playing the advantage

Discussion in 'Umpiring Corner' started by foozbear, Jul 11, 2009.

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    foozbear FHF Regular Player

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    This is a question that has been playing around on my mind for a little while.

    Keely was there and may also have input on the scenario.

    an attacker has started the approach to the circle and is fouled by player one.(stick offense, could have been a deliberate play) I play advantage and the attacker has moved with the ball less than 5 metres and player two makes a clean tackle. I then blow my whistle and award the first foul outside the attacking circle.
    Player two then proceeds to mouth (hits the ball away) and I award the corner.

    after the game he comes up to me and tells me it was a bad call. I tried to explain that the first player didnt gain the advantage and I awarded the free where the player was fouled the first time. The player then says he had advantage and entered the circle...says whatever, it was a terrible call. (being a national player...maybe he knows )

    any way Keely told me I should have used "the first tackle occured and the attacker didnt gain a clear opportunity for advantage to be played. So I awarded it back at the first infringment."

    What my question is...does this occur to anyone else and what are other ways to handle a situation like this.

    I normlly get away with...( please take it back X metres where the first offence occured..player got no advantage...thanks guys...and I hadnt got this issue. So Im seeing what others are doing that could help me in this.
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    Goalie64 FHF Legend

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    From what you say, I would have no issues with your award of a PC. It sounds like the attacker did not have enough of a chance to develop the play before the legitimate second tackle. Naturally, if the player concerned were to post here, I'm sure we would hear something different.

    As I read it, you called the play back and gave (just) a free hit to the attack for player 1's foul, but because of the "chat"and dissent by hitting the ball away then upgraded to a PC - is that correct?
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    foozbear FHF Regular Player

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    yes that is correct...dissent earned his team a PC instead of a simple outside the circle free.

    what upset him more was it was the last minute of the game and cost his team the draw.
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    Folmer FHF Legend

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    He should have accepted the FHA. So he was probably mainy angry with himself for mouthing and hitting the ball away, not at you for giving the PC ('couse that was the correct action).

    About the FHA, it's one of those "You had to be there" things. You are the only one who can judge whether there was any advantage gained after the first offence or not. Clearly you judged it to be not, so it was a correct call. (imho)
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    jtsoldier FHF Regular Player

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    This might come across a little rude, presumptuous, or otherwise, so I apologise in advance.. my experience is limited almost entirely to junior grades, where advantage gained is blatantly obvious.

    Isn't it up to the you to read the play and apply advantage where advantage is likely to be gained, and award different penalties where it isn't? You had given the advantage, they "didn't make the most of it" - so play on as opposed to taking it back? It wasn't necessarily your fault they ran into someone capable of making a legitimate tackle, it was the player's.

    In fact.. it is in the rulebook even - in the umpires section:
    2.2d having decided to play advantage, a second opportunity must not be given by reverting to the original penalty

    So, wasn't the player technically right..?

    jtsoldier disappears into witness protection
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    Fox47

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    It does raise the interesting question of how long can you allow play to develop in order to judge if an advantage actually materialises and at what point do you have to decide that the judgement period is over.

    In rugby play can go on for many phases after the initial offence and play can be called back a long way to the original offence. During the judgement period, the ref has announced "Advantage" and is constantly signalling that the judgement period is active. The ref also calls "Advantage Over" when it is finished.

    Hockey and soccer are not rugby and do not generally allow the team offended against to "have their cake and eat it". The judgement period is normally very short.

    I don't see any problem in this particular opening post, but maybe some people have seen difficult situations?
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    Magpie Administrator

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    Fox47, to quote many umpires on here 'verbalise' your advantage "play on", "keep going" etc and signaling (it is a standard signal). To achieve a good advantage play needs to be allowed to develop there are times when your umpiring and think that there is no way that they can play on but some how they do.

    Players will respond to umpires who play good advantage and will, at least not normally complain when you pull it back because nothing developed.

    A person may have been good enough to make a tackle but is the person being tackled in complete control, remember advantage is possession, position, possibility if a person is tackled whilst you allow advantage and the PPP's are not there, there is no advantage. Howeve, if only 1 of the 3 P's are there a short development time should be allowed, if non a present a FH straight away.
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    JiMMM FHF Regular Player

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    I don't think this interpretation is too bad, the only thing that we don't know is if the player got an advantage i.e. whether tackler 1 kept running next to the player or was completely beaten, and how much chance to advance the play after the initial tackle. These are the things I don't think happened
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    Fox47

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    Thanks for that, but I maybe didn't ask my question clearly. The question was not about when or why to give advantage. The question is, "Having played a good initial advantage, how long should you allow play to develop before reaching the point where the advantage is over and you will not give the player, who was originally fouled, the opportunity to go back to the original offence".

    Of course the answer is that it is a judgement call and will be difficult to discuss in a written forum. I have not had any contentious issues with this, but I was interested to know if others have. I have seen it blown differently and have seen occasionally a defending team upset by a long advantage and even heard the cry "This is not Rugby!" , But frankly it was in midfield and no big deal. Has anyone seen anything more interesting or controversial?
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    Handmedown

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    "If awarding a penalty is not an advantage to the team
    which did not break the Rules, play must continue."

    In the scenario, a FHA for the first offence would have required the ball to be taken back 5m from the circle, allowing time for more defenders to drop back. It also imposes heavy restrictions on the attacking side with no direct hit into the circle AND all other players must be 5m from the hit. In comparison playing on quite possibly could have created an opportunity for an easy pass to an open team mate in the circle, however the player may have chose to chance his/her skills against the defender in a poor decision. Obviously there are so many factors involved in determining whether there really was an advantage (did the attacker even have proper control of the ball after being infringed upon?). But I can imagine in some situations awarding a penalty inside in the 23m is a huge disadvantage.

    Does this mean the team with the ball must gain an opportunity to develop play (hence making them able to develop play), or must they actually develop play? Basically does an opportunity for development of play signal end of advantage, regardless of whether the opportunity taken?
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    kaiwawao FHF Regular Player

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    The amount of time you play the advantage for before either allowing play to continue or bringing it back, to me, depends on the following:

    1) Game situation
    2) Level of players
    3) How the game has played so far

    There are no clear and fast answers as to how long you judge the advantage should last (and remember, it is your judgement, not the players).

    To expand on the above:

    1) Game situation - is it a clear path into the D and they got a shot away or were they maybe on the edge of the D and never regained controlled in the few metres that they ran thus allowing an easy tackle? Or did they ride the challenger, run into space and then make a bad pass straight to an opponent? These are "had to be there" calls and will determine for me whether to bring it back or end the advantage.

    2) Level of players - a cynical high level player may be trying to break down play on the edge of the D to allow defence to get back to take advantage of the 5m rule on the edge of the D - the opponent may have the ball under control in a second and be ready to play and thus running 5m with it is more than enough. At 3rd team level, they may need much longer to get the ball under control to use it properly, 5m may not be enough in some areas. At 5th team level, or some vets games, they may want the foul full stop to give a rest or to take stock as perhaps they can't hold the ball up well. Similarly, at top level, a bad tackle may put the ball on the reverse side which say a 1st team player would be happy to take a shot off balance (and has a good chance to use well) but the same scenario may not be advantageous to a low level player who can't execute such a shot.

    3) How the game has played so far - if you're at the start, it sets a nice precedent for the players to say that you will allow this much advantage but are prepared to call it back. If during the game you've seen advantages result in steadily worse challenges, it may be safer to call the advantage after 1 additional challenge to prevent a player being injured or causing a reaction. The player though may be happy to skip over several dodgy challenges if they have the ability. If previous advantages have resulted in the players retaining the ball and profiting, let it go, if they usually lose it, then call the foul.

    Each scenario is different but ultimately you're the judge and what your decision is, stand by it. Players will respect an umpire who makes the call and stands by it, but can defend the choice made rather than a weak umpire who dithers and seems uncertain.
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    keely FHF Legend

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    A really good discussion so far, and particularly Handmedown raises important points about what the consequences are of going back and giving that initial free hit.

    Interestingly, that should mean that had the actual situation developed slightly differently and the attacking player had a decent chance to develop anything in the circle and foozbear had blown the whistle perhaps too quickly, I would fully expect the attacking players to be absolutely irate because of the inherent disadvantages in that free hit. Every attacking player should prefer to have even a not terrific possession inside the circle than a free hit that needs to be moved back to the hash. I am trying to pound into my own head and into the umpires around me that it's the got to be the worst call in FH to blow a foul within the 5m hash - unless there's NO chance of the ball going forward or back out to a teammate. Have patience just outside the circle!

    Now, that wasn't what happened in the game in question, so I'll get back to that.

    I think what we need to focus on here is what the consequences are for the attacking team and why we play advantage outside the circle.

    In fooz's scenario, the initial foul happened outside the circle, and he judged it to be an accidental foul. However, the player seemed to be able to ride through and perhaps his ability to get into the circle wasn't impeded by the first foul.

    There's a difference between a foul that changes the player's possession of the ball (maybe he's had to collect it on his reverse side, he's a little off-balance, he can't get that next pass off because he can't get solid contact with the ball, etc.) and one that doesn't actually change anything. One can argue, in fact, that if it doesn't change anything, i.e. doesn't disadvantage the opposition, you're not playing advantage but simply playing on - there wasn't a foul in the first place.

    Let's say that we're playing advantage anyway - what is the goal of playing advantage in this situation? You're trying to get the attacking player inside the circle. It's like little baby attacking steps - first aim is to penetrate the 23m. Then it's to get inside the circle. Then it's allow the defenders to make a mistake and give up a PC. Then it's get a shot away. Then it's get a rebound. And so on.

    So here we have the initial foul, and by playing advantage, the goal was met: the attacking player got inside the circle. Again, you have the make the determination, did that first foul change the player's ability to do what they otherwise could have done such that you needed to go back? That's the turning point, that's when advantage is over - when the disadvantage brought about by the foul isn't felt anymore.

    As kaiwawao said, that changes dramatically depending on the level. Here we had national team male players from the 13th-ranked team in the world - so pretty darn good. I don't remember the very particular details of the situation and I wasn't on top of it like foozbear was, so I don't know exactly what disadvantage the attacker suffered, and how long he had before he met the next tackler (the player who dissented). I admit that I had the impression that the attacker had the ability, as handmedown said, to develop play but he simply didn't do better than to dribble straight at the next defender and get dispossessed.

    Now, whether he was right or not is absolutely impossible to say now, but the dissenting defender's point was that advantage was over in that situation and foozbear effectively gave him two bites at the cherry. Once the defender hit the ball away, foozbear didn't have a choice but to give the PC.

    I think that we have to be very careful when dealing with players who are making what are essentially good points about subtle interpretations in the heat of the moment. This isn't a player telling us that we're blind, or we don't know the rules, but a player showing us how he's seeing the game from his perspective. This is a really good time to listen. It doesn't mean that we can or should change our call, but it can really help us improve our understanding of the game.
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    JiMMM FHF Regular Player

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    Well if you want to kill off the discussion Keely, grrrrrr umpires making good and well thought out points killing off what was looking like a good argument :p :p :p

    But in all seriousness what keely said
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    jtsoldier FHF Regular Player

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    And some just outside too - eg. a up-10 I gave just outside the 23m in my very first experiment with the control ladder...
    The advance had the desired effect - the player stopped arguing about what would've been an inconsequential freehit, and instead found the ball advanced to within his own 23, so naturally he went quiet and dropped PDQ. Of course, the attacking team didn't gain any real advantage because they took the ball up the full 10 metres. Their best hope was that an attacker within 5 was going to play the ball and for me to upgrade again to a PC - which didn't happen. Instead, the effect was that it was within the attacking 23m, so their own players had to retreat 5m as well, considerably disadvantaging them. Wasn't my fault, but I wish they hadn't done it.
    Of course, few players prepare for such an event or consider the effect of the new rules on their play... this scenario is rather abstract - which position is more advantageous in such a situation?

    Given that the player (in this case) dissented for what might be a dubious call... and then had the freehit upgraded to a penalty corner... it raises several questions in my mind: how else can you handle dissent when the player may be correct, or raises a good point? Shrug, apologise and play the freehit anyway...? Then we run into the potential threat of escalation through loss of control, so there seems to be a rather thin line. Do we listen to talk, but penalise the attitude?



    I seem to be having a great deal of difficulty with keeping on topic recently...
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    keely FHF Legend

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    Every player understands that there are only limited situations where you can actually change your call. The action of blowing your whistle often has an irrevocable effect on the game that can't be reversed - like when you bring back to an initial foul when you should have played on. They get that. So yes, sometimes a shrug and a respectful acknowledgment without entering into a discussion is exactly the prescription to avoid inviting a player into further dissent (i.e. hitting the ball away).

    I'm not sure where this fear of losing control comes from. In my experience, umpires lose control far, far more often when they refuse to listen to players and coaches, give them an officious attitude and get angry when players dare to express a different view.

    When players disagree, don't take it personally unless they make it personal - like calling you a name. If they're talking too much to you, be honest and just tell them that it's too much an you need to focus on the next decision ("Ok, I hear you but I have to get on with the game.") Your confidence in interacting with the players without getting defensive will be the most important tool you have in maintaining control.
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    Goggs FHF Newbie

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    Aaah, the joys of advantage. Damned if you do, damned if you don't! When I'm umpiring nothing compares to the feeling of satisfaction I get when I play a great advantage. But I don't beat myself up when it doesn't work. Fooz, at least you tried rather than taking the 'easy' route and giving a straight PC when you weren't certain it was deliberate.

    I go along with Keely's advice on 'managing' the dissenting player... First be prepared to listen. Second, don't be defensive. Third, diffuse rather than inflame. Tell a small white lie if you have to... "Sorry, I just couldn't get my whistle to my mouth in time!" with a smile and a shrug is often better than a long discussion on the finer points of the rule.

    The problem is, the closer it is to the end of a close game, the more likely players are to lose control and do something silly. That can be something we can change but sometimes we can't. I was called a cheat (along with a few choice swear words) 2 weeks ago for blowing against a player who was within 5m of a long corner. Both teams and my colleague agreed with my call, but one particular player was absolutely out of control because it was his team's last chance to attack and they'd just let in an equaliser in a game they should have won long before. He still got a red despite the fact I can understand why he behaved that way.

    It's a shame such a senior player behaved that way in your situation... they are the examples others follow and this player was not living up to the standards expected of players who represent their country.
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    redumpire FHF Legend

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    It's made all the sweeter when one of the players notices and comments!
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    foozbear FHF Regular Player

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    thanks all for the posts,

    Keely is right , we should listen to the players and their grievences. But we shouldnt have to listen to a rant but more a discussion after the game.

    I never got defensive about the player talking to me...in fact he asked me during the game":
    "why HE was penalised when HE made aclean tackle".
    :yes:I simply told him..."your tackle was a great tackle...now if the first tackle was as beutiful to watch as his I wouldnt have given it."
    :eek:HE asked why "if he still had the ball why is it a free hit?"
    :yes: I explained that"he had been fouled first....and didnt get an advantage. I played it a few steps and he never got it."
    :eek:he told me "it was like I was I was penalising him for getting the ball"

    I had thought it was done at that...I do think that the goal gave him more juice to keep on at me. AND its only because I listened to that player that I AM asking this question.

    On the day Keely told me that the first foul looked like it could have been a PC as it looked deliberate...and looking back I think we both have new ideas about that incident and how we can better make decisions at the time.

    I am also of the firm belief that, no player has the right to do what he did , EVEN if the call was a loopy one. As a player you shouldnt lose your focus on the game so your focused on an umpires funny decision...like I said...I think it was exceptional until in the last minute of the game. If I could go back now I would probably have let the play go on after the defender tackled it...I can picture now how it would be unfair to the defender the attacker DIDNT run into the second defender but the second defender didnt apply pressure for at least 4 yards and the attaker may have had a good opportunity to do something more special with it. The fact he didnt recognise that he was under the pressure and was determined to barge it into the circle is of no fault to the defendender.

    I think it is good to talk about the incidents like this so that the next time we come across them we can play them and manage them a whole lot better.

    I would have had the opportunity to umpire the same teams again tommorrow but family duties came first...ahhh well next time.
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    justin-old FHF Legend

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    IMO, and as a general rule, foozbear, if a player asks "Why?" and you explain, all 'discussion' should end right there.....unless he has incontrovertible proof that you made a mistake (I once had a player show me a fresh bruise on his thigh, when I thought the ball hit his foot :sorry: ), it should be "We can discuss this after the game....thanks!"
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    foozbear FHF Regular Player

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    yeah me too justin...he did walk away into the PC...and that was that...I thought anyway.

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