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Question Number: 30187

Law 16 - Goal Kick 3/9/2016

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

I was watching a young woman ref a girls' high school game, recently. She was doing a confident and competent job, though I wondered about one thing:

At each goal kick, she would treat it as an indirect free kick, holding her hand up until the ball had been touched a second time. I would have asked her about this after the game but had to leave before 90 minutes.

I can't say I've ever seen this before - and I don't see it in the most recent Laws. In fact, since a goal CAN potentially be scored on the opponents, directly from a goal kick (page 51), it would be incorrect to signal it as an indirect kick. No?

I'll share your thoughts, next time I see her.

(There are no special high school rules in Canada.)

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
I cannot shed any light on this. As noted a goal kick is not an IDFK so the raised arm by the referee is an error. NFHS had the same signal as FIFA on this. As you know offside applies from an IDFK while it does not to a goal kick. I suspect she is error here if they were in fact all goal kicks and probably if she is young no one has ever told her of her mistake.
I also suspect that as it is a schools game that perhaps no one has paid any attention this. Many times on offside I question why we bother with the signal as never have I seen it make a difference or even come close. It does help to signal that it was offside rather than a foul in some situations.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
you are correct a goal kick is NOT an INDFK but often offside or technical irregularities create a lot of talk about INDFKs on the edge of the goal area and as such it gets lost in translation.
The fact that a goal kick is a DFK and it is offside exempt is a matter of some concern on a smaller field with a kicker that can pound it a ways. Often I see offside awarded close to goal, the indfk is taken anywhere from inside the goal area and of course it is signaled with the raised arm.

Another bit of LOTG that gets lost on goal kicks, in fact any kick that originates within the penalty area is the ball MUST completely exit the PA into the FOP to be active, no passing inside the PA , as well as no opponents are allowed to cut through the PA until the ball has exited. Just give her a heads up!


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