Play of the week: RSL vs POR

This week’s Play of the week with Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer comes from the Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers game.

The play highlights the criteria a referee has to consider when a player is guilty of Serious Foul Play.

Paul explained: “In this play, Portland’s Ben Zemanski commits a foul challenge on RSL’s Ned Grabavoy.

“The criteria in law that the referee has decide is whether the offending player has endangered the safety of an opponent. Referee Baldomero Toledo has to quickly process the following questions:

  1. Does the player have a chance of playing the ball in a fair manner?
  2. Does the player show clear malice when making the challenge?
  3. What degree of speed/intensity is the player using when making the challenge? Consider the distance travelled.
  4. Is the player making the challenge off the ground/airborne and in control of his actions?
  5. What was the direction of the tackler’s feet?
  6. Did the player use his studs when making the tackle?
  7. Does the challenge clearly endanger the safety of the opponent?
  8. Do you consider the challenge as Serious Foul Play?

“If you look at the challenge and ask yourself the above questions you will come to the conclusion that the referee made the correct call and the perpetrator was guilty of Serious Foul Play. The process the referee goes through is:

– See – You will see that Baldomero Toledo is in an excellent position and has a clear, unobstructed view of the challenge.
– Recognize – He has to quickly process the previous considerations in his mind.
– Think – He then decides on the correct course of action.
– Act – He acts in a calm yet positive and decisive manner, with the minimum of fuss, thus affording the offender his dignity.

“This play demonstrates a textbook example of dealing with Serious Foul Play effectively.”