending it used to be fine!

No one has been happy with the handball law for at least as long as I've been refereeing. Players should understand now what will and won't be penalised - go back 5 seasons and they would have no idea. It's important to consider what benefits this change has brought as well as what negatives are considered.

I cant disagree with your point about the constant moaning for this magical world of 'consistency' that players, managers and pundits alike have droned on about for years. Im not someone who's stuck in the so called good old days either.

For me its the notion that matches are won and lost on handball decisions which are in no way deliberate (ie Diers yesterday). The previous moans about handball are more tolerable to me than what we are seeing this year where absolutely nobody in the game wants to see handball given where it appears that it clearly wasn't deliberate.

The initial debate for me is whether we've improved the game of football with the new law interpretation. To me the answer is a resounding no.
 

Martiju

Well-Known Member
Level 6 Referee
For me its the notion that matches are won and lost on handball decisions which are in no way deliberate (ie Diers yesterday). The previous moans about handball are more tolerable to me than what we are seeing this year where absolutely nobody in the game wants to see handball given where it appears that it clearly wasn't deliberate.

The initial debate for me is whether we've improved the game of football with the new law interpretation. To me the answer is a resounding no.

I agree with you, except the match wasn't lost on a handball decision alone. It was lost because one team spurned (see what I did there) all their opportunities and the keeper was amazing.

I'm conflicted in many ways. On the one hand, it was correct in law, but as covered in the thread would, on the other hand, come under any definition of surprising and unexpected. On the third hand it made Mourinho storm off in a temper, so that made me laugh out loud after what was otherwise a pretty poor spectacle!
 

JamesL

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Level 4 Referee
I cant disagree with your point about the constant moaning for this magical world of 'consistency' that players, managers and pundits alike have droned on about for years. Im not someone who's stuck in the so called good old days either.

For me its the notion that matches are won and lost on handball decisions which are in no way deliberate (ie Diers yesterday). The previous moans about handball are more tolerable to me than what we are seeing this year where absolutely nobody in the game wants to see handball given where it appears that it clearly wasn't deliberate.

The initial debate for me is whether we've improved the game of football with the new law interpretation. To me the answer is a resounding no.
Precisely the reason I opened the thread.
We all agree this is a correct decision.
But does football really expect this to be an offence?
How do we fix it? We can't really go back to what we had before, as this is how we arrived here.
I do wonder what fans in the countries where this is normal feel about these types of decisions...
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Precisely the reason I opened the thread.
We all agree this is a correct decision.
But does football really expect this to be an offence?
How do we fix it? We can't really go back to what we had before, as this is how we arrived here.
I do wonder what fans in the countries where this is normal feel about these types of decisions...
I think the entire concept of "deliberate" handball is flawed to be honest. It made sense when football was played in trousers and flat caps and the norm was for players to self-report fouls, but as soon as a neutral third party referee was created, the idea should have been scrapped at that point. We've muddled through for over a hundred years since, but it needs to be stripped back to basics now.

Someone on here mentioned the idea of "avoidable" handball being the foul, and I think that's a lot better as a starting point. Instead of looking at an incident and trying to infer intent in what was done, we look at an incident and determine what actually wasn't done.

Might still need some refinement and will definitely need the VAR to stop using slow-motion replays quite as much (as everything looks avoidable if time is slowed down enough - ref. The Matrix!), but it at least is no longer based on hoping referees suddenly develop psychic powers mid-game!
 

JamesL

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Level 4 Referee
I think the entire concept of "deliberate" handball is flawed to be honest. It made sense when football was played in trousers and flat caps and the norm was for players to self-report fouls, but as soon as a neutral third party referee was created, the idea should have been scrapped at that point. We've muddled through for over a hundred years since, but it needs to be stripped back to basics now.

Someone on here mentioned the idea of "avoidable" handball being the foul, and I think that's a lot better as a starting point. Instead of looking at an incident and trying to infer intent in what was done, we look at an incident and determine what actually wasn't done.

Might still need some refinement and will definitely need the VAR to stop using slow-motion replays quite as much (as everything looks avoidable if time is slowed down enough - ref. The Matrix!), but it at least is no longer based on hoping referees suddenly develop psychic powers mid-game!
The problem I see with avoidable. Will be the inevitable list of things to look out for. Like we have now. Like we have before. Cue, same problem..
I like it is a concept, but does it fix the issue that this type of scenario throws up. We've seen similar handball under the old law and nobody complained.
After this weekend, I do expect some ifab tinkering at some point in the next couple of seasons.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Agree with all the points mentioned on the previous 3 posts. Ehats really difficult to take as a football fan is that the media and football in general seem to spend more time talking about the laws than the actual football. I dont ever remember this being the case with the incescant nature that we see now. Theres obviously always been debate about the laws but never with such universal hatred as what we see towards the handball law.

I've mentioned this before but theres an increasing perception in football that the laws are being written to suite referees and not the game. Whether that's true or not isn't the issue, its the increasingly negative attitude towards law makers and officials within the game which come from such perceptions. Like I mentioned earlier, I gave a pen on Sunday which I wouldn't have given prior to this years law changes. When I was discussing with both teams after the game theres just a general demeanor of confusion. The overriding emotion towards me was that they felt sorry for me having to enforce such daft laws on a Sunday League game. I think I'd rather have the anger!
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Aside: until the first great re-write, all fouls had to be intentional . . . well, that was what was written. And there were mental gymnastics as to what "intentional" meant. Very similar mental gymnastics continued with respect to what "deliberate" meant for handling, with the soccer definition being quite at odds with any you could find in a dictionary. So the recent changes are, in many ways, more honest than the torturing of the word deliberate. But the ultimate problem with handling (and all fouls for that matter) is that unless the standard is "any contact is an offense," there are always going to be plays close to the line--wherever the line is. And when plays are close to whatever line is there, then those looking through partisan eyes are always going to find inconsistency. And VAR accentuates that, as it gives the illusion of balancing everything out for consistency.
 

GraemeS

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Level 5 Referee
The problem I see with avoidable. Will be the inevitable list of things to look out for. Like we have now. Like we have before. Cue, same problem..
I like it is a concept, but does it fix the issue that this type of scenario throws up. We've seen similar handball under the old law and nobody complained.
After this weekend, I do expect some ifab tinkering at some point in the next couple of seasons.
Oh yeah, that's of course true, but I still see it as less of a problem. Currently, you can't go back to the defining principal of a law - because the defining principal is nonsense and it's impossible to know if it was deliberate or not. So the core concept of what handball should or should not be, is of zero help to the referee, meaning the decision is based on cherry picking aspects of what are only supposed to be partial considerations.

At least by switching it to avoidable, it's possible for everything to refer back to the core concept. Ball-to-hand contact can be considered avoidable if.... It can be considered unavoidable if....

At the end of the day, the reason I like this concept is because I think avoidable/unavoidable is pretty much what the average lay-person feels is/isn't handball. We're currently seeing the effects of IFAB trying to change the law to standardise it - which while not a terrible idea in principal, was always going to meet resistance. In theory, what we really want is if you could find a perfectly neutral person, put them in a room, show them a series of clips and ask them what feels like handball - then write the laws around that. My sense is that we'd end up with something pretty closely aligned with the concept of avoidable.
 
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PinnerPaul

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Level 7 Referee
It is in line with the laws, that can't really be argued. Yes, the law is extremely harsh on defenders, but as I said in a different topic that would have been given in most other countries for several seasons. I can remember seeing a major one from a recent season where exactly the same happened and a penalty was given, just can't remember what game it was.

People are just going to have to get used to it as it won't be changing, certainly not until next season anyway.
Yes the point about 'bringing us in line' with other countries was made on MOTD2 - but why the need?

Anthony Taylor told us in a talk that he knew he had to referee CL games differently to UK games because expectations on certain offences , inc handball, were different.

We've had numerous discussions on here - U12s, Dog and Duck, semi pro football, PL - all refereed differently for perfectly plausible reasons,

One of many examples - NO ONE EVER in the professional game penalises GKs for the 6 second rule - as I've said before it can be 20 seconds in the Championship games I've seen live - the laws are and always have been adapted - for the IFAB to dictate and the PGMOL to agree that games here should exactly match Serie A is absurd.
 
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