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Question Number: 30657

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 8/9/2016

RE: Pro Professional

Trevor Cox of Reading, PA USA asks...

Now that, at the kick-off, the ball may be passed backwards, has the law on players being in their own half changed? I notice the kicking player is always in the opponents half at kick-off, it will be very difficult for the kicking player to pass backwards whilst in his own half.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Trevor
An interesting point and one that I alluded to in a recent answer on this subject. The law in respect of being in ones own half has not changed. It had become *accepted* that the kicker could straddle the line or be partly in the opponents half and to be in that position is deemed trifling.
As a result one can assume that the new law gives tacit approval to that position. Although I would certainly not allow any other player in the opponents half nor would I allow the player a significant run up from the opponents half.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

I think referees put this infringement under the trivial column. Much like the throw in, which is supposed to be taken from where the ball crossed the touchline and often ignored, it really makes no difference if the kicker is not actually completely in his half. There is encroachment on pretty well every PK but by and large it makes no difference, i.e. trivial if they did encroach and thus ignored. It contravenes the Laws but common sense prevails.

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