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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 32453

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 5/16/2018

RE: Rec Under 16

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

Red attacker is fouled (shirt tug) as he enters the box by the 18. Just when attacker seems to lose his footing, CR blows play dead. Somehow, attacker regains his composure right after the whistle and scores.

I know the play is dead since whistle was blown. Coach challenged that we should have taken whistle back and awarded the goal. Coach challenges ref to prove where in the rules does it state play is dead once whistle is blown>

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI George,
law 9 state the ball is out of play if the referee stops play.
The whistle signals to all he has stopped play . It does not matter the ball continues to move or player continue to run &play. The PLAY IS DEAD!
LAW 9 Ball out of play!
1. Ball out of play
The ball is out of play when:
• it has wholly passed over the goal line or touchline on the ground or
in the air
• play has been stopped by the referee
2. Ball in play
The ball is in play at all other times, including when it rebounds off a match
official, goalpost, crossbar or corner flagpost and remains in the field of play

I do recall an professional soccer match between Vancouver and Seattle I think, where the referee of the day unwisely blew his whistle to STOP play on a DH in the goal area where the ball was shot, then knocked down by a defenders obvious DH, right onto the foot of another attacker who shoots and scores as the whistle is sounding . The whistle clearly was sounding as the ball was clearly going into the goal it just had not fully crossed the goal line under the crossbar between the posts in its entirety.. The referee's correct decision would have been to award the attackers a PK, show the red card to the defender sending him off, reducing the defenders to 10 players only .

Instead, since the ball was in the process looking very close as if the whistle was for it crossing the goal line, he decided to award the goal & only caution the defender. Both teams were happy enough. One with the goal the other NOT down a man. Sort of a Win / Win I guess. But at the post game seminar he was lambasted for the too early whistle which BY THE LOTG rendered that goal inadmissible.

This was a clear example of WHY we are consistently told to WAIT and see what could possibly happen BEFORE we decide to stop play. Advantage is a wonderful addition to the tool belt but as in any tool you need to know HOW to use it. Stay calm, focused, try not to react instinctively. I try not to place a whistle in or too the mouth unless I WILL blow it! Look to see possibilities remember the LOTG give you TIME, so use it !

Based on the description it appears to be a PK with a red card for DOGSO? Shirt pulls are not considered as legit challenges but tactical USB actions.


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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi George,
Yet another example of how coaches will use any excuse to complain about a decision they don't like, no matter how wrong they are. As ref Dawson's response shows, the law is perfectly clear that play is dead when the referee has signalled to stop play by blowing the whistle. Even in the example he gives of a referee blowing the whistle just as the ball is about to cross the line, the law says the goal cannot be counted.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
Players that are knee high to grasshopper have been told by every coach in the world *PLAY TO THE WHISTLE*
What does that mean. It means that when the whistle sounds play stops.
Now the law makes no mention of a whistle just a signal. As Referee Dawson points out this is covered in a Law 9 which is one of the shortest laws. It states that the ball is out of play when
# it has wholly passed over the goal line or touchline on the ground or in the air
# play has been stopped by the referee.
In this instance play has been stopped by the referee with a whistle signal so a goal 'cannot' be awarded.
Had the coach complained to the referee about his mechanics of not playing advantage that would be been understandable. His other argument is untenable.
In the example given by Referee Dawson I have had that experience many years ago of blowing a tad early just as a kick was being made by a player that I did not see to my left. I would say the whistle had just sounded as the ball was struck and sailed into the open net. A foul had just been committed by the goalkeeper so my focus was on that DOGSO challenge. The goalkeeper was injured which gave me a little time to think. I told the conceding team that I might award the goal or go with a penalty kick and a red card for a foul by the goalkeeper. Clearly not correct in a Law and not done under any scrutiny so the captain agreed that the goal was the *best* decision for the game. One player started to complain and his captain promptly interrupted him to say that it was a goal.
Now in Law I had stopped the game so no possible further play was allowed under Law 9. It is explained nicely in this video by Referee Hauge.

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