Video Instruction; Ready at the Opening Whistle

In this clip, you will notice the need to be ready and focused from the opening whistle! You will also see the need to draw the line in the sand and have an overall feel for the game.

Here are some considerations to determine the severity of the offense and guide you to making the correct decision:

  • Protect the safety of the players;
  • Careless/reckless/excessive force;
  • Speed/Intensity/Point of contact;
  • Challenge for the ball/Possibility to play the ball.

If you believe this is a red card offense, it is very important to discern between Serious Foul Play and Violent Behavior. Violent Behavior (Conduct) is one of the four permissible uses of video review under Rule 5.7, specifically Rule Remember, we strongly recommend notifying both coaches before the match starts if video review equipment is available and will be used, if deemed necessary by the referee.

According to Rule, Serious foul play must be against the opponent, between players competing for the ball, committed on the field of play, and a direct free-kick foul.

Rule states violent behavior may be against anyone (for instance, opponent, teammate, official or spectator) not competing for the ball and may be on or off the field of play. The ball may be in or out of play.


We strongly suggest you have a copy of the NISOA considerations available as you are reviewing this clip. The NISOA Official decision will reference the considerations and help you better understand the decision making process. When you select one of the decision choices below, you will unlock the "Get the NISOA decision" button.

While we generally welcome comments on our materials, please do not post your opinion/decision in the comments area. Commenting should be limited to the value of the clip or requests for clarification. Thank you for your cooperation.

Select your decision:

4 Responses to “Video Instruction; Ready at the Opening Whistle”

  1. IMO the ball had already been played away when the contact was made, Therefore, SFP was not an option. Without the ability to compete for the back, VC seemed the only option. (With the attacker’s back to the camera, it made ,my decision harder.)

  2. I am OK with the decision by NISOA. Is there any salt in noting the position of the red player at the time the whistle was blown (standing on the opponent’s side of the field)? Could this type of foul been avoided if this position was adjusted?

    • I think it’s important to consider the manner in which the player was lunging in an “all guns blazing” action, and yes we can all agree that the ball was just played and then the contact was made. Was the player attempting to block the pass and arrives late? Was he attempting to play the ball? What was the likelihood of this lunging action in being able to block the ball here? What is the point of contact and the mode of contact? Is this to be considered an off the ball incident? In my opinion the amount of speed, force, and intensity of this “attempt to block” challenge for the pass is what elevated the impact of this all guns blazing challenge for the ball in the collegiate game to an ejection.
      Proactive and preventative refereeing is the best deterrent to these types of tackles, and certainly recognizing the small details like the player already in the opponents half of the field before the kickoff is played.