“Hallo Schiedsrichter-Assistent!” – Rodric Leerling

“Hallo Schiedsrichter-Assistent!” – Rodric Leerling

My game on Saturday had a weird twist. It started with the Assistant Referees instructions; the one AR was German, the other Dutch Turkish. The German assistant requested gently if I could do it in German or if not, maybe English. Despite being able, it was too much asked for, sorry. We decided to do it in Dutch, at a lower speed though, and he seemed to understand. No further questions.

The home team were ranking three places below the away team, who in fact were leading the table. Both AR’s also appeared to have a son playing in each team. The German AR didn’t seem to know the rules, or at least how to deal with it, especially on offside. He would deliver me lots of trouble during the game, raising his flag at the wrong moments or not at all when he should have. He in fact missed an important offside situation which let to the 1-1 equalizer for the home team, but I only had a hunch to go after and decided to allow it. He would also indicate wrong directions for in-out balls, as I understood from the supporters on his side of the pitch, but followed him anyhow.

The home scored 2-1 shortly into 2nd half and kept pushing for more goals. But they somehow missed the final touch and the away team was defending well at the same time. And then the game went into the final game minutes, and the home team was about to celebrate their much needed three points against the leader of the table and as result jumping a few places up. But a sudden break-out by the guests changed everything. One of their fast attacking player sneaked from behind the home team defense and in a flash, the home AR raised his flag to indicate offside. I immediately signaled him to lower his flag as I believed it wasn’t offside. The guests scored the unexpected 2-2 equalizer and as I walked towards the AR I marked the goal on my card. The home AR exploded and shouted it was offside by at least meter. He wasn’t doing this for nothing, you know, I should follow his flag signal. The usual club AR comments. The indicated offside distance, however, confirmed my suspicion it wasn’t offside indeed. Sorry mate, but I’m overruling you and allowing the goal as result.

Four more minutes into injury time and I decided ‘game-over’ at a 2-2 draw. Happy guest players, angry home team players as a result. The home team coach gently shook my hand without further comments. He realized they had only to blame themselves for not scoring some obvious scoring chances. Don’t blame the referee.

One thought on ““Hallo Schiedsrichter-Assistent!” – Rodric Leerling

  1. Can’t believe they allow club ARs to make offside calls in Holland. Where I ref (Germany) they are only allowed to raise the flag when the ball goes out of play, and then only indicate direction if asked by the ref. Otherwise, as you discovered, it’s asking for trouble.


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