Case Study: What's Wrong With This Picture?, Vol. 5

For the long-awaited return of WWWTP, we have a video for your consideration.  Here’s the setup:

This is a high school girls varsity match, in the largest classification.  Both schools have plenty of club soccer players are a located in an area known for strong soccer programs.

White is attacking from left to right.

Your task is to watch the video and then decide what, if anything, is wrong with this picture.

21 thoughts on “Case Study: What's Wrong With This Picture?, Vol. 5

  1. This is another great example of how a “simple” match can ignite over one play/decision. The center was slow to react to the counter-attack from white. That slow reaction led to poor positioning that potentially allowed a goal to be scored from a dangerous play. (I think the ref may have caught the infraction–watch his whistle.)

    Lesson learned: Always be vigilant


  2. Agree that ref was slow to read the play – Play moved away from him at pace and he did not react well.. That being said, I believe White is guilty of dangerous play – (Foot high close to defenders head and cleats exposed) Black was not really dipping to get a head on the ball. Question now is how did he sell his call .. Black team did not seem to protest the high foot so he may get away with awarding the goal.. ! But correct call I believe is Black IFK.


    1. Fergus, you and Stephen are absolutely right about the referee. He was very slow to react. As a matter of fact, he was just slow. His wife often accused him of being slow, but he thinks she means something different by that. Or so I’m told. 😉


      1. So what did you call Mike !! You’re a brave man posting your own games..I always learn something from seeing what I do on video – sometimes I look at it and wonder – “what was I thinking” and hope no one else noticed !!


      2. I played on and let the goal stand. And got not a peep from anyone, except for the black team’s coach.

        As for the slow reaction time, let me explain. (Notice I said “explain” not excuse).

        This was the second half and white was down to 10 after I sent off one of their players for a second caution. Black totally dominated play. They had 16 shots in the second half. White had the one shot you see in the video.

        So, when that ball was deflected up in the air, it’s in the context of complete domination by black. Plus, I look and see that there is the one white attacker and four black defenders. So, I relax, thinking, “get ready to start moving the other way again”.

        It just proves what Stephen said is so true. You have to be vigilant and prepared for anything. Easy to say, hard to do, especially In a game that had been as lopsided, possession-wise, as this one was.

        Final score: white 1 – 0 black


  3. I’m going to be in the minority, but play on and goal. Black is ducking into the challenge even before the ball bounces. White is already jumping to play the ball. Had black affected the play, IFK for white.


  4. Are you using the Double Dual System? Where are the other two referees? Women are terrible at high kicking. I usually run along side a player who I see “high kick” once or twice and quietly tell her not to do it again. The player in white should run through the ball and control it with a chest trap of downward header. What would happen if the player in black ran into white’s leg and hyperextend her muscles taking her out of the game?


    1. This game utilized the traditional diagonal system of control.

      One of the factors that swayed me was how deft the touch is from the white player. Watch it again and notice how delicate the touch is. This isn’t a brute attempt to play the ball at all costs, but a very skilled player controlling the ball with just the slightest touch. She withdraws her foot as quickly as it was extended.


  5. I would have to say that the goal should stand. The black defender is putting herself in a dangerous position rather than focusing on playing the ball. If a dangerous play is truly the act of risking injury to an opponent with a reckless or clumsy challenge this would not fit that as the play on the ball from white is a skilled play. It is situations like this that we all face in every game where even in replay well trained officials see it differently that makes our job as much an art as a science.


  6. It should only be ruled as “dangerous play” if it causes someone else to refrain from playing the ball for fear of getting injured or injuring someone else.. We don’t have that at all here. If anything, we have black approaching with her head in a position that might have caused the white attacking player to shy away from a kick that was rightfully hers…However, obvious advantage-PLAY ON.


    1. I perceived it as dangerous play when I first saw it, but it was kind of a knee-jerk reaction to seeing the white player’s leg raised. The black player, as Paul said, was not afraid to go for the ball, and she might very well have prevented the white player from following through on her shot. In addition, seeing “delicate the touch is” makes me re-think my decision. After hearing the arguments from other refs, I’d have to agree that the goal should stand.


  7. For me, White’s foot was at least shoulder high, and so is dangerous with respect to Black. Can’t agree with Black lowering her head into a dangerous position. Usually, a player needs to have her head at waist level or lower before I’ll call it against her. From the video, dangerous play against White. From Mike’s description of the skill and pull-back, no infringement.


  8. Just as a player can be whistled for a bicycle kick if others are around, this kick by white near black causes it to be a dangerous play. I think I may be a devils advocate. White, may be skilled and thus more will be allowed to occur but white played dangerously and can be argued to have impeded the progress of her opponent rather than those who think blk impeded.


  9. Just to be snarky, there is no correct answer in your poll 😉 PIADM from replay, IDK coming out, no goal. Your explanation is valid as you had to evaluate the play and level of skill, it doesn’t look like black changed position or flinched so in fact the foot may have been far enough away from black that it was a good play. There is no such thing as a “high kick” (if so we could have no legal bicycle kick).


  10. It is hard to see the video, but it does not look like the play of White caused Black to stop, flinch or not complete her intended play, therefore no IFK for Dangerous Play. Though trailing play the CR look to have a good angle to make that decision. Impeding by Black would not apply, whistling for an IFK against Black for that or Dangerous Play ( and possibly pulling a ball out of the net) could cause a riot. So I’m left with no whistle good goal.


  11. Not a dangerous play in this instance.
    Deciding Factors:
    1) The skill of the player/finesse and quickness of touch.
    2) Leg swing path is not towards opponent but near… defender would have to put head in the way.
    3) Defender does not appear to flinch or be otherwise effected.
    4) No contact with leg of attacker and defender’s upper body.

    If any of these factors would change, I’d be highly likely to whistle for dangerous play against the attacker. I would not decided against the defender since the ball is at or above chest height.


    1. Tim, I think I raised the whistle because the leg was high. But I decided against blowing it because the defender didn’t flinch and the touch was so articulate.


  12. I am pretty sure the definition once was, prevents another player from playing the ball, when I look at dangerous play, I am watching to see the head/foot/body to pull back and attempt to avoid contact. In the far away grainy version of the video I can’t tell. However, in high school and above dangerous play is rarely if ever utilized.


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