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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 26904

Law 17 - Corner Kick 10/14/2012

RE: Rec Under 15

Kendra Smith of Norfolk, MA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 25141

I had a corner kick trick play happen where the 'kicker' dragged the ball forward with his foot never leaving the ball. Then another player came in and dribbled the ball out. I called the second player for double touch as I considered the first player never to have 'kicked' the ball as his foot never left the ball. Was that the correct call?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

There is a difference between adjusting the ball with the foot and kicking it. It sounds like you made the correct call.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

I would permit a player to 'kick' the ball by dragging it with the sole of his foot - but it depends.

The Laws say 'kicked and moves' - I believe this is intended to mean that the ball must be moving after the foot has released the ball.

So if he drags the ball, and the stops the ball before he releases it, then I don't believe the restart has taken place, so if somebody else comes and dribbles the ball away then that's a second touch violation - although, if the 'drag' has taken the ball outside the corner ark, then I would say he's positioned the ball incorrectly for a CK, so I'd want to hold play up and have the ball placed in the arc.

If he drags it, releases his foot and the ball keeps moving, then I'm happy to accept this as a restart

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kendra
The USSF ATR states and I quote '' The distance to be moved is minimal and the 'kick' need only be a touch of the ball with the foot in a kicking motion or being dragged with the top or bottom of the foot.''
So your association says that a foot drag is an acceptable way of putting the ball in play as it would be in any other part of the world.
Now it is up to the referee to interpret this and also to look at the circumstances. In this case if the foot drag of the ball was followed immediately by the team mate touching the ball then IMO the ball is in play legally and play should continue. The reaction of opponents would also be a factor as if there are opponents in the area who 'assume' that the ball is in play then why would the referee intervene.
Now if the player 'positions' the ball with the sole of the foot and leaves the ball with the assumption that a team mate is going to take the restart then the referee is entitled to assume that the ball has not been put into play. Ryan Giggs of Manchester United always positions the ball in the corner arc with his foot and it is a 'different' motion from putting the ball in play.
Also you do not mention if the ball left the arc or not. If the ball left the arc the team mate cannot be penalised for a double touch at a corner kick.
So from your description I am unsure of the call. If it was a 'ruse' where the kicking team covertly put the ball in play with a foot drag then the referee can decide if she has not seen the proper restart to make the call that the ball has not been put into play. Here is an example of this made by Howard Webb WC Final referee and Darren Cann WC Final assistant.
The referee community is divided on this. Old school say that the correct call was made while younger referees say that the ball was put into play properly and play should continue. Personally I believe the correct call was made and if that mirrors your situation then you were entitled to either make the double touch call if the ball did not leave the arc or a retake if it did.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Advice to Referees also says that the referee must discern between touches that put the ball into play and touches that are repositioning the ball. It sounds as if you decided the ball was being repositioned. When making this decision, you should be as liberal as possible in deciding in the kicking team's favor - for example, you don't consider that simple tap to get the ball out of a low spot in the grass the 'restart' for a free kick. But at the trick plays, if they're too tricky, they may must trick the referee as well.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 26904
Read other Q & A regarding Law 17 - Corner Kick

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See Question: 27538

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