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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33712

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 10/15/2019

RE: 7 Under 15

J Sargeant of Maidstone Kent, Kent United Kingdom asks...

HI- When the ball hits the ref the rule has changed in that the ball is returned to the team that last touched the ball I would like to ask is the rule is the same if the ball hits the ref in the penalty box. I have been told that play should continue if the ball hits the ref in the penalty box.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

the LOTG have recently gone on a bender to take unintentional conduct, resulting in advantageous outcomes, despite no intended malice, are simply not to be tolerated .
So accidental handling is now punished if it assists the team doing it. .

On a similar theme when referees are struck by the ball INSIDE a Penalty Area, we award a drop ball to the keeper, no matter if it was shot at the goal or kicked as a clearance or which team winds up in possession.
No goal is permitted, no other attacks can be initiated, no other restart except a drop ball to the keeper in the interest of supposed fairness.

When a referee is struck by the ball OUTSIDE the PA play is stopped for a drop ball

If the opposition benefits directly from a promising attack or they gain uncontested ball possession.

After being kicked from Player A
If the ball deflects off the referee,
To team player B, play continues

After being kicked from Player A
If the ball deflects off the referee,
To go over touch for throw in or goal kick or corner kick play restarts based on last touch

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Whoever told you this is mischaracterizing the recent law change in this regard. When the ball hits the referee, the ball is not automatically given to the last team to touch it. Firstly, play is only stopped and a dropped ball awarded if certain specific conditions (which are given in ref McHugh's answer) are met.

Secondly, even if those conditions are met, the ball is only dropped for the team that last touched it if the incident occurred outside the penalty area. If it's inside the penalty area, the ball is dropped for the goalkeeper of the defending team.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Your source of information is incorrect. Play should not continue once the ball hits the referee and any of the following conditions are met.
# a team starts a promising attack or
# the ball goes directly into the goal or
# the team in possession of the ball changes.
All based on the ball remaining on the field of play.
Once any of those happen and it hits the referee inside the penalty area the game is stopped and ball is dropped to the goalkeeper irrespective of who touched it last.
If it hits the referee and goes out for a goal kick, corner kick, throw in the restart does not change.

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