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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 29145

Law 17 - Corner Kick 1/31/2015

RE: Adult

Chris Durkin of Three Legged Cross, Dorset England asks...

When I was a kid and played football every week it was understood that at a corner kick the ball was supposed to be placed inside the arc and not , as seems common nowadays, just some part of the ball being over some part of the actual white-lined arc.
Is this present day law the original law for taking corners, and if not when was it changed?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

While the laws require that the ball is placed 'inside' the arc, the lines are part of the area they govern (Law 1). If any part of the ball is on or over the corner arc, it is 'inside.' FIFA has provided a chart which is available on the FA website.

It is not a recent change.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Chris
Prior to 1997 Law 17 stated that *the whole of the ball shall be placed within the quarter circle*. Many times it was not strictly implemented so in 1997 the wording was changed to state that the ball is placed inside the arc.
The ball is deemed inside the arc if any part if the ball is touching the arc line. With modern HD technology and multiple camera angles the placement of the ball is more focussed on than in the past. I do see some corners where the ball is slightly outside. I guess the word trifling springs to mind when it is inches. Referees many times have more pressing matters to look for than missing an inch or so on the ball placement.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Chris,
In my opinion the laws simply adapted to reality. The corner flag, is by its location, often in the way, so a little allowance for a windy day meant the ball was ...liberally... placed at times. By allowing the boundary lines of the arc to be looked at in the same way as all the touch lines and goal lines it makes the idea of a ball in or out the same across the pitch. I have a recollection of a directive or circular that discussed the ball COULD overhang the arc lines as opposed to the ball being fully enclosed within the arc. I have some idea it was 1997 during the rewrite but can not say for sure. Apparently the picture showing proper placement within the LOTG was added in 2001. (Page 136 Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees)

It was more an interpretive solution so that the wording was changed from the ...whole of the ball.... to its current wording to accommodate the way a ball is either in or out. As long as some portion of the ball is covering the arc lines that ball is considered as inside for the purposes of a legal corner kick. Cheers
Law 17
The ball must be placed inside the corner arc nearest to the point where the ball crossed the goal line.
Law 1
The field of play must be rectangular and marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries.

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