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Question Number: 26976

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/4/2012

RE: Rec Under 11

Mark of Martinez, CA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 23240

I would like to get an opinion on a similar situation that I observed in a U10 Rec Game. The keeper scoops up a loose ball and approaches the end of the penalty area, preparing to punt the ball down the pitch. Meanwhile, an opposing team's forward runs toward the penalty area and the keeper, stops about 4-5 yards in front of the keeper, who is in the process of punting the ball, and starts jumping up and down.

I can only guess that the jumping was designed to either distract the keeper while punting the ball, or try to deflect the punted ball back toward the keeper's goal.

To me, it looked like either interferring with the keeper or dangerous play. But the center ref made no call when this situation happened twice in succesion. Is there an infraction here?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
There is an infraction here and it is the IDFK offence of preventing a goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands. The offending player should be spoken to and asked not to do it again. If the attempt was successful and the player has commited a foul for the tactical purpose of interfering with or breaking up a promising attack the player should be cautioned. However at ULittles the game is as much about learning and the player should not be allowed to do this. He has I suspect been coached to do it and the coach needs to know that the ploy is not legal. At Ulittle there is no need for a caution just the advice.
The referee in this game could have considered that the infraction was trifling in that it did not have any effect on play and allowed play to continue. Also awarding a IDFK off the ground can be a disadvantage for poor kickers of the ball at underage so that can be a factor as well. Also advantage can be a consideration or indeed the referee did not know that it was an offence.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Sounds like they have a basketball coach for the U-little team, and that tactic is legal in basketball, but definitely is NOT in soccer.

The referee may not have been aware it was illegal, and thus did nothing. A referee who did know at the very least should have talked to the player and the coach at the next stoppage. Best practice, especially at this young age, would be to stop play, explain this move is not allowed, and restart with an IDFK. No caution is necessary the first time, but any repeats, even at that young age are appropriate.

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