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Question Number: 32680

Law 13 - Free Kicks 9/1/2018

RE: Competitive Under 16

Glen Brizendine of Raleigh, NC USA asks...

Attacking team commits foul in the penalty area at around the Goal box (6). Ball is placed for direct kick, I pushed the attacking team all the way out of the Penalty Area which ended up being a distance of apx. 12 yds. The Attacking team coach was crying that his team should only have to retreat to 10 yards and not "all the way outside the box". Was I correct to retreat them out of the penalty area even though that was greater than 10 yds?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Glen,
You were absolutely correct and as is quite commonly the case, the coach didn't have a clue what he was talking about. Law 13 (Free Kicks) states that at a free kick:

''Until the ball is in play all opponents must remain:

- at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts
- outside the penalty area for free kicks inside the opponents' penalty area''

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Glen,
oh poor little coach was crying?
You are a big bad referee & totally 100% correct by the way. AS to my of the cuff remark on coaches . I too coach and it annoys me if I see referee do something I do not like, know or understand but as a referee while I might attempt to educate a coach it is not usually when he or she is yelling at my lack of knowledge .
ANY outgoing free kick from within the PA the opposition must be outside the PA as the ball is NOT in play until it exits the PA.

Where I see a PROBLEM all the time is on an attacking INDFK inside the PA. The defenders must still be 10 yards away in ALL directions EXCEPT if they are standing on the goal line between the posts & under the crossbar.
I watch the indfk taken say at the edge of the 6 yard goal area with players ahead of the goal line or surrounding the shooters so a pass can not be made without interference.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Glen
You were 100% correct.
The only point I would make is that if the defending team want to take a quick free kick it can do so without all the attacking players having exited the PA. Also a short free kick is not possible on a defending free kick inside the penalty area. It has the same conditions as a goal kick restart.
So you could have ignored the attacking players positions and if they touched the ball or closed down a defender from within the PA while the ball was still inside the penalty area the kick would be retaken anyway as the ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area.
That approach may also have raised questions as Law13 is not fully understood on free kicks inside the penalty area.

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