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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33672

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 9/24/2019

RE: select, competitive Adult

martin of stony brook, ny usa asks...

I was told that a new change to IDFK mechanics is that the ref no longer has to keep his/her arm raised for the second touch but only keeps it up until after the initial touch/kick of the ball. Is this true?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Martin
That is partly correct. The thinking behind the change is that most IDFKs are for offside so keeping the arm up after the kick until the ball touches another player made little sense when no attention was being paid to the signal and it is clear that a goal is not going to be scored.
So a referee can now drop the arm signal when it is clear that it is going to meet the three conditions of Law 13 when the arm can be dropped.
However in goal scoring situations such as a shot on goal close to the penalty area it should be maintained as per Law 13 as usual so that there is no doubt or confusion that it is indirect.
The wording in Law 13 is
** The referee indicates an indirect free kick by raising the arm above the head; this signal is maintained until the kick has been taken and the ball touches another player, or goes out of play or it is clear that a goal cannot be scored directly.**

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Martin,
Not really, no. There has been a change but it is not quite as you characterise it. The referee cannot lower the arm immediately after the kick is taken, they must still keep their arm raised until the ball ''touches another player, or goes out of play or it is clear that a goal cannot be scored directly.''

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