I saw a short write-up a week ago in the Jersey Journal a week ago in which a HS varsity boys soccer match between Hudson Catholic and Hoboken was stopped with the score tied 1-1 with 17 minutes to go because one of the coaches thought the officiating was poor, i.e. he felt that the tone of the game had become physically dangerous for both teams.
So the coach took his team off the field, and the game came to an abrupt end.
A week later, there’s still no word as to whether the coach would either be disciplined by the New Jersey State Athletic Interscholastic Association for his actions…or saluted for being proactive in trying to prevent serious injury to his players.
On my show this AM, it seemed that the callers were split down the middle on this debate. Some felt that this coach was setting a dangerous precedent with his actions, and that he needed to reprimanded, even suspended. Others felt that the coach should be applauded for not waiting for the inevitable to take (e.g. someone getting hurt), and that the game should simply be suspended and picked up at a later date (with presumably different refs working the game).
Almost all the callers agreed that it’s increasingly difficult to get good refs for HS soccer matches, and that even though they are all certified and trained, it’s just hard to maintain a certain level of quality. That being said, clearly this is an issue that needs to be addressed so that the coaches and referee’s can all work in tandem to make sure these conflicts don’t happen again.
As I said on the show, it sure would make a lot of sense for a coach to communicate his or her concerns with the officials either during a time-out or perhaps during half-time. The problem is, when you arbitrarily take your team off the field, that kind of ultimate action puts the coach – and the officials – in a very awkward spot.
No one wants to see a game be marred with injuries or penalties. I just wish there was some sort of policy put into place that can prevent these kinds of situations from happening in the future.