Under very cold (below 0°C) and windy circumstances, a tough task is waiting for them. Fortunately, the reindeers and snowmen are playing quite fairly and behave themselves for most of the time. After nothing relevant happens in the first half, the game has to be interrupted twice for a longer time in the second half:
At first, one of the reindeers' players is unsportingly stopped by snowman no. 10, therefore slips on the icy ground, loses his balance, falls and finds his long legs being terribly knotted together. Santa Claus issues the first yellow card of the match, which is accepted by the offending snowman. The reindeer has to receive medical treatment. Luckily, the doctors manage to "de-knot" his legs after around 20 seconds. Santa Claus informs himself about the reindeer's condition and permits him to stay on the field of play. The snowmen cannot understand that. (1)
Some minutes later then, a snowman heavily collides with the reindeers' goalkeeper and therefore loses his carrot serving him as a nose. He can immediately re-adjust it thanks to the support of his doctors, though, but suspects another conspiracy as Santa Claus obviously deems the collision as no foul and allows play to flow and even asks him to leave the field of play. "Why the hell does he have to go if the reindeer was allowed to stay?", he asks himself and suspects that the proclaimed bias in favour of the reindeers is turning out to be true. (2)
These are the only relevant interruptions for a long time, but you can easily feel the growing temperature in the stadium: Play is proceeding and moving towards the 90th minute. Here and there, there are small signs of an increasing level of hostility on the pitch, and Santa Claus reminds all players to stay cool. Otherwise the field of play and the snowmen would melt. The snowmen agree that this would be rather disadvantageous and turn calmer in the following minutes.
The 90th minute has come, the score still is 0:0. 3 minutes of added time. The reindeers start a last brave attack. And indeed they manage to play themselves through the snowmen's defensive wall and then, yes, their attacker Rudolph gets the ball and is free in front of the goalkeeping snowman. While being in the motion to pull off a shot on or even into the goal inside the penalty area, snowman no. 10 makes a risky sliding tackle. He actually wants to play the ball, and the offence is not reckless in itself, but he unfortunately comes a part of a second too late. Santa Claus is immediately pointing to the spot, awards a penalty kick and sends the Snowman no. 10 off with a Red Card. Completely frustrated, he leaves the field of play. He believes he has played the ball first. (3)
90+1'. Rudolph knows the principle that the player fouled should not take the penalty kick by himself, but he does not care much about such superstition. But how to be sure? Well, he could make the goalkeeping snowman move into the wrong corner by feinting a bit. Shortly after Santa Claus' whistle, he runs up and, shortly before reaching the ball, delays his shooting movement, waits until the goalkeeping snowman is in the wrong corner and then shoots the ball into the other one. 1:0 for the reindeers, everybody believes. Santa Claus strongly blows his whistle, though, and disallows the goal. He says that feinting is not permitted as penalty kicks and gives an indirect free-kick for the snowmen - Rudolph does not trust his eyes, strongly protests, but is cautioned for dissent then and stops to protest as a consequence. A 2nd Yellow Card would not be great: He might be needed in extra-time. (4)
90+2'. The subsequent indirect free-kick is taken by the snowmen's goalkeeper himself. The long, high pass is anticipated by snowman no. 11, one of their forwards, who is standing in the opponent's half and is in an offside position at the moment of the pass. Due to the heavy headwind, no. 11 recognizes that he will have to run towards the ball in order to reach it. For this purpose, he sprints back into the direction of his own team's goalkeeper and heads the ball approximately 15 metres inside his own team's half. Zwarte Piet, the AR2, is nonetheless raising his flag for offside. The reindeers are preparing for a free-kick at the point where the snowman's attacker no. 11 headed the ball. The snowmen lose their nerves. How can this be offside? "I was offside, Santa, how can they have a free-kick in our own half?!", one of them shouts. "This does not matter, go away!", Santa replies. (5)
90+3'. "Last action!", Santa Claus yells. The free-kick gained from the offside offence is the last chance for the superior team, the reindeers, to score. It is taken from 35m away from the goal. All remaining 9 snowmen and their goalkeeper are in their own penalty area now to defend the approaching free-kick. Rudolph, responsible for all set pieces, takes it. The ball is getting higher and higher, moving and moving more towards the goal - many players jump for it, try to reach and head it, but nobody manages to touch the ball. Completely irritated and surprised, the goalkeeping snowman is too late and does not manage to save the ball - in fact, he does not even manage to touch it wih his limb-arms either. GOAL FOR THE REINDEERS! 1:0! (6)
Santa Claus does not even re-start play after that as it has been the last attack. He blows for full time. The reindeers have won. The refereeing trio is coming together. Knecht Ruprecht - the assistant referee 1 on the snowmen's half - tells Santa Claus: "Hey mate, I raised my rod, but you did not see it! Snowman no. 5 must get a Red Card. He has picked up some snow, formed a big snowball and thrown it towards Rudolph, who is now a red-nosed reindeer! It happened in your back, shortly before you whistled for the end of the game. It was deliberate and out of frustration. Give him red!" Santa Claus thinks about it and says: "Thanks, Ruprecht. But we may not do that! I am going to tell you later why, let's leave the field first." (7)
Entering the dressing room, a furious Krampus is already waiting for them. "Whate dide you doe?!", he asks - or rather shouts - with his usual Southern dialect. "What was wrong?", Santa asks...
inspired by Daniele Curcio (Tournaments Abroad)
Challenging game as it seems. But what did Santa Claus do wrongly? And what was right?
Be Krampus and analyze the match and all 7 decisions (from (1) to (7)), assess whether they are right or wrong and, if wrong, what would have been correct (ignore Law 4 in your consideration ;)).
Under all winners - this means getting all 7 decisions correct - we raffle a small package with some refereeing equipment goodies from RefsworldUK including disciplinary cards, a sweatband and a Fox40 whistle ensuring that you are well equipped in 2017.
You have time until 26 December, 23:59 CET. Good luck and ...
... Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!