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Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

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Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby UKLaxfan Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:31 am

I'm not one to give stick to Officials as their job is hard enough as it is....

Observations:
This weekend I attended:-
Cheadle Hulme on Saturday for Semi-Finals
Didsbury CC (Home of Manchester Waconians) on Sunday for Semi-finals

I enjoyed the weather and the perfect conditions for lacrosse and had a full weekend of English Lax, which is always fun

On talking with a number of ex-players/Coaches/referees/Fans, there seems to have been a relaxation on certain Rules.

Cross Checks (Square Checks)
This used to be an automatic One Minute Personal Foul and was frowned upon by all as poor defensive technique or violent conduct, as one it is easier to do than use proper defensive skills, two you end up cross-checking a player on the Hip or in the ribs that can cause injury or at minimum pain!
In a number of games I and others witnessed this weekend this appears to be the Standard Operating Procedure (or MO) for Midfield defenders!

There were not just one or two incidents but common place when a SSDM was getting taken on ie dodged to goal, he would cross check the opponent in the ribs or even worse in the Back (where there is no padding) and no Flag was thrown or even a verbal warning (Hit Wood) was given.

Am I out of date with a set of Rule Changes and Cross-checking is now Legal?

Or have officials just given up calling it because of abuse received?

Foul & Abusive Language:

Now this used to cover a range of abuse from shouted towards an official or said to yourself or Team mate.
But there were some words Verboten because of Ladies or Children being present at Lacrosse Events.
Again this weekend as our American cousins call it F-Bombs were dropped left, right & centre, and even screamed directly at Officials, challenging decisions and yet again No Flag or verbal warning was issued...

Rules Change I missed or de-emphasis of Foul & Abusive language?

Lacrosse is an Amateur Sport, so it isn't like Professional Football where £1,000s are at stake and players livelyhood can depend on a single decision.
In Tennis, Rugby Union & Rugby League and Cricket thus language used leads to fines & suspensions or in Rugby Penalties and Lose of 10 yards for yapping at referees.

Lacrosse as a spectator or fan becomes somewhere you wouldn't want to take your wife or kids, or even friends who don't know the game, when players can say what they want to Officials with No Flag or Penalty in sight.

Slashes:

The Glove is included as part of the stick when holding the stick, which is fine and has been for some time.
Now it seems that the forearm, elbow, upperarm, hip, shoulder & back are also included as part of the stick? :?

Kids years ago wanted to be attackers as they scored all the Goals, or Middies as they are involved all over the field.

Now it seems everyone wants to be a defender with a 6-foot pole as you can beat the crap out of players legally with little or no punishment.

Poke checks to the stomach & ribs, slashes to the arms, and my personal most hated when defender wind up and swing for a player on a groundball with the stick moving horizontally with no intent to hit the stick but attackers have to protect themselves from getting cleaved by using their stick to block slashes! :shock:

Didn't checks used to have to be controlled ie no more than 24 inches wind-up so the head only moves less than 24 inches on it's arc?

I may have imagined this but this weekend there are lots of attackers with welts on back, shoulders, thighs, calves & bruised ribs from checks where no Flags were thrown? :roll:

Trips & Pushes:

Far to often this weekend I've and others have told me from games I didn't see that players are getting tripped by opponents or pushed over from the back when they had the ball in their sticks which should have drawn and Flag & Penalty only for the Officials to either make No Call or Opt Out and call a Loose Ball push, so it is a turnover of possession rather than a Time Serving Penalty putting your team a Man Down.

Now all of the above are minor incidents and nothing to be concerned about individually but when seen as part of the bigger picture, and watching them repeated continually over a weekend with no action or penalty taken, they give the impression of a softening of the Rules or that Officals are losing the battle with Players & Coaches.

There may have been Rule Changes I'm unaware of and I'm happy to be corrected if that is the case but as an number of observers confirmed with me that in their opinion the game is a lot more violent and malicious than it used to be, and that the respect & authority of officials is being undermined by No Calls, accepting abuse & keeping the whistle in your pocket to avoid confrontation and actually making decisions on Fouls.

There is constant erosion of the rules in the USA where Coaches are paid by Institutions to Win for their University and if they lose too many they may lose their job. This so called "Let them Play!" philosophy is a complete fallacy.

What they are really saying is "Let my guys foul the opposition as they are more skilled than us"

There was nearly a very serious injury this weekend in one game which could have finished in an individual being disabled or heaven forbid in a seriously life threatening condition. Fortunately that hasn't happened according to latest reports...

But in the same game, a player ran 15 yards to cross-check someone in the back of the head/shoulders after the whistle had blown for an earlier incident and No Penalty was given even though is was 2 yds in front of an official (may have been too close to see it clearly, but that's why you have a 3-man crew)

On another occasion, a player was on his knees having been tripped up with the ball and was then cross-checked in the back of the head, in plain view of the whole benchside sideline and the trail official - No Call :shock:

I fear for the state and welfare of the game if this erosion of authority continues, as ultimately players will protect their team mates if the Officials don't enforce the rules of the game.

Next time we may not be so lucky in avoiding a serious injury

Get well soon to the player concerned

Hopes & prayers to his family and for a swift recovery

Thoughts please?

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
This is not a pop at any Club, Individual or Official but the accumulative impact of decisions observed having watched 8 games over the weekend of competitive lacrosse, and a love for the Game and genuine concern for it's future & it's players.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:27 pm

Thought provoking indeed!
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby Moaning Git Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:39 pm

I am not going to comment on the weekends games simply because as a ref myself I know how difficult it can be at times to make a call which from another angle might be clearly a foul or not a foul, but in respect of the points made above.

The referees perspective - when you work as a three man team you each have a different role, and area of the pitch to watch. There is an assumption that all three refs will be looking at the ball, but this is not the case. So as an example a fast break ends in a shot which is cleared for another fast break, the trail ref is now haring (or in my case hobbling) down the field to get to cover the goal line. The longside ref is trying to keep with the ball carier and watching for fouls on him, while the new trail ref after taking a split second to look for late hits on the keeper is running of the field and looking for the offside before slotting into the trail position to look for fouls around the restrainer. That way the aim is that all the field is covered but it does not mean multiple eyes on an incident. In fact if there were to be a foul and all three refs threw their flags you could argue they were not doing their jobs properly.

Trips - one of my bugbears. A trip is a deliberate act leading to a penalty, putting out a foot, thrusting a stick between the legs, stamping on the foot of the ballcarrier. To be honest I have very rarely seen these actions occur. What I do see a lot of is two players running side by side getting tangled up and one or both of them falls down. This is usually totally accidental, so is there a foul?

Personally it depends on the situation, if the ballcarrier retains the ball and carries on, no foul, if the ball carrier goes down and the ball is collected by a team mate, then no foul. Maybe even if both players go down and the ball is loose, no foul as it was an accident, just one of those things. But if a ball carrier looses possession and falls for the other player scoops the ball, I may, depending on the situation throw a flag for a hold (not interference which is totally different in therules) I do not believe you can be totally prescriptive but if a player runs in from behind the ball carrier and their feet tangle I am more likely to flag it.

What does annoy me is when every man and his dog start screaming for a trip, which is a personal foul and could lead to someone being fouled out of the game when there has been no deliberate intent. And the reaction from coaches players and spectators that the ref is a div who does not know the rules for not giving a trip. This does pressurise some refs into making the call.

Cross checks - clear advice on this, unacceptable, and if to the head to be dealt with severely at least2 poss 3 minutes and in extreme cases expulsion. I would do the same wherever the contact was if a player ran into the contact. Steering using the stick between the hands is a hold, repeated offence is unsportsmanlike


Slashes - Have never heard of the 24 inch interpretation so cannot comment, but the stick must be controlled, so if someone tries an icepick or round the back and does not contact the stick then it should be flagged. Same if real hacks are given to the arm. That said, I do not think that taps and slaps to the arm always constitute a "strike" but that is apersonal view which may be seen as inconsistent, but I think in the spirit of the game.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby Moaning Git Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:50 pm

Sorry I missed foul and abusive language. I try and take an initially tolerant approach with warnings and asking that comments are kept down. It is a mans game afterall as I am reminded and often the comments are madeout of frustration. If kids are around I point that out.

However, if a player thinks it appropriate to tell me repeatedly that I am a F*****g fat, c**t/T**t/etc, no matter how true that may be, I find myself impelled to remind them that such comments are unacceptable and will give 2 or three minutes, or one minute per abusive comment.

I will also flag coaches for dissension far more often than I used to especially in Junior games where they should be setting an example, in some senior games that might be seen as a lost cause!

I have to say though as a travelling refs, that with only a couple of exceptions most clubs and players have not been abusive, one of the exceptions though has been the comments from some of my own clubs team members which is embarrasing to say the least!
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby DL99 Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:15 am

Interesting blog from the States on cross checking

http://laxallstars.com/how-to-speed-up- ... schecking/
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby hatswell Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:06 pm

Was reading that post from the states, and it's interesting to see their perspective of the cross check. One person wrote
I think this is an unenforceable change because of how dramatic the change would be and the fact that it would render defenders, even longpoles, incapable of denying offensive players from running where they want to unless they take the ball away. What you call a crosscheck is not a technique limited to SSDM's and is used by poles to deny position to attackmen.

The other problem is this: will it actually speed up the game? If by speed up the game you mean increase scoring, then yes. Lacrosse will resemble the NBA after they instuted rules outlawing handchecking in that players will become close to unguardable on the perimeter. But does this really speed up the game? Will it stop the subbing of specialists every possession? Obviously not. Does it do anything to curtail stalling? It actually makes it easier for offenses to stall because it takes away an effective defensive tool. Will it make it easier/force the defense to go out and create turnovers? NO! Every team will pack it in and slide super early because you can't go out and pressure guys if you can't physically deny them from getting to a position that forces you to slide. You would have to assume you are going to need to slide on every dodge, which means the defense would have to be tight in order to support the slide and recover the man who was on ball. Finally, can a poke check from a SSDM actually be a defensive tool? Again, no. It will have virtually no ability to slow down a dodger, and represents a minimal chance of forcing a turnover. Here's how I'd coach SSDM's in a non-crosschecking environment: I'd have them incredibly overplay their guy to one hand, to the point that it guarantees that that player will get a step on them. They'd just trail the guy down the lane (slide is coming anyways) and try to catch the guy trailing his stick. If he doesn't, so what? Slide comes, he recovers inside and the defense lives to fight another day. Bottom line is that banning crosschecking does nothing to actually speed up the game and allows the things that actually slow the game down to persist, hidden behind a veil of increased scoring, not a faster pace.


I can see where he is coming from, but surely he doesn't even bother to think of the physical damage cross checking causes?

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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby S_24_LAX Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:15 pm

Dave

See post on South part and refer to the items flagged at start of the season.

Foul and Abusive Language gets a lot of coverage.

To be honest with you in the matches I have played and/or reffed this season it really is not a very big problem in the South. I am absolutely delighted to say. Well done to those players who have taken heed.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby UKLaxfan Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:21 pm

DL99 wrote:Interesting blog from the States on cross checking

http://laxallstars.com/how-to-speed-up- ... schecking/


Interesting article... nice to know I'm not alone

Favourite Quote from it "The crosscheck is skill-less defense."

Exactly, I don't have to have great footwork, reactions or skill to defend using a short stick

I can just be Big, aggressive & strong.... then I can physically intimidate my opponent and hurt or injure him

Stopping someone 1-on-1 with a Cross Check (or Cross Check Hold) gives the defender a huge advantage

The V-Hold (Stick & Forearm) or Forearm hold (with your Bottom hand on stick to elbow) used to be used in conjunction with Poke Checks and Lift Checks to play Midfield Defence. You needed to be Fast, Quick and have good footwork.

Now you can play with No Slides or Help Defence if you're allowed to cross-check an opponent in the hip or ribs and not be called.

Worse than that though is the Cross Check in the shoulder that easily rides up and ends up in Neck or Head!

Which I believe was a Point of Emphasis at the beginning of the season.

Lacrosse is a very athletic, physical sport but it is also a skillful sport, where hand-eye coordination is at a premium

Footwork, agility and excellent core stability are essential if you wish to be successful (low centre of gravity on Change of Direction etc)

All those skills become irrelevant if you are allowed to cross check, then all you need is strength & power

Box Lacrosse allows the Cross Check but they also wear the appropriate padding that protects the hips, ribs, back & spine, as well as arm and wrist guards that give far more protection than field arm guards and slash guards that protect upper arm and shoulders.

Watching Box Lacrosse players get prepared for a game, they look like gladiators using rolls & rolls of black insulation tape to put multiple layers of pads on to protect every square inch of arms/shoulders/ribs & back.

I love Box Lacrosse it's an exciting physical fast sport with the ball always in play with rebounds off walls and no sidelines and a 30 second shot clock. Small Goals and Big Goalies. Long Sticks are not allowed in Box Lacrosse.

It is a Different Game though with Different Rules:-

eithers change the rules and make Cross Checks Legal so everyone can do them and wear appropriate padding & protection (very expensive)

or

Enforce the Rules we already have Consistently

What's the point in Coaching players how to play defence legally if teams are allowed to break the rules regularly without warnings or Penalties?
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby Phil Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:06 pm

How many referees did the games have that you watched at the weekend?

I'm not looking to criticise officials either, as it's an incredibly difficult job, but in the majority of games I play (university level) there is only one referee so, entirely understandably, some fouls are missed. Not, always, a problem it itself but it can lead to games becoming more aggressive as fouled players go out looking to 'get even'.

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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby webby Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:21 am

As they were flags semis I imagine they would have had 3 referees and a CBO.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby whopead Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Just a thought i had. As sticks have got deeper has the balance of play switched to favour the attack. I am not excusing illegal play, but could it have come round with the fact that the ball is now easier to keep in the stick, thus harder to dislodge with a poke or lift so playing the man so he is less able to go to goal has become the norm.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby UKLaxfan Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:53 pm

whopead wrote:Just a thought i had. As sticks have got deeper has the balance of play switched to favour the attack. I am not excusing illegal play, but could it have come round with the fact that the ball is now easier to keep in the stick, thus harder to dislodge with a poke or lift so playing the man so he is less able to go to goal has become the norm.

Read the article below
DL99 wrote:Interesting blog from the States on cross checking
http://laxallstars.com/how-to-speed-up- ... schecking/

The Poke check & Lift checks are both more likely to dislodge the Ball (Good Thing)

The Cross Check is more likely to Stop the Dodger in his tracks but not dislodge the ball (Bad thing) so the offense maintains the possession until the next time someone goals to goal.

Poke & Lift - lead to turnovers (D wins) or Slide needed & Team defense (Dodger wins)

Cross Check - leads to No dodge & No turnover (Watch most NCAA Div I games where they HOLD the Ball and Stall for long periods)

IMHO main point is still valid - Cross Checks are ILLEGAL

Either enforce the Rules or Change them!

Better still start Box Lacrosse so players can get Violent with each other and get all their aggression out but in a controlled manner with appropriate equipment...... AND Within the Rules of the GAME
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby 6x6 Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:35 pm

The lack of calling some fouls has become deplorable in the NCAA and imo has an affect on kids you may be trying to teach or coach. Youth and high school games are often called much closer, at least in my part of the states, but when kids watch college games and see some of the same penalties they were flagged for seemingly ignored, it sends the wrong message.

Language is more controlled. Yes, refs will sometimes let the occasional curse go but not always. I was at a college game last weekend when an attackman on a wing thought he had closer position than the goalie after his teammate had taken a shot and the ball crossed the endline. However, the official thought otherwise an awarded posession to the goalie's team. The attackman, who was about 10 yds from the ref demonstrated his displeasure with the call. I couldn't hear what was said and don't know if he cursed but the offensive player was somewhat demonstrative in body language. The ref flagged him and sent him off. I gave the official a standing ovation, well actually I was already standing but it was indeed refreshing to see a ref send a message. btw the attackman's team was winning by about 6 goals at the time.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby UKLacrosse Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:41 pm

6 x 6 I heard today from another source that the 1-handed check has been outlawed at Youth level.
Is that correct?
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby Ketts19 Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:10 am

1-handed checks were illegal at youth level, in the Baltimore area at least, when I was touring over there as a youngster way back when.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby dblacklock Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:17 am

1 handed checks at the youth level in the USA have been illegal for at least 10 years
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby UKLaxfan Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:41 pm

One handed checks....

How about multiple ice-pick checks with a short pole from behind & over the head, so you are repeatedly hitting the ball carrier in the chest and shoulders with the butt end until eventually you use a stabbing motion with the butt end because you haven't dislodged the ball yet? :?:

Legal or Illegal?


:idea: Perhaps it depends on the level of play and who is playing?

Controlled vs Uncontrolled


:idea: Perhaps it is inversely proportional to how much abuse the player/team mates & Coaches of the penalised team with give you :oops: :oops:

i.e. - lots of verbal abuse & intimidation = No Flag!
take the Penalty quietly and get off the field = Flag!

The was a study of Human Behaviour in Organisations that was based on R+ / R- which are either Positive Reinforcemant (R+) or Negative Reinforcement (R-). the results over thousands of tests was that the most effective method of altering a persons (or animals) behaviour is

PIC/NIC:
Positive
Instant
Certain
&
Negative
Instant
Certain

The paradigm for the theorem was based on every behaviour is learned over time
ABC
Antecedent:
Behaviour:
Consequence:

If the Consequence for abuse of officials is Uncertain opposed to Certain, or if the Consequence of Ice-pick or cross-check is No Flag!

Then it works perfectly as Positive Reinforcement (R+), as the player has Won the ball for his team / Stopped the Dodger / Injured or intimidated his opponent (sore ribs)

The Flag and One Minute in the Penalty Box and his Team a Man Down would be Negative Reinforcement (R-) i.e. don't do it again or we'll lose the game and the your team mates will call you a Gamma! :twisted:

We get is what we deserve:

No Flags = Abuse & breaking the Rules of the Game

or

Flags = Less Abuse (Zero Tolerance = No Abuse) & More players playing within the Rules of the Game.

Thoughts?

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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby UKLacrosse Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:14 pm

Moaning Git wrote:Sorry I missed foul and abusive language. I try and take an initially tolerant approach with warnings and asking that comments are kept down. It is a mans game afterall as I am reminded and often the comments are madeout of frustration. If kids are around I point that out.

However, if a player thinks it appropriate to tell me repeatedly that I am a F*****g fat, c**t/T**t/etc, no matter how true that may be, I find myself impelled to remind them that such comments are unacceptable and will give 2 or three minutes, or one minute per abusive comment.

I will also flag coaches for dissension far more often than I used to especially in Junior games where they should be setting an example, in some senior games that might be seen as a lost cause!

I have to say though as a travelling refs, that with only a couple of exceptions most clubs and players have not been abusive, one of the exceptions though has been the comments from some of my own clubs team members which is embarrasing to say the least!


Moaning, without intending to being mischievous (!), it appears that you personally will allow/ permit a certain level of dissent. Now before you go off on one .... I admire you immensely for taking up the reins of refereeing, and anyone else who does the job. Also, had my son not threatened to disown me, maybe I would have joined the ranks a long time ago. I recall talking to Graham Lester at great length at least 5-6 years ago about the tolerance of abuse or dissent, and that it's not doing the game, or the job of refereeing any good at all. Slowly but surely this has been recognised and acted upon, but what you've written suggests that you will tolerate it to a certain level? How can that be consistent with another referee who is prepared to penalise every abuse or dissent. Rugby is just as much a man's game, and no dissent whatsoever is tolerated. UKLaxfan has written about human behavioural studies, but any inconsistency in refereeing will be exploited.

UKLaxfan, I saw in a certain game, which you may be familiar with at the weekend, where a player was called for an uncontrolled one-handed check. He wound up like a John Daly golf swing wrapped his stick around the opponent and hit the stick dislodging the ball. His dissent was clear to everyone. Not penalised. He claimed that he hit the stick, so how could it be uncontrolled? If my interpretation is correct (maybe he was fouled for a different uncontrolled, or I'm mistaken altogether, please correct me?), but the referee could have thrown the flag before he ever hit the stick? The same can be seen regularly on ground balls when a long pole wields his stick from a great height at anything in the vicinity of the ball or melee. It's more by luck than judgement what he eventually hits.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby Sour37 Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:39 pm

People say that no dissent is tolerated in rugby. But that's simply not the case.

Minor Dissent is widespread, but direct criticism of the ref isn't tolerated.
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Re: Cross Checks, Abuse, Slashes & Trips

Postby Moaning Git Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:21 pm

Oh you can't help being mischevious Mr UKLacrosse. First I regard myself as a hopefully competent club ref and no more, and I think that my job is first of all to ensure that the game is safe, and second to try and ensure that everyone, including me has a good time. I undertsand that players get hacked off, with themselves, with my decisions, with with other things, in these circumstances I think a certain tolerance of cursing, swearing etc is the best approach. So if a player suddenly lets rip with an expletive after missing an open goal, and when warned to keep the language down apologises I see no reason to consider any further action.

So taking an actual incident this season, I keeper rakes back the ball, as soon as it hits the crease I start the count. The keeper complains that he does not have the ball in his stick, I continue the count, he clears then continues his complaint which i give a brief explanation to. he then carries on the dissent so I flag his comment. This leads to one of his team mates complaining and making accusations that I am cheating, so he gets a flag, which leads to further comments that get another flag. Zero tolerance would have led to a further flag on the keeper when his initial comments were based on a rule clarification, which to me seems wrong. Respect the players but also expect respect and the balance should be maintained.

I have noticed that panel refs will often "not hear" comments made about their decisions, and in discussion with them they feel that there is a danger of reacting to every comment which would ruin the game, you have to allow some leeway. I agree and although zero tolerance may seem a good idea, it can cause more trouble than it is worth. This may lead to certain inconsistencies in approach between individual refs, but I hope I am consistent in my own approach to the rules.

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