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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33581

Law 13 - Free Kicks 8/17/2019

RE: Under 13

Tony of Minneapolis, MN USA asks...

If a team/player is unaware if a restart is DFK or IDFK despite your use/absence of the raised hand IDFK signal and they ask you what the restart is, should you tell the player? Or what if the coach tells them incorrect information regarding the restart

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Because I started refereeing in an era when few people understood soccer rules, even today and at all levels, I give a verbal signal along with my visual signal.

In this case, I would give the proper signal and also yell out for all those near to hear: 'direct kick or indirect kick'.

A verbal signal is especially important for younger players, and will reduce any confusion that players, coaches and even spectators may have.

if players or coaches then still ask about the type of kick, you should tell them.

I hope this helps and that you have a successful fall season.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tony
Yes players should be answered. I believe it is always a good idea to communicate the decision verbally on an IDFK that is in an attacking situation. It prevents any problems with the direct shot at goal having to be disallowed when the referee has shouted as well as raising his arm that it is indirect.
At Underage it is always a good idea as players may not be familiar with the raised arm signal and they probably will be shooting directly unless advised differently.
Imagine how simple it would be that in an IDFK situation that the referee shouts loudly to everyone that it INDIRECT so that there is no debate about a direct shot at goal. Very simple response after the kick on any complaints which is *What did I say*
It also eliminates erroneous information coming from the sidelines including from coaches

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Tony,
If a player asks you what type of kick it is then you should absolutely tell them. There's no reason not to - it would actually come off as quite arrogant if you refused to answer a simple question.

While it's important we provide the correct signal, bear in mind that players may not be clear on it, or they may just want to ask to be crystal clear.

As referees, part of our role is to ensure that what we're doing in our application of the laws is clear. Hand signals are only one form of communication. Yes, they're essential - but if a player has to ask, then they're not clear. Taking the 'you should know so I'm not going to tell you' approach helps nobody .

As referees, we are performing a service to the players.

If the coach provides incorrect information, then I'd loudly state whether it's direct or indirect - it's very important to make sure there isn't a misunderstanding.

Also, at younger ages and even adult lower grades, when it's a ceremonial kick (that is, when they haven't chosen to take it quickly - which they're entitled to do with a few exceptions, even near the PA), I always state 'it's a direct' or 'It's indirect - 2 touches' (I clarify 2 touches - for one, 'indirect' could very easily be misheard as 'direct', and two, people sometimes get the terms confused).

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Tony,
Especially at U-13 level, players are not always so familiar with referee signals so I'd certainly be telling them. Even with older players you should still tell them if asked. I might also add, (again, particularly with the younger players, as a learning point for them) that when they see the referee's arm raised, it indicates an indirect free kick.

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