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Question Number: 30399

Law 17 - Corner Kick 5/9/2016

RE: Select High School

John Clark of St. Louis, MO United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29912

I had a clumsy attempt in U9 doing this recently. Player A put the ball down, touching it several times with his feet before leaving it for Player B, who touched it once. At that point, the coaches call out for Player C to take the kick. He comes over to do so, and begins dribbling the ball. I immediately stopped play (I got suspicious when Player B came over), and ordered a re-kick. Taking the corner seemed overly harsh to U9 boys to me, who were doing as instructed. Coach lost his head (he was later sent off for another reason), and I told him that the coaches' yelling was not sporting conduct, and I wouldn't allow it. I considered awarding an IFK given the first player touching the ball several times, and informed the coach that was the other alternative. It was during a multi-field tourney, so I was using my whistle sparingly, and I gave no indication except posture that play was either halted nor back on. What do the other refs think?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
I suspect this was a potential ruse that went badly wrong and your retake request upset the coach. Your request was entirely justified and you did not know what was transpiring. The coachs action was totally unacceptable and it was misconduct.
These corner ruses have been attempted by a player kicking the ball, leaving it unattended and a subsequent team mate then dribbles off. Once the coach gets involved with shouting that is misconduct.
Anyway as it was a corner at U9 referees need ensure that it gets taken properly in line with the law. It is an age group of learning the laws as well as skill development. I would also have words with the coach in this situation about his misconduct. No need for this behaviour at Under 9. Just let the player play. I hate it when coaches behave like this in what is a fun game. Also no place for ruses in U9 which is bringing adult values into a child game.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi John,
This is rather concerning behaviour from a coach of such a young team - it blows my mind how an 'adult' can get themselves sent from the park for this age group. Very disappointing.
Players at this age should be coached to enjoy the game and to develop skills. Cheap tricks (like the corner deception) is not coaching.
Looks like the players barely understood what they were doing. At this age in particular, I think you did the right thing in retaking the kick. Referees really should manage the game for the benefit of the players and take a role in educating them, and by this point I'm sure even you can't tell who was supposed to have put it in play. And if you can't tell and the players seem confused, then may as well stop play and start it over again.
The presence of the third player has made the situation very confusing. We need to use our judgement to determine when a ball has been put into play but ruses like this make it difficult. All we can do is interpret the situation the best we can. Sounds like you made the right call, considering the age group. At an older age, you would have had to make a judgement either way - I think you'd be hard pressed to argue that the first player made multiple touches on the ball, so whether or not his final touch put the ball into play, there probably wouldn't be any differences (I assume the ball moved after the second player touched it?).

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

When the coach gets involved in this, it goes south. There are only two ways to take the coach's 'instructions':
1. It is a valid tactical instruction to the team, and he is indicating that C will be the corner kicker.
2. The coach is trying to deceive the other team, and thus is not behaving in a responsible manner and could be dismissed - at the very least should be warned of his behavior. The ball was not been put into play before the coach's behavior, and so the restart remains a corner kick.

Given that they executed this trick play poorly (with all the touches A made) you could be justified in deciding that C actually put the ball into play, had the coach not interfered. And as C starts dribbling away, you call a second touch and an indirect kick for the opponents. Done. (Although the coach will still probably argue.)

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