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FHSAA Adopts the Double Dual System of Control

March 20, 2007

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) cited boys soccer as having produced the largest number of Unsporting Conduct fouls of all sports, with girls soccer in sixth place.  Overall, soccer produces more than 43% of the Gross Unsporting penalties.  A gross unsporting infraction is not represented by a “professional foul” of a sport, but is the result of a malicious act including, but not limited to, cursing, striking, physical contact beyond the normal scope of a contest, spitting on another person, verbal insults related to gender, race or ethnicity, and any other act deemed as unacceptable conduct.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has made provisions for the use of the Double Dual System of Control (DDS/Three Whistle System) for many years.  After several years of research and experimentation, the FHSAA Board of Directors in March of 2007 approved the Double Dual System of Control in Florida.  Starting with the 2007-08 seasons, all officials in Florida will officiate soccer with a whistle.  Games will be officiated utilizing the Dual System (2 officials) or Double Dual System (3 officials), with all officials assigned areas of responsibility on the field.

The National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association’s (NISOA) publication The Double Dual System of Control states there are indicators that the DDS implementation provides several advantages when used properly:

  1. Greater Officiating Resources—More officials are involved in the enforcement of rules;
  2. Increased Surveillance—The system gains strength from increased observance and control of play and players by three referees, rather than a single referee;
  3. Close Proximity to Play—Brings decision-making referees physically closer to play, players and occurrences that need to be observed and controlled in view of the flexibility of movement within the system;
  4. Spontaneous Decisions—Shortens reaction time to violations by eliminating the need for one official to signal a decision-making official for action;
  5. Behind Play Fouls Better Controlled—Helps reduce unpenalized violations behind an officials back by having decision-making referees at each end of play as well as in the middle;
  6. Distributes Game Demands—Burden of making critical decisions becomes a responsibility of all three referees instead of one.  Thus the psychological and emotional stresses generated by coaches, players and spectators are diffused.
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