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Question Number: 28935

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 11/2/2014

RE: High School High School

Joseph Killmaier of San Francisco, CA United States asks...

Free Kick,
a free kick was awarded just outside 18 on right side. The Referee asked the wall to move back,as they were too close. As they are moving back the kick is taken and a goal is scored.
Defending team complains no whistle not ready, you asked us to move.
Kicking team says I didn't ask for ten so I can kick anytime.

Who's correct?

* tell you what happen later.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

If the ONLY thing the referee did was say, 'Back Up!' or 'Respect the 10 yards' or 'Ten yards now!',without physically getting involved or pointing to his whistle as a ceremonial restart it is not really a protestable action in my opinion. I suspect the defending teams feels irritated but they have no actual rights on a free kick. As a coach I say to my players the GAME is ALWAYS afoot UNLESS the referee declares it is not! Now given this is HIGH School it may have additional values where ANY type intervention like a few words telling someone to do something, is cause for a ceremonial restart.
Yes it is unwise for a referee to get involved in a restart unless he makes sure ALL are aware it WILL be ceremonial. A verbal reminder to respect the distance in my opinion is not sufficient for a rekick as an act of unfair intervention. If the referee was pacing the distance or standing in front of the wall then a rekick is in order. But horrible mechanics as the first thing is point to whistle and indicate we no go until I whistle!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Was the referee actually setting up the wall or just telling the opponents to get 10 yards from the ball. Did the referee stop play? If the referee stopped play or was setting up the wall, a second whistle was needed, and no goal should have occurred. (NFHS Rule 9-1-3). However, if the referee was just telling the defense to move 10 yards from the ball, this is a common instruction given on many free kicks by the referee. A sign of what the referee is doing, is the position of the referee. Did the referee come in between the ball and the wall to set up the wall, or stay off to the side and yell to the opponents to move back?

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Joseph
The answer lies as to whether the free kick was, to borrow a term from FIFA, *ceremonial* in that the referee was involved in setting a wall prior to a free kick.
Any requests of an official to move opponents away from the ball the required 10 yards certainly requires that a second whistle is used.
Should there not be a request then I would concur with Referee Majone on the indicators given by the referee as to whether he was simply advising or whether he was actively involved in the situation in front of ball directing opponents.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 28935
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