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Jerry Anderson

Bob,

First off: Congrats! Bittersweet victory, but victory nonetheless.

I'm curious how you feel about a couple of the scenarios listed in USSF's advantage guidance.

In scenario #3 they reference a violation of Law 12 by the goalkeeper, which I can only assume refers to handling a ball deliberately kicked to him by a teammate. I have a several problems with this. The first is technical: even the (now defunct?) ATR indicates that referees should not sanction this foul if in their opinion the kicked ball has been deflected or misdirected, which makes sense to me. The second is spiritual: the spirit of the 'pass back' law is to prevent time wasting and there's none of that going on here. The third is opinion only: I work mostly youth games these days and would simply hate to invoke advantage in this case, thereby awarding an undeserved goal against a youth goalkeeper who most likely doesn't understand that an own goal cannot happen directly from a goal kick.

Scenario #9 is a more serious problem for me. USSF states that advantage cannot be given because the offender was a substitute, not a player. However, IFAB's I & G specifically states that referees may apply advantage if a substitute or even a team official interferes with play. What's a U.S. referee to do? Follow this new USSF guidance, or follow IFAB and pray for future 'clarification' from U.S. Soccer?

Cheers,
Jerry

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