Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 30623

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 7/20/2016

RE: Competive Adult

Cindy Verne of Placentia, CA usa asks...

After a foul when does the referee have to restart the game with there whistle and when can you that the kick without the referee blowing there whistle

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Cindy
The whistle to restart at a free kick is only required when the referee has intervened to caution /send off a player, speak with a player when he has moved him from his restart position, enforce the ten yards, after a substitution or after an injured player has been removed from the field of play. At regular free kicks not involving any of the above a whistle is not required.
Now sometimes a referee may not whistle to restart in those instances either because he has forgot or the team just gets on with play when both teams are ready. There is nothing in law to say that it is an error. Many times teams can accept the kick as a signal of the restart like in other free kicks. However on a scoring free kick with the distance being enforced the opponents will be extremely irate when there is no whistle. In those cases the referee MUST use the whistle and it is a retake if the kick happens before the signal. The referee should inform the kicker that it is on the whistle so as to prevent the kick from happening.
A whistle is compulsory at a penalty kick.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 30623
Read other Q & A regarding Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The free opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>