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Question Number: 32536

Law 1- The Field 6/23/2018

RE: Adult

paul of ocala, FL US asks...

What determines the location of a foul if it occurs at the edge of the penalty box. If a defender is inside the box but the ball and attacker are outside and the defender reaches across the line and pulls the attacker down, is that a PK? Reversing the situation and the defender is trailing the play and the ball alone, or the ball and attacker are inside the box when the defender reaches from outside the box to pull down the attacker. Or more simply is the location of the ball critical, or the location of the fouled player or the fouling player determinate?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Paul,
The answer is, in a way, 'none of the above' - it is not the location of the ball, or of either player, that matters. Rather it is the location of the contact between the two players. Wherever that contact took place, determines the outcome. If the point of contact is inside the penalty area (bearing in mind that on the line counts as being inside the penalty area) then a penalty is awarded. If the point where the actual contact occurred was outside the penalty area, it would be a free kick from that location.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Paul
there are what we call contact fouls like a trip or kick where the point of contact between the players is the foul location. The fact the player might stumble or fall into the PA DOES NOT make it a PK if the reason he lost his balance was the foul outside was the sole & only cause of the fall .

Mind you he could be recovering from a trip but some additional contact forces him down could be looked upon as advantage as a 2nd foul occurring. This would be a PK a it is more favourable than the DFK from outside!

Then there is a pulling or holding or charging type foul which can be a progressive foul that moves with the flow of play and advantage is applied to the fact the contact point actually continue over time & distance and be applied in the PA area as a PK rather than a DFK outside where the initial contact foul may have started.

There can be a clutch and let go or a sharp stab and shove with no follow through as well and a clear outside the PA DFK foul. YET. Nothing is ever 100% or always looked at in the same light. A shove like a push has a contact point initially but it can be maintained, same as a grab of the jersey or pull back over the arm in there is not just that first contact point but it becomes a continuous contact point as it is maintained .

The ball is only a consideration if the foul is deliberate handling, to be a foul the ball must be inside the PA boundary lines when it is contacted by the arm for a PK to be awarded. Given a ball is about 12 inches wide and a boundary line is 5 inches A player handling the ball on the outside of the portion of the ball not overhanging the boundary line is STILL guilty of handing the ball inside the PA. That seems harsh but the LOTG dictate the ball is within the PA if any portion is in contact or overhangs the boundary line .


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Paul
It is the location of the contact on the foul that determines the restart.
So if an attacker is tripped it is the location of the contact on the trip that determines the location of the restart. Trip contact outside the penalty area is a direct free kick whereas the same contract on the penalty area line and inside results in a penalty kick.
Interesting one is holding in that it can be a continuous foul. So if holding starts outside the oenalty area and continues inside it is a oenalty kick.
The line is part of the penalty area so foul contact on the line is determined to be inside the area.

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