Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 32738

Law 13 - Free Kicks 9/23/2018

RE: Competitive Under 14

Frederick Plenn of Seaville, NJ United States asks...

If the attacking team is awarded an indirect free kick in the penalty area but less than 10 yards from goal and the defense is lined up on the goal line. Since they are within 10 yards, is there any difference as to when they may attack the ball (1st vs 2nd touch)?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Frederick
All defending players must remain 10 yards from the ball or remain on the goal line between the goal posts until the ball is kicked by the attacking team that is the first touch.
One of the great difficulties that the referee will have is ensuring that happens in a pressured situation. The defending team will be so keen to close doors won the ball that the referee will have to try to manage that as best he can.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Fredrick,
the LOTG state BECAUSE the distance to goal is less than ten yards the only spot on the FOP where defenders can stand is ON the goal line under the crossbar between the posts if they wish to block the shot! The difficulty is also ensuring the rest of the defenders who are NOT on that goal line are still ten yards away in any direction from the spot of the restart. I notice FAR too often opposing players are within 8 to as close as 3 yards away in behind or of to the side. THAT MATTERS they STILL must retreat ten full yards AWAY from the ball . As a coach I design a set play where the ball is reversed heeled backwards to an oncoming player. We are entitled to that ten yard space to run into uninterrupted until the ball is TOUCHED. This ensures we get to kick before they can interfere, if the referee allows them too close, they are already in the way. Close in INDFKs to goal are very tense and often done incorrectly!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Frederick,
Assuming they are at the distance required by the law, where the opponents are standing doesn't make any difference in terms of when they may move. They are still allowed to move as soon as the free kick is correctly taken and the ball is in play (first touch). I think the wording of the law is actually quite straightforward in this regard, stating as follows:

''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''

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32738
Read other Q & A regarding Law 13 - Free Kicks

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.