Sometimes we miss fouls or see some challenges but decide to “let them play.” Parents and coaches often say, “Let them play,” when they feel like we are calling too many fouls. But not taking care of small fouls can oftentimes lead to a bigger problem on the field. Sometimes, we even see cues that the game temperature is rising.
In the video below, you will see that a player challenges with his studs exposed. Fortunately, he makes no contact with the opponent who was also challenging for the ball. But soon after, there is a reckless challenge that the referee missed. Within a second, the player who committed the reckless challenge suffers from a retaliation from a teammate who had been hurt by the first reckless challenge. A mass confrontation ensues.
Once the mass confrontation happens, there is little a referee can do. Stay away from it. You are not going to stop it. Watch and observe from some distance so you can get the big picture. Write down who is doing what. If you end up in the middle of a mass confrontation to stop it, you will usually not remember or not know at all who needs a card.