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Question Number: 29784

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 10/6/2015

RE: AYSO Under 19

anon of altadena, ca usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29781

I disagree with the statement by Mr. McHugh regarding simultaneous touches on a ball going of play in which he states, 'Now the technical answer is that the referee can go with a dropped ball.' The (apparently now defunct) US ATR said specifically that 'Under the Laws of the Game, it is not acceptable to give a dropped ball
restart in situations where the referee cannot initially decide which team has
possession.' I believe that USSF got this absolutely right. Nothing in the LOTG provides for a DB after the ball has left the field of play -- only when the referee stops play. Indeed, it is impossible to apply the LOTG to this situation and come up with a DB: a DB is taken from where the ball was when play stopped -- which would be off the field in this case. The only available restarts when the ball leaves the field of play are TI, GK, CK and KO (the latter being irrelevant to this scenario).

Thanks for a great site.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Anon,

I agree with you here. A dropped ball is the restart when play is stopped for any reason not otherwise specified in laws. Ball out of play doesn't fall into this scenario - and a drop ball is always where the ball is when play is stopped, so you can't drop the ball off the field.

You have to make a decision. Some will just go to the defence. Sometimes you can take the lead off the players - if both teams seem to agree on whose throw it is (one team moves for the ball, the other moves to defend), then you can signal in agreeance pretty quickly and still look like you made the decision yourself.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Anon,,
true my colleague Ref Wright and I agree but then if a referee ...stopped... play prior to the ball going out? The referees decision when to stop play is his, not the whistle, the whistle is a signal that he has. Not saying it is good idea by the way! Credibility and accountability will be brought into question for such things!
I can say 100% my colleagues example of two players sliding out with the ball trapped between them is a valid set of circumstances. Both in contact, easy sell for a drop ball! Same when they both dragged the other to the ground as a foul, then slide out, again easy drop ball call! Mind you both teams wanted the foul so 100% of those watching felt the referee got it wrong LOL > Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

I take the point that the Laws do not mention the DB restart and I concede that technically it is not provided for in law. I did not advocate it and I have seen it happen with no complaint from either side. Perhaps it did not reflect well on the referee.
The principle I used to arrive at the dropped ball restart is based on the Laws of the Game where it states that in cases of simultaneous offences committed by players from different teams:– the referee must stop play and restart it with a dropped ball from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage... How often does that ever happen.
Let me pose the scenario where a ball is jammed between two player who both carry the ball over the touchline. Would a dropped ball not be a *fair* decision in the context and it can be justified that the referee stopped play and perhaps the *best* restart in the circumstances and not necessarily correct is alway valid.

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