How is Refereeing
Impacted?

DOGSO punishments during ADG are not as harsh as during normal play
How is refereeing in ADG different from normal play?

As the attacker competes against just a defender and goalkeeper, fouls will always be a denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) offence. However, as a foul on the attacker, regardless of whether it occurs inside or outside the penalty area, always results in a penalty kick (a very good opportunity to score), the goal-scoring opportunity lost by the offence is always restored.

So, to avoid an excessive number of sanctions, the DOGSO punishments during ADG are not as severe as during normal play. If it’s a careless DOGSO offence, the defender or goalkeeper is not cautioned or sent off.

While a DOGSO offence during ADG that involves holding, pulling or pushing, or no attempt to play the ball or challenge for the ball, receives a yellow card, instead of the normal red.

Of course, reckless or excessive force challenges remain yellow and red card offences, respectively.

Finally, a handball DOGSO remains a red card offence.

Denying an Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO) Sanction

Careless foul

None

Reckess foul

Yellow Card

Holding, pulling or pushing, or no attempt to play the ball
or challenge for the ball

Yellow Card

Excessive force foul

Red Card

Handball

Red Card

One Assistant Referee is positioned on the goal line,
while the other supervises the players currently not competing
Referees will have unprecedented visibility
Whether the foul was inside or outside the box is irrelevant
What are the duties of the assistants?

One of the assistants is positioned in the disused half of the field and supervises the players who are currently not competing. The other assistant is positioned on the goal line and assists the referee with decisions in a similar way to how UEFA previously utilised their additional assistant referees.

Both the referee and the goal line assistant adjudicate on whether a ball is in or out of play.

Won't ADG put extra pressure on the referees and their assistants?

Any alternative to the penalty shootout that places the emphasis back on football skill, will inevitably put some pressure back on the referee. So, I doubt there would be anyone involved with refereeing who is eager to see the shootout replaced.

In fact, it was actually a member of the FIFA Referees’ Committee who submitted the penalty kick shootout as a replacement for the coin toss in 1970 . And it’s a tiebreaker format that makes it virtually impossible for the referee to make a mistake that influences the outcome of the match.

However, without the clutter of bodies hindering visibility and with the referee always in close proximity to the play, refereeing mistakes during ADG should be rare. And as the players currently not competing must remain within the disused half of the field, it’s impossible for a group of players to surround and intimidate the referee.

Furthermore, two incidents that often result in contentious decisions, the offside law and whether a foul is committed inside or outside the penalty area, are not factors during ADG.

Another issue is when a goalkeeper moves off their goal line before the penalty is taken. Until recently, the Laws of the Game stated that the kick must be retaken and the goalkeeper cautioned.

However, it created so much controversy that IFAB were forced to modify the law. The goalkeeper will now receive a warning for the first offence, and only a second offence will result in a yellow card.

Indeed, the late great Johan Cruyff who played in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and experienced the 35 yard shootout said, “With penalties you’ve always got problems about whether the goalkeeper moved. You don’t get this with the (NASL) shootout.”10 Likewise, in ADG a penalty only occurs when the attacker is fouled, so this problem will be much less frequent.

Finally, Video Assistant Referees (VAR) are helping referees with match-changing decisions. In fact, the natural stoppages within ADG ensure that VAR will be much less disruptive than during normal play.

So, while referee’s and their assistants will undoubtedly be under the microscope during ADG, the implications listed above will help to alleviate any additional pressure.

Of course, at the end of the day you have to ask do any possible detriments outweigh the benefits. What ADG will deliver is spectacular and exhilarating goals. It’s due to the skill and grace of movement of the world’s great players that we call football the “beautiful game” and the reason why it’s the most popular sport on earth.

It’s also of course why legends of the sport like Messi, Ronaldo and Marta have continuously been rated as the world’s best players. If you’ve got a great product, then as the marketing people say, “let the product speak for itself.”

Refereeing Implications ADG Normal Play

Increased visibility

Yes

No

Referee always close to the play

Yes

No

Mass confrontation avoided

Yes

No

Offside not applicable

Yes

No

Foul inside/outside Penalty Area not applicable

Yes

No

Minimise GK off goal line before PK

Yes

No

Natural stoppages make VAR less disruptive

Yes

No

NEXT: How are
Injuries Handled?

Learn how ADG deals with potential injuries.