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Question Number: 28034

Law 17 - Corner Kick 11/26/2013

RE: competitive Adult

Darrin Uecker of San Mateo, California United States asks...

My team was defending a corner kick. One of our defenders was on the back post and standing inside the goal, just inside the goal line on the back post. The linesman made him step into the field of play, saying he could not be out of the field of play on the corner kick. This is the first time I had ever heard this and wondered if it is a law? Not a big deal but in 35 years of playing I have never heard it so was curious.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Darrin
Players may not leave the field of play or stand off the field of play at a restart except for those taking the restart such as the corner, throw in etc. So the assistant referee was technically correct to ensure that the player did not stand inside the goal blatantly off the field of play. Now if the player is constantly moving in and out of the area most of not all referees will ignore this and it is only dealt with when it is constant and done for some tactical reason.
I had occasion recently to ask an attacker in a game to stand on the FOP as he was using the back post and net area to make it difficult for the defender to mark him at a corner.
The reason it is rarely dealt with is because the player is usually on the move and returns immediately to the FOP before the ball is put into play or it is seen as trifling with no effect on play..

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Players are meant to be on the field of play. They are allowed to temporarily leave the field, for example to keep a ball from going out or to go around an opponent. But at a restart, there is no reason to deliberately be off the field. Stick your big toe on the line, and you're on. (But don't do it to show up the ref, or he may show you up by showing yellow for dissent.)

Our colleague Jim Allen recently answered two questions about leaving the field of play:

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