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Soccer Referee Questions on Soccer Rules

Welcome to
a Soccer Law Question and Answer site. Providing answers to questions regarding soccer laws since October 11, 1999

To ask a question click Ask the Ref and pose your question and the panel will reply.

Those who have ideas or articles please feel free to contact the editor Richard Dawson at with suggestions.

Over the past 20 years we have amassed tens of thousands of questions & answers but the LOTG always change and/or portions no longer apply. Be SURE to reread the latest version IFAB 2020 - 2021 Laws of the Game.

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/26/2020

RE: Adult

Laurence Hill of Christchurch , New Zealand asks...

After a free kick was awarded the fouled player threw a punch and the opposition player reacted by grabbing the player who threw the punch by the shirt near but not on his throat. Should this result in a red card to both players or just the player who threw the punch?...

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League Specific 9/26/2020

RE: Rec Under 11

Carsen Cachelin of Lititz, Pennsylvania USA asks...

I had a coach tell me that there are no penalty kick if a player is fouled inside the box for u10 and that it is supposed to be an indirect free kick. Is this true...

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Law 14 - The Penalty kick 9/22/2020

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

I also have one specific situation from last weekend.

Video (in time 4:55):

Both teams entered the penalty area before the kick. But the "Red 25" benefited from this situation.

The referee was silent. VAR was silent.

What would be your decision? Would you repeat the penalty kick? Or do you order IDFK?


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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/22/2020

RE: Adult

Demetris of Limassol, Cyprus asks...

Hello there,I like to know your opinion if it was a faul or not on the goalkeeper at 1.20 (Anorthosis v Apollon 1-3 for the Cyprus league dated Sep20) .The goalkeeper seems to hold or touch the ball momentarily with one hand before(or at the same time) his opponent kicks the ball to score.Ref video: ...

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Law 3 - The Players 9/21/2020

RE: Pro Adult

Muhammad Rizwan Khan of Abbottabad, Abbottabad Pakistan asks...


before start of the match / before kick off if any of players committed serious offence like fight with opponent and deserve red card. As we know still its before kick off when this offender sent off it can be substitute with any other player or team will play with 10 players? other question is if players of a similar team fight with each other and committed serious offence whats penalty for them?...

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Law 14 - The Penalty kick 9/20/2020

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


one situation, please.

The player takes a penalty kick. His teammate enters the penalty area before the ball moves. The goalkeeper saves the ball (or bounces it back into the field, or deflects it off the field).

Is it always and immediately an indirect free kick for the goalkeeper's team?...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/20/2020

RE: College

John of Nicosia, Cyprus asks...


I would like to ask you, when the keeper holds the ball and a player goes and touches the ball with his hands. Is this a penalty or not?

Similar situations to this, are when goalkeeper saves a penalty and his teammates are celebrating by hugging him.

Looking forward to your reply.


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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/19/2020

RE: Under 11

Tom of Chester, Nj United states asks...

Based on 2019-20 changes lotg..
"When the GK clearly kicks or tries to kick the ball into play, this shows no intention to handle the ball so, if the ‘clearance’ attempt is unsuccessful, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball without committing an offence."

If the keeper attempts to kick a ball played to them by a teammate and they screw up the kick, they can legally handle the ball.

My question is, what if the keeper is punting, slips as they kick, and the ball goes straight up into the air. Is this considered an unsuccessfull attempt at clearance, and therefore not a handling offense
If the keeper immediately catches the ball, or is this a handling offense?


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Law 14 - The Penalty kick 9/16/2020

RE: Pro Adult

Muhammad Rizwan Khan of Abbottabad, Abbottabad Pakistan asks...

Can you elaborate this? Law 5 Injuries:

a penalty kick has been awarded and the injured player will be the kicker

Im confuse if a player is injured (in a penalty area) and recover soon he only can take the penalty or anyone of the team member can take the penalty or referee should prefer who will gonna take it.


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High School 9/16/2020

RE: U18/High School High School

Jason C. of Lacrosse, WI USA asks...

I'm struggling with away-from-the-ball confrontations that do not seem to rise to the level of violent conduct, and yet, in my mind, merit a caution. A typical example of this is a challenge on the ball, ball is passed out, and then after the play, the two players continue tussling, going chest to chest, lightly pushing, etc.

If the game has generally been free from this kind of thing, I might simply talk to the two players and/or call a foul on one of them. But sometimes it starts to happen in challenge after challenge, or it gets fairly serious where I need to intervene. In these instances, where there is no striking with the hand or head, or "the force used is negligible" in the words of IFAB, I sometimes issue cautions and c...

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