April 24, 2001
April 24, 2001, 8:00 p.m. - Minutes R&D Committee
Members Present:
Robert Emeritz, Director; Lula Bauer, Wendell Domon, Chuck Keefer, Hap Kwiatkowski, and Christine Mroczek.

1. Protest of Game 913: ASA Stars v HERN Force (U11 D5 Red)
The result in this match was protested by ASA. The Stars' request for a replay of the match was supported by the opposing coach.

The basis of the protest was ASA's assertion that the center referee called a foul punishable by a direct free kick against a Herndon player, and that although the foul occurred in the Herndon penalty area, the referee did not award a penalty kick, but spotted the ball at the point of the infraction and called for a direct free kick. ASA took the kick but did not score. The match ended in a 3-3 draw.

Both the Herndon coach and the lead assistant referee confirmed that the play had occurred as described by the ASA coach.

Law 12 provides that "A penalty kick is awarded if [any offense punishable by a direct free kick] is committed by a player inside his own penalty area.... The referee quite plainly misapplied this law in refusing to award the penalty kick. The protest was granted unanimously and a replay of the match ordered by the Committee.

2. Protest of Game 3019: SCB Cheetahs v BETH Liverpool (U16 D2)
The result in this match was protested by SCB. The SCB coach alleged that the center referee has misapplied Law 11, governing Offside, in that he had nullified a goal by calling an offside violation against an SCB player who was not nearer to the goal line than the ball.

The SCB coach testified that during a scramble in front of the Bethesda goal, one of his players had touched the ball past the Bethesda goalkeeper to a teammate, who struck the ball off of a Bethesda defender and into the goal. The SCB coach asserted that the player who struck the ball into the goal had been in an onside position throughout the play, but that the referee had called her offside because when she struck the ball there was only one Bethesda defender between her and the goal line.

The referees' testimony was different. The center referee stated that the last SCB player was past the goalkeeper and past the ball, and had only one defender between her and the goal line, when the ball was last touched by her teammate. She was therefore in an offside position and participating in active play when she struck the ball off the last defender and into the goal, and was correctly penalized. The lead Assistant Referee, who did not raise his flag to signal an offside violation, said that the center's version of the events was correct, and that he had failed to raise his flag in error because he lost track of the farthest advanced SCB player during the scramble in front of the goal.

A Bethesda player who had been near the play also testified. Her testimony was consistent with that of the center referee.

Even if the SCB claim actually described a "misapplication of the offside law" rather than a mere disagreement as to the rightness of the offside call, the testimony of the center referee was credible and was supported by the testimony of the Bethesda witness and the Assistant Referee. There was no reason to conclude that the referee, whether he was right or wrong about the position of the SCB player, misinterpreted the Offside Law as requiring that an attacking player be no closer to the goal than the second-to-last defender regardless of the position of the ball, as asserted by SCB. The Committee voted unanimously to deny the protest.

Robert Emeritz

Director, WAGSL Rules & Discipline Committee

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