Law 1 Field of Play
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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000


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Law 18 Common Sense or The Spirit of the Game



There is no Law 18 on the books. However, we do refer to this law from time to time because it is often the most important rule. When we apply the Laws of The Game in practice we must use common sense so that we do not violate the spirit of the law while practicing the letter of the law.

Football must have Laws which keep the game ‘fair’ as a crucial foundation of
the beauty of the ‘beautiful game’ is its fairness – this is a vital feature of the
‘spirit’ of the game.(IFAB LOTG 2019)


FIFA instructs us (all referees) to apply the Laws within the spirit of the game to ensure safe and fair matches.

Law 18 - Common Sense
Question 1 thru 10 of 203

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Law 18 - Common Sense 10/21/2020

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...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 4/21/2020

brett of hattiesburg, ms usa asks...

what about a player who is fouled but stays up, you may give advantage to, but then quickly passes to player in offside position and AR signals offside? Without having given the advantage signal yet, you would just go back and give the foul even with...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 2/4/2020

Dan Paolini of Eastampton, New Jersey United States asks...

I have seen people misinterpret this statement in the Outline Summary of Law Changes for Law 14 on page 151 (en):

The goalkeeper must not be touching the goalposts/crossbar/nets; they must not be moving.

as meaning that the goalkee...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 1/28/2020

Matt of Bristow, VA 20136 asks...

With reference to a defender bumping and attacker which causes the attacker to contact the ball with their hand/arm and the ball winds up being headed into the goal by a waiting teammate. The panel seems to be in favor of either calling the penalty ...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 12/26/2019

Karl Robinson of coleraine, LONDONDERRY United Kingdom asks...

Quick question. I was reffing a game a few weeks ago, and the blue team were attacking in the red teams box, and the blue team ends up scoring a goal.

However, I only realised after the goal was socred and at the protest of the red coaches t...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 10/11/2019

Jirka­ Strmiska of Brno, Czechia asks...

Thanks,

I thought so, the problem is that when the defender plants his foot in front of the ball, he stands on it with a lot of weight with no further movement intended. It's like kicking into a steel wall. (the defender is also in all kinds...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 9/26/2019

Susan Wiczynski of La Jolla, California United States asks...

The LOTG does not specifically address hair accessories (other than 'jewellery'). Are hair bows allowed? Things with knots? I'm sure metal and hard plastic are not. I am starting a company supplying matching hair ornaments for girls' athletic teams ...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 9/20/2019

Gregor Gramlich of LARGO, FL United States asks...

Last year, in a boys game (approx U15-U16), two boys went up for a header and there was head-to-head contact. I did not call a foul. I felt that both boys were challenging fairly for the ball. Both went down after the play,and I blew the whistle t...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 9/17/2019

james henry okwiri of nairobi, Kenya Kenya asks...

Upon a corner kick, a keeper collides with a strike simultaneously however the striker during contact heads the ball out of play. Should the referee award a penalty . ...

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Law 18 - Common Sense 9/1/2019

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

While in agreement with the general thoughts of the panel regarding if the pass was intended for the keeper - if not intended, then wave it off as not an issue " should we acknowledge the wording from George (of PARANGARECUTIRIMICUARO " such a uniqu...

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