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Question Number: 29786

Law 17 - Corner Kick 10/6/2015

RE: Competitive\Academy Under 10

Daniel S. of Carrollton, TX USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29508

I had a similar situation happen in a U10 Boys game where a player carried the ball to the corner then moved out of the area of the corner and giving a slight tap on the ball. Then another player on his team came over to the corner are and began dribbling the ball. I called stopped play and restarted with a IDFK to the opposing team due to the fact that I had not acknowledge play had started until the second player in the scenario had made his first contact with the ball putting it into play.
To me this tactic is designed to circumvent the rules in order to catch the defending team off guard. In my opinion both teams are cheated by this tactic. The defending team by the tactic that is of questionable sportsmanship and for the kicking team in the fact that the coach is spending his practice time to teach his kids skills that really do not benefit them beyond getting an easy goal from time to time.
Anyhow was I correct with my decision to restart with a IDFK for the opposing team based on my opinion that the first player had not put the ball into play?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Daniel,

This is now a widely accepted tactic. It may be one we don't like, but it's become a part of the game now. The only real issue comes up if there's verbal deception involved eg 'you take the corner'.

Deception through actions like this is part of the game - it's also a risky move for the attacking team, as if the defending team are aware they'll lose possession quite easily.

I agree with you that it's more about coaching the team to win through tricks rather than thorough training, but as referees we can't allow that consideration to affect our judgement.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Daniel,
youth are notoriously preconditioned to wait for a referee to restart so coaches will have this tricky play to place the ball kick it then move away so the 2nd player comes in to dribble it. Primarily because they lack the leg strength to get in a good cross and 2ndly it does catch people by surprise. As a coach I have my defenders close down even a hint of ball movement once it reaches the arc . A referee might warn them to respect the ten or be aware as my players are, that the ball was in fact put in play. Yet often the coach or team will cry foul they were not ready to go lol. Yet referees now are regularly whistling in corner kicks due to the constant BS inside the PA , which in my opinion prevent this play from being plausible.
You ask if you were correct? As a opinion and a fact of play it is now immutable but IF you saw the ball placed in the arc then kicked and moved what are your concerns? There was no verbal deception by the players, no tactical info from the coach saying, let player B take it? It is not your place as a neutral official to decide tactical applications only if the restart is appropriate to the LOTG as they are described. No one says a kick has to be kicked hard or far nor a throw in must travel well into the field, it can drop on the touchline right over the face. These can and do catch teams lollygagging waiting for the normal or usual. It is NOT against the LOTG to alter setups only that they conform to the LOTG procedures.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Daniel
Old school referees remember when the ball had to roll its circumference to be put into play. That was to show a noticeable movement so that there was little doubt that the ball was in fact kicked into play.
Now in these ruse situations and this question has been asked many times there are a number of considerations
1. Was it a tap or kicked and moved. A tap does not put it into play.
2. Has the referee seen the ball being clearly kicked into play?
3. If the ball leaves the arc after the first touch then a double touch by the 2nd player is not possible.
4. Was there verbal deception by the coach or players causing the opponents to be distracted and from looking at the kick.
I personally dont like these and when the restart is unseen by me I ask for a retake.

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