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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30853

Law 17 - The Corner Kick 10/3/2016

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

I know this issue has come up before, but I want to get your opinion on 2 things that came up last weekend.

A coach came up to me before the game & said that they had a trick corner kick play where a player would place the ball in the corner area & then pretend that he was letting another teammate take the kick by rolling the ball out to him. The second player would then dribble, pass or shoot.

I told him that it was allowed unless:
1) a player verbally said something like 'You take the kick', or the coach said something like
2) 'let so & so take the kick'.

My reasoning was that the first scenario was unsporting deception by a player. Also, since the new Law 3 specifically says that if a team official interferes with play there's a DFK & the LOTG also mention the 'spirit of the game', that the second scenario would also be unsporting.

Another referee disagreed with me & I'm wondering if the panel agrees or feels differently. If you do agree with me, what would you do if it happened; i.e. would it be a retake?

One more question. When the team attempted this & another teammate ran toward the corner, an opponent followed him. I felt that I would stop the defender, since he has to maintain 10 yards. Another referee felt he wouldn't stop the game & it was up to the kicker to then ask for 10 yards. What is the best way to handle this.

Thank you,

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
This trick play has been around for ever and it comes in waves because it is not dealt with properly. Your referee colleague adds to this continuing by not dealing with verbal distraction. I would also say that the addition of clearly moves to kicked in the new laws means that the tap or slight move is no longer acceptable so the restart kick has to be more obvious than in the past.
My experience of this is that it generally only works with verbal distraction. If it can happen without then I do not have a problem per se with such a restart. As you say the kicking team generally verbally deceive by either players shouting or the coach shouting a distraction such as what you mention. In addition the ball now has to clearly move under the new laws which makes the kick restart more obvious.
Now some referees takes exception to the coach shouting at these plays while ignoring players. The defender can as easily be distracted verbally by a player at the moment the ball is put into play by turning around to look at the shouting player saying *Ill take it* or *Leave it for me* missing the vital kick. In respect of the restart the referee has three options. One is a retake because it all happened before the ball was put into play, two it can be an IDFK for a double touch if the original kick is not seen with the ball staying inside the arc on the first kick or three it is a caution for the verbal distraction of shouting *Leave It* while the ball is in play and an IDFK. I have always gone with a retake as verbals have been used before the kick.
In respect of the 10 yards your colleague is incorrect. It is a restart that the referee should insist that players remain 10 yards from the ball until the ball us put into play. I am usually calling to the defender/s to respect the 10 yards with say *Red 3 ten yard please* *Reds no closer* or whatever works in the situation. Would you not deal with a defender who runs closer than 10 yards at a free kick? Okay if the kicker insists on the yardage then it gets ceremonial and the corner kick is no different.
Anyway I just do not allow these verbal deception corner kick plays. For me it is a retake.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Phil - a couple of things are not entirely clear to me from your description. You say the ploy was for one player to ''roll the ball out'' to a team mate and that a defender tried to follow the second attacker (the one to whom the ball was being rolled out) but you would not (or did not?) allow this as the defender was coming within the 10 yards distance.

Do you mean that the ball was rolled out of the corner area? If so, then it seems to me that the requirement for the ball to clearly move would have been met. And while I agree with ref McHugh that any verbal distraction of the opponent at a restart should not be allowed, if none of the players (or the coach) actually said anything while the play was ongoing then there would have been no verbal distraction.

Secondly, if you mean that the defender started to follow the attacker before the initial roll of the ball then yes, the 10 yard distance must be maintained. But if (and this was how I understood it) the ball was rolled first and then the two players moved towards the ball, 10 yards would no longer be required because the ball would already be in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

When a coach approaches you to talk about how you're going to call something, say, 'Wait a minute, let's get the other coach so both of you know how the game will go.' That quickly puts an end to special instructions from the coach. The coach will object that he doesn't want the other team to know his trick play. That's fine - but then don't ask the ref for special favors.

One problem with this trick is that the team has now demonstrated that they consider any little movement of the ball to be putting the ball in play. So at the next free kick, they readjust the position of the ball - does that mean it's in play? The wall can come crashing in, and if the 'kicker' touches it another time it's an IFK for the opponents? If you do accept 'advice' from the coach, you might remind him of this.

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