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Question Number: 31010

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 11/11/2016

RE: Rec Under 19

Richard Sedivy of Huntington Beach, CA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 30860

So in regards to question 30860, is rolling the ball with the bottom of the foot a valid restart provided that the ball clearly moves, or does the ball have to be kicked? Is rolling the ball considered a 'kicking motion' and therefore a kick?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Richard,

Overall, I think the Laws are fairly relaxed in regard to what is considered a kick (free kicks for instance, can even be taken with both feet) and they do not specify which exact part of the foot is to be used. As long as the foot is used to propel the ball, that is OK for me (so long as it meets the criteria of causing the ball to clearly move). Rolling the ball with the sole of the foot is frequently seen, even at the highest levels and never penalised to the best of my knowledge.

There is nothing in the Laws of the game that talks about a 'kicking motion' being required. Having said that, if you think about it, the motion used to roll the ball is almost identical to the motion that would be used to 'toe-poke' a ball anyway. If the ball were positioned about six inches further away and the player used the same motion that would be used to roll the ball, the player's toe rather than the sole of the foot would make contact with the ball. I don't think a toe-poke would ever be considered not to be a kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Richard,
the ball can be kicked with any part of the foot!
The sole roll certainly qualifies as does the toe, instep, laces or heel!
What does NOT constitute a kick is at the discretion of the referee in that there should be NO uncertainty or confusion.

In the sole roll, IF the foot remains on the ball as it rolls, as in a drag and stop motion and only then he removes the foot off the ball I do not see that as a ball clearly kicked but repositioned and moved.

For MY satisfaction to consider it a kick (the foot drag using the sole/bottom of the boot) the ball must continue to visibly move AFTER the foot is removed.

I also generally do not consider a toe tap on top or a stomp wobble as a kick either albeit if there is a free kick and that sort of touch is used where the defenders rush and another attacking kicker then follows through for the second touch given both teams seem to be ok with the restart I do not get too excited despite the bad taste in my mouth. It generally is not a big deal but the tricky plays at the youth level it gets convoluted at times. But if those who putszky about toe tapping or sole rolling without taking the foot away and the ball is NOT in actual motion start screaming about not getting ten yards I am just as liable to give them an earful on putting the ball into play properly as awarding a retake.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Richard
With this action the ball leaves the foot and clearly moves. Once the ball is seen to clearly move with the foot used then that satisfies the law. The technical piece is that the foot has made contact with the ball for an extended period of time yet there is a kick to actually move the ball.
The closest confirmation we have in the Laws to support that it is acceptable is the statement and I quote * A free kick can be taken by lifting the ball with a foot or both feet simultaneously.* To do this the foot also has to make extended contact with the ball much like a foot roll so one could opine that a foot roll is similar contact using the ground.
Now what is not acceptable is the tap on top of the ball with a foot. The ball here has not clearly moved. Ultimately though it is up to the referee to decide. I have allowed *taps* in the past as the opponents seen it as an action to put the ball in play. To stop play for a retake would in those instances served little purpose so I decided it was trifling and allowed play to continue.

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