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Dennis Wickham

Battle scarred referees prefer to avoid conflicts with players and assistants. Always going with the flag avoids conflicts. But, aren't courageous decisions the essence of a good referee?

My experience is that I never have been wrong in waving down an offside flag and never have been right in calling an unflagged offside. Inevitably, post match discussions will reveal for the overruled flag that the AR raised the flag too soon because the ball was ignored by the PIOP and then played by someone in onside position or because the AR didn't know that a defender had last played (possessed/controlled) the ball. The discussions also reveal, to my horror, that on the called "unflag," I failed to see the trailing defender far away from play.

Perhaps the wiser advice is to go with the unflag.-----------------------------------------Dennis: Your note reads as though you have talked yourself into agreeing with me. Bob.

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