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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33647

High School 9/13/2019

RE: Grassroots High School

Lawrence (Laurie) Judd of Lovettsville, VA United States asks...

Defending team gets a goal kick. The keeper waits until all players have left the penalty area and then shapes up to take the GK. As he attempts to kick the ball, he slips and plays the ball just a few yards toward the penalty spot. Realizing that an attacker is bearing down on the ball with no defender in sight, he kicks the ball again but the ball simply hits the oncoming attacker and the ball ricochets into the open goal. On the one hand this is a two-touch event and so should be an IFK. On the other hand, should you disallow the goal in favor of an IFK and thereby penalize the attacking team for a minor infraction of the defending team.

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


As referee Grove indicated, NFHS Rule 16-1-3 states: 'A goal kick shall clear the penalty area and enter the field of play. If the ball is not kicked beyond the penalty area, the goal kick shall be repeated.'

Also, NFHS Rule 16-1-2 states: 'Players opposing the kicker shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball has cleared the penalty area.'

In your example, the whistle would be sounded when it is obvious that the ball will not clear the penalty area or when the second kick was taken by the keeper. I would also give a warning to both the attacker and the keeper for unnecessary delay. If either repeats their actions, I would then give them a caution.

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

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Laurie,
Under High School (NFHS) Rules this would be a retake as the ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area. The rules state as follows:

''A goal kick shall clear the penalty area and enter the field of play. If the ball is not kicked beyond the penalty area, the goal kick shall be repeated.''

However under the latest version of the IFAB's Laws of the Game, at a goal kick the ball is in play as soon as it is kicked and clearly moves so in a game played under these regulations, the referee should apply the advantage rule and allow the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Lawrence
Under IFAB / FIFA Laws the ball is in play when kicked and moved at a goal kick. It makes no difference if the kick was a missed kick through a slip or under hit.
Now the goalkeeper is guilty here of a double touch infringement yet the referee can and should allow advantage by awarding the goal.
In NFHS, from what I see, the ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area so the kick is retaken.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Lawrence,
Under the old laws (I'm not sure about US High School rules, but my answer uses the LOTG) the ball wouldn't be in play as it hadn't left the PA.

Under the new laws, you can treat this like if the same thing happened for free kick in the field - we are required apply advantage, when possible, from the infringement (the infringement is the 2nd touch). In this instance, it's clear that allowing play to continue is more beneficial to the attacking team than awarding an IFK - so we apply advantage.

As the attacker was outside the PA when it was kicked, they're allowed to play the ball - so now there isn't anything else we need to be considering.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Lawrence,
Now a goal kick USED to have to leave the confines of the goal area to be in play?

I am aware FIFA/IFAB altered this but I do not know for certain if USA high school is following suit?

This is a retake as high school rules have not yet changed. The ball still had to leave the PA to be in play, thus the retake is the only option for now!

If the ball had exited the FOP then returned we could not allow advantage.
I hold the goal kick which occurs from inside the goal area is re kicked outside by the same player, it is an INDFK from that point of contact. I likely hit the whistle immediately.

If the ball is IN play, should we let a double touch which is an INDFK of the ball to be ignored so the goal can count? I hold the opinion if a keeper makes a mistake and the opposition capitalizes that is a good advantage as long as the ball was in play. For this to occur the rules must first be changed to confirm to the FIFA LOTG.

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