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Question Number: 31766

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 9/8/2017

RE: Amateur Adult

george of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

An attacking player is dribbling down the sideline with an ongoing challenge from a defender. Defender complains ball is out but trailing AR signals ball is still in play. As both players arrive near the corner flag, the defender finally wins the challenge and an attack develops going now in the opposite direction. As the ball is nearing midfield, CR notices the other AR, who is now the trailing AR, waiving his flag and signalling for a goal kick.

My question, does CR stop the attack in favor of a goal kick or does CR allow the current play to continue since defending team is now in possession of the ball and on the attack near midfield?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
The simple answer is that play must be stopped. Once the ball leaves the field of play and re-enters then it is not possible to allow play to continue or to play a notional *advantage* which it cannot be anyway as there is no offence. The AR must keep the flag up once he is certain the ball left the FOP. An AR can drop an erroneous flag which really should not happen yet it does.
So in your example the ball out of play flag must be taken and the goal kick awarded.
It does though raise the issue of either a poor flag or a missed flag. How that happened needed to be discussed in the post match. There can be times when a raised flag on trifling matters can be dropped by the AR such as a missed offside flag where the ball has gone down to the other end of the field in possession of the offended against team. In that type of situation the AR can drop the flag.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi George,
When it comes to advantage, the wording in the Laws says that, ''The referee [...] allows play to continue when an offence occurs and the non-offending team will benefit from the advantage ...''

Since there was no offence here, advantage is not applicable.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The ARs' job is to signal the ball is OUT of play ONLY when 100% sure the ball was out of play. There can be NO advantage awarded, the correct restart MUST apply!

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