Peter Lovell - Chairman ACWHUA

Advantage - What is it?

Dictionary Definition

  • Any condition, circumstance, event of favourable character, likely to promote success, happiness.
  • Means of gaining desired end.
  • Source of benefit or profit.

Why play Advantage ?

  • Advantage is merely a means of improving the flow of a game.
  • A good advantage can sometimes penalise the offending team far more than the awarding of the penalty.
  • A game is far more enjoyable for both the players and the umpires when it is not littered with unnecessary stoppages.

When to play Advantage

  • Always play as much advantage as possible to the attackers in the circle. This is a place where it is possible to hold the whistle longer and maybe create a goal scoring opportunity.
  • You should always attempt to play advantage to the attackers in the 25 yard area when they are moving towards the circle.
  • Advantage can also be played when a midfield player is moving forward into space.
  • Advantage can only be played until the next incident, i.e. BEFORE the next tackle, pass or shot at goal.

Where NOT to play advantage

  • Never play advantage when a foul is committed on the goalkeeper.
  • Advantage should not be applied to defending players in the circle
  • It is very rarely applied to defending players within the 25 yard area excepting when a whistle may actually prevent a quick ball leading to an attacking opportunity.
  • There is often less advantage on the left attacking side of the circle than there is on the right.

Points to remember when playing advantage

  • Don't hold the whistle to close to your mouth when the attack has the ball in the circle. It can be only to easy to blow quickly for offences committed by the defence thus preventing any advantage to the attack.
  • Don't be tempted to give the player two bites of the cherry i.e.. if you play an advantage and the player who is both balanced and in control then proceeds to fluff her shot do not be tempted to blow for the original foul.
  • The fact that advantage has been played does not stop you from penalising the offending player with a card should you have wished to have done so had you blown the whistle for the original offence. i.e.. wait until the ball next goes out of play and show the player the appropriate card.
  • Always, wherever possible, signal any advantage you are playing. Not only does this make the players aware that you have seen the original offence, but it will also prevent your colleague from blowing their whistle.
  • Very rarely does an advantage assist the defence. A quick whistle in these circumstances is often the best advantage you can give.
  • Never play advantage when it might lead to danger to players of either side.
  • Acknowledge good advantages played by your colleague. It is rare for the players to do so, but can be a great boost to confidence and enjoyment if it is obvious to someone that you have played a good advantage.
  • One of the best feelings in umpiring is when an advantage played by yourself leads to a team scoring a goal. So ENJOY it.
  • If you are too quick with your whistle, and it happens to all of us, don't be afraid to apologise to the player/s concerned.



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