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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.

You Call It!

After two years and many request - You Call It is back! Now it's your turn to test your knowledge in a scenario created by our panel of referees. If your answer is spot on we will publish it on our site! Good luck click here!

Law 18 - Common Sense 10/21/2020

RE: Rec

Tasha L Lanier of Lexington, NC United States asks...

So, if a player has asthma and is having an asthma attack and is in need of their inhaler are they permitted to run off the field in order to take an inhalation of the inhaler? What if the coach comes onto the field to drag that player off the field-what is the call then?...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/19/2020

RE: 4 Adult

James McLeish of BARROW IN FURNESS, United Kingdom asks...

Hi,in a recent game the goalkeeper punched an opponent in his area after the ball had gone, I sent the goalkeeper off and awarded a penalty, was I correct? ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/17/2020

RE: U18 High School

Jason of Lacrosse, WI USA asks...

Did you guys see the Pickford challenge on Van Dijk after the flag webt up? Two questions: Is that a card for you? Is a card for a reckless or excessive force challenge after a whistle possible?...

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High School 10/14/2020

RE: Girls Varsity High School

Chester of Stratford, CT USA asks...

An attacker sprinting with the ball in the penalty area was running toward the end line 15 yards to the left of the the goal (not toward the goal) to get beyond the oncoming defender running in from her right. About 10 yards from the end line the attacker made a long touch (toe poke) on the ball so she could get past the defender and turn the corner towards the goal. This caused the ball to squirt away and move quickly to the end line. It did not seem she could catch up to it before the ball crossed the line (i.e. she lost possession of the ball). The defender then collided with the attacker. The contact was firm, and the attacker went down theatrically. She claimed she was fast enough to catch up to the ball and wanted a foul, to no avail....

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/13/2020

RE: Rec Under 16

Doug of Folsom, CA U.S. asks...

Hi folks - on this clip of an international women's game, a player pulls the hair of her opponent, perhaps in retaliation for a hip bump, or perhaps she is upset at being beaten for ball possession, but it sure looks like a deliberate violent offense to me.
Some would say it deserves a yellow but looks like red to me.
It looks like the ref just gave a verbal warning, altho maybe the ref issued a card after the clip ended. Maybe that is what the ref felt the game temperature required at that time.
Your thoughts?
Thanks as always /Doug...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/13/2020

RE: Rec Under 15

Trent Futrell of Knoxville, Tennessee United States asks...

Was reffing a U14 girls game that was getting aggressive. At one point, two players (one from each team) started pushing each other. I blew the whistle and stopped play. Since it was on both teams, my solution was to talk to both players to calm down and do a drop ball as a restart. Was this the right call? ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/11/2020

RE: Pro Adult

Riz khan of Abbottabad, Abbottabad Pakistan asks...

Sir, I have three questions .

1. If a goalkeeper hold the ball and the attacker comes to him and the goalkeeper just committed a foul to just push the opponent from his knee and opponent fall down? which decision referee will made? Only caution the goal keeper and continue play or he will caution the goal keeper and award a penalty kick. remember ball is in the hand of goalkeeper and properly grip.

2. Sir, during penalty shootout if a player does the illegal feinting (complete the run up and stand at the penalty spot and then kick the ball) will he only caution and the penalty kick will be retaken or his penalty will consider as miss also?

3. Sir, the ball has passed the goal line while clearly last touch...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/5/2020

RE: Adult

Gregor MacRae of Harlow, Essex United Kingdom asks...

Eric Lamella was fouled and Martial received a red card in Sunday's game.Why wasnt it a penalty as well.Was it because the ball was on the corner quandrant and not in play?...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/4/2020

RE: Amateur Sunday league Adult

Rob of Manc , UK asks...

As a keeper, whilst facing a penalty would it be an offence to shout ‘keeper’s ball’ just as the attacker takes the penalty.?
I.e. in the same way a keeper would shout ‘keeper’ to claim a ball during normal play or put an attacker off. ...

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Law 4 - The Players Equipment 10/3/2020

RE: Select Under 19

Gary Robinson of Pleasant Grove, UT USA asks...

What is the appropriate punishment under Law 4 if a player is found on the field of play wearing illegal equipment?

During my pre-game check in, I always remind players "no necklaces, earings, wristbands, braclets, watches, fitness trackers, or other non-uniform equipment." I also take that time to scan the players for any potentially offending items. In a recent match, about halfway through the second half, I noticed a player with a woven leather braclet on his wrist. At the next stoppage, I sent him off at the nearest point, told him to run around the outside of the pitch to to his bench, remove the offending braclet, and I'd check him in at the next stoppage. I then restarted play with his team playing 10 vs 11. After th...

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