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You are the AR in a boys U15 match where one team is clearly dominating the other. There's about 15 minutes left in the match and the dominating team with a score of 5-0 is about to score another goal. At this juncture in the game, you are the trailing AR. A spectator brings to your attention that the keeper for the attacking team is off the field of play, juggling (with his feet) the alternate game ball down by his goal. Just as you note this, this same goal keeper's team has just scored another goal. What's your call? Your Match! Your Decision! Your Reputation!

The mechanics here are fairly straight forward, the AR communicates the indiscretion of the keeper to the referee BEFORE the kick off! The AR assists by telling the referee his version of what the keeper did. The referee listens, perhaps asks for an opinion of the AR as to a suggested course of action then DECIDES what that course of action will be.
Almost all who responded were spot on that the AR relates the info and the referee DECIDES what course of action to follow. The referee could choose to see this different than you or I and perhaps even come up with another solution.

The AR (law 6) has a duty to assist the referee by reporting when misconduct or any other incident has occurred out of the view of the referee
The AR only sees the keeper after being diverted from his other duties, though we can debate the merits of being informed by spectators, performing his seal juggling improvisation before the keeper?s team scores a goal.

If we as AR elect to poke the coach in the side with our flag and say, ?Coach!?, we gesture to keeper, ?Fix that or else!? No, do not really poke him just get his attention as he will likely be as irritated as anyone over the keeper's antics and will correct this situation post haste.
Now if coach is not close by we might try, ?Hey keeper get back in goal lose that ball right now!? If we get a positive response albeit a sheepish look from the keeper and immediate compliance, then problem solved!

The Referee (Law 5) in turn acts on the advice of assistant referees regarding incidents that he has not seen by doing one of three things;
1. take the advice.
2. play advantage
3. disregard the advice

The referee must decide is this a trifling or doubtful action that has no impact on actual play?
'The Laws of the Game are intended to provide that games should be played with as little interference as possible, and in this view it is the duty of the referee to penalize only deliberate breaches of the Law. Constant whistling for trifling or doubtful breaches produces bad feelings and loss of temper on the parts of players and spoils the pleasure of spectators.?

If the referee was of the opinion our gentle prod as AR was sufficient and no reluctance to comply or disdain by the keeper was shown he might have a friendly or not so friendly word into the ear of the keeper/captain or coach of what consequences could have been! If the referee agrees, kick off, game continues 6 to 0.

As a panel we discussed the situation in great detail, it is the belief of this panel that the prudent referee would invoke the Spirit of the Law and concluded in "Spirit" the answer is simple, kick off, score 6-0, goalkeeper chewed out, assistant reminded he pays attention to what goes on on the field and we thank our lucky stars we didn't do what the Law says.
The Law states if we see someone leaving the field without permission we act, given we have that opinion. We don't have that opinion, the opinion we have is the goalkeeper made a mistake, left the field and screwed around. Better here than after the match and someplace he shouldn't be...

Could the referee or AR be remiss in their duties for not seeing the keeper in a harsher light??
In Law, the referee could be supported in disallowing the goal .
Powers and Duties
The Referee:
enforces the Laws of the Game;

If the AR advised the referee or the referee decided after listening to what the AR had to say the keeper knowingly disregarded the laws of the game and engaged in misconduct away from the play. Considered it as taunting, a lack of respect, an affront to the spirit of the game, a breech of the code of conduct, violation of law 3, law 10, law 12?

Law 3
A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than eleven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper.
We tend to think not as the keeper is in fact still available!

Law 10 states that "a goal is scored ... provided that no infringement of the Laws of the Game has been committed previously by the team scoring the goal.
This raised a spector of doubt as a rational for denying the goal but law 12 is the actual justification if we fail to heed law 18.

It states in law 12 we can caution and show a yellow card for a player who is in the opinion of the referee
1. Guilty of unsporting behavior (catch all for disreputable behavior) or
7. Deliberately leaves the field of play without the referee?s permission.

OK if no goal = no kick off!
So where do we restart and what restart is correct?
INDFK or Drop Ball?
Was the incident on or off the field of play?

Were the keeper's actions USB?
Were the keeper's actions infringements of the laws for leaving the field of play without permission or having his team play without a keeper?
Could we caution once? Could we caution twice?

Let me state the obvious, none of us on the panel feel compelled following the absolute letter of law is the right thing to do, the justice, albeit legal, is far too heavy handed in our opinion! We see a bored teenager with attention deficit not a USB action or a deliberate intent to mess with the laws, this ASSUMES no rebuttal or redundant keeper reaction to our corrective ideas!

When the goal was scored the keeper was known to have already LEFT the field and was just OFF the field juggling the ball near his goal.

One suggestion by a few was the idea of allowing the goal and cautioning, show a yellow card to the the keeper for USB before the kick off was brought up as a possibility.
The reasoning?
They considered the keeper's actions as disrespectful to the opposition and the game but it it did not affect play in that no one noticed and no one was affected. Kind of like an offside position player who never changed what the outcome inevitably would be!

Many suggestions by those who answered failed to put together the location of the ball and the location of the misconduct are at opposite ends of the field or at least indicate at which goal the restart if the goal WAS disallowed. The concept of a goal kick is not acceptable the alleged misconduct occurs prior to the ball crossing the goal line.
Either we are looking for leaving with out permission (INDFK) or USB of misconduct off the field of play (drop ball) as a restart. These restarts would be within the goal area at the team just scored upon . As that was the location of the ball just before the ball went out of play!

Disallow the goal. Caution and show a yellow card to the keeper for deliberately leaves the field of play without the referee?s permission Restart with an INDFK within the goal area of the team who had just been scored on! Score remains 5 to 0!

In our opinion the above solution is the best of the worst if the goal is going to be disallowed. A drop ball inside a goal area is likely to lead to a vicious scrum although the referee could drop directly to the keeper he can not disallow an opponent from participating.

Disallow the goal. Caution and show a yellow card to the keeper for the USB actions off the field of play. Restart with a dropped ball within the goal area of the team who had just been scored on! Score remains 5 to 0!

The principle in asking a question like this is to make referees THINK about the NEED to obey the letter of law and understanding the bendability of that mystical law 18 to fit the NEED for justice to the incident! Not the law applied for the sake of punishment! Your Match! Your Decision! Your Reputation!

393 Jon London UK Referee
You bring into play what we call Common Sense and find this a 'trifling offense'. It is definitely more trifling than a goalkeeper leaving his goal line at a PK as we see most official allowing. Award goal, tell keeper to please stay on the FOP. 6-0.

398 Patrick Chambers Kailua HI USA Referee
I'd tell the spectator thank you and make a mental note of it. Although Law 3 stipulates that both teams must have a keeper, there is no stipulation that he must be physically on the FOP at all times. However, Law 12 does address leaving the FOP, e.g., to create offside. But the intelligent referee IMHO would not create trouble where there is none. There was no advantage gained by such action, but players are generally expected to remain on the FOP and to leave it only in the 'normal' course of play. I'd communicate such to the keeper in question ASAP, since the CR might not be as liberal in his interpretation of the rules and a goal could be denied.

410 ref47 Arlington va usa Referee
what to do depends on the level of play of this match. at higher levels, I would verbally warn the keeper to stay on the fop and pay attention to the match. failure to do that and my flag is up to stop play and advise the referee that a caution for ub (taunting) is in order. as the referee has not stopped play prior to the goal (probably missing my flag as it is away from play), the referee is faced with a choice of disallowing the goal and punishing the misconduct (yc), or allowing the goal and issuing a verbal warning to the keeper. at lower levels of play, I am going to continue my verbal warnings to the keeper to the point that I feel i am being ignored, at that point, flag up, advise referee. Again, as this is probably post goal, the referee must decide on goal/warning or no goal/yc. given the score and level, I would lean towards the latter.

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