Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 23240

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/3/2010

RE: Rec Under 13

Bob of St. Louis, MO USA asks...

As a coach, I noticed that opposing keeper was very sloppy with getting rid of the ball. I told one of my forwards to stand, and not move, at the edge of the penalty box. I told her if it was a weak pass to a defender to charge the ball. It was and she did, intercepting the pass in the penalty area. Ref called (whistled) her for not allowing keeper to get rid of ball, handed the ball back to the keeper and let the keeper punt it. (I know the restart was a bit of creative reffing, but hey, this is a rec league and it's definitely not worth worrying about...)

I simply told the forward to not do that anymore, but instead mark the defender.

Talked to the ref after the game. Ref agreed that she didn't move until after the keeper kicked the ball, but said that being close to the keeper kept the keeper from getting rid of the ball because she made her nervous.

That sounded a bit creative too. I don't care so much as a coach in a rec league, but if I encounter this reffing, I'd like to get it right.

Doesn't a player have the right to the ground they stand on?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
This is indeed creative refereeing. If the player has done nothing to prevent the goalkeeper from releaseing the ball then play should have been allowed to continue. Making the GK nervous is not an offence in the Laws of the Game.
So the player is allowed to stand close to the GK but he/she must not move as the GK moves as this is akin to preventing release of the ball. I always expect players to run straight out and any deviation towrsd the GK that prevent the GK either punting or throwing the ball will result in either advantage being played or an IDFK to the defending team.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

If your player was set in her place and not moving before the keeper kicked the ball, the referee was being overly officious. The keeper has 6 seconds to distribute the ball, and if your player is standing still, the keeper can and should move to wherever she feels safe releasing the ball. If the referee can sense the keeper is moving because of the attacking player, an extra second or two may be allowed. The referee was interfering, not your player.

Sigh, and of course the restart was wrong as well. If this had been a true interference with the keeper, the restart is an IDFK where the keeper was, not the referee handing it or even dropping it to the keeper! Geez.

Please report this referee to the local assignor, so that some education can be imparted from a neutral source.

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

On April 14, 2010, U.S. Soccer published a position paper, and has indicated:

'A player who moves in front of, or attempts trickery to hamper or influence the goalkeeper's distribution and release of the ball from his hands (from any direction), should be judged to have committed an offense. Feigning or trying to negatively influence a goalkeeper as he attempts to release the ball is NOT permitted. The closer the proximity of the opponent, the increased likelihood that the goalkeeper has been interfered with. '

Standing still and taking advantage of a miskick is not a foul. But, contact with the goalkeeper is unnecessary. Feints and shadowing a nervous keeper could be. The younger and less experienced the players, and the nearer the defender to the keeper, the more likely it is that the foul should be called. But, if it happened as you indicate, I agree with my colleagues that this referee may have been overly officious.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 23240
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 26976

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The free opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>