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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 29909

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 11/10/2015

RE: competitive

PAUL HERTELENDY of Berkeley, CA USA asks...

A player goes down with an injury. When the ref whistles the stop-play, Team A clearly has possession. When play resumes, the ref feeds the ball to a Team A player for the 'drop ball' in order to resume. Two Q's: 1. Can that player dribble the ball, making repeated contact? 2. If, instead, the player takes a shot and it enters either goal untouched, does it count?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Paul
On question 1 the ball is in play when it touches the ground and as such it can be dribbled away.
On question 2 if the ball is kicked directly into the goal from a dropped ball the goal is not awarded. If it was an attacker that kicked the ball then it is a goal kick.
Now some have asked about the scenario where the ball was first teed up by a touch before the kick that scored. IFAB had planned to amend the law to clarify that directly did not involve another player. It stated that the proposed new text would clarify the interpretation of the word “direct” in the context of any player playing the ball more than once and thereafter scoring a goal without the ball being played by any other player. No decision was made and it was suggested that it would be made clear in a glossary of terms to be published. We are still awaiting that glossary. I would take it that if a player kicks the ball directly into the goal after a touch or so that the referee by disallowing the goal would be implementing the spirit of the law. However after a series of plays such as dribbling or involving other players then that could not be seen as directly.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Paul,
the drop ball restart was recently amended to prevent a direct scoring of a goal given this restart is often utilized as a ...fair play gesture... to kick the ball back to the opposing keeper ! Prior to this law change on certain occasions the restart had gone horribly wrong with the ball accidently finding its way into the back of the net! So ...NOW...if a ball was to be kicked directly and entered the goal, crossing the goal line, under the crossbar and between the posts off a drop ball restart , no goal is awarded, the opposition simply get a goal kick restart.

Now usually a drop ball to a single player inside the PA is a direct drop into a keeper's hand who then punts the ball down field. If it is a single player drop who is returning the ball they generally kick the ball back to the opposing keeper or out into touch for a throw in as a fair play gesture. I have never seen a drop ball restart to a single player who then dribbles the ball the length of the field and then shoots it at the opposing goal ? I have seen on a kick off, after a controversial goal, the opposition allow the player to dribble and score uncontested but he still can not touch it as a 2nd touch A team mate must initiate a first touch.

I currently hold the opinion and believe if after taking the drop ball restart a player dribbled the ball and then shot and scored it is technically a legal goal given it was not directly kicked into goal. This is not like a free kick as a 2nd touch violation . I also believe if a player laid claim to return the ball as fair play protocols often do and then choose this action to then score uncontested, expect things to get ugly REAL fast unless it was done as a favour to perhaps equal a weird goal by the opposition!


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