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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33877

Law 5 - The Referee 2/10/2020

RE: Rec Under 16

Doug Crawford of Moraga, CA US asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33875

Hello fellow referees - Many coaches and others talk about only allowing a single shot to be part of the advantage process, and not to allow two bites at the cherry.

If a player is fouled, and the ref tries to see if an advantage develops, then if the player gets off a clean shot, that is the advantage, if a goal is scored or if the shot goes wide or is blocked.

I have always thought that if a player is fouled, and the player has their shot blocked or even just interfered with by an opponent - then advantage is not realized, as a clean shot means no interference.
In a goal shot situation, on playing advantage - the victim of the foul should have just a moment to regain balance and ball control, and be able to take a shot without an opponent impacting the player or impacting the ball, to have an advantage.

If not a clean shot or other clear advantage in a few seconds, then no advantage, so the foul is called and free kick awarded.

Is that what you mean by advantage when the player has a chance for a shot on goal?
BTW - I am refereeing by FIFA rules.
Thanks as always /Doug

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Doug
It would be incorrect to say that only one shot would be allowed as part of advantage before a decision is made. What is meant by the term one bite if the cherry is that once advantage has been fully realised through either one or multiple shots that play should not be brought back for the foul and a second bite of the cherry through a free kick. Advantage in these goal scoring situations is always a judgement call. Generally what is meant is that a forward who gets off a clean opportunity through a shot or advancing with the ball after being fouled then every chance that advantage has been fully realised.
Now as you say if the fouled against attacker has his shot blocked or interfered with there is every chance that there was in fact no clear advantage so play should be brought back.
What is meant by the two bites of the cherry term is that a forward who fails to avail of the advantage through his poor execution then it is unfair that his team gets another go.
A few seasons ago I had a situation where a forward was fouled on the edge of the penalty area by the advancing goalkeeper as he passed the ball to a team mate. Clear foul and a probable DOGSO. The pass was got away to a second forward who controlled the ball, advanced a few yards and shot into the side netting with his weaker foot. I awarded a goal kick and in my opinion it would have been unfair to go back to the original foul, card the goalkeeper and restart with a free kick. By the way there was zero complaint from the attacking team which basically told me that they got a bite at the cherry and stuffed up with advantage fully realised so they did not expect a second bite at it.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Doug,
I have to say I have not previously heard of such a specific consideration in regards to applying the advantage as ''only allowing a single shot'' - at least for games played under the aegis of the IFAB.

There's certainly nothing in the IFAB's Laws of the Game (not FIFA rules, incidentally) that says anything like this. These laws just say that when invoking the advantage clause, the referee, ''penalises the offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time or within a few seconds.'' That's relatively non-specific and allows for a wide range of scenarios.

As you are in the US though, I wonder if the perceptions are being coloured by the influence of the NFHS Rules. These do indeed have a play ruling which says that when an advantage is being played and the player, despite being fouled gets a shot away, the advantage has been realised.

However as mentioned, there's absolutely nothing regarding any shot or number of shots in the IFAB wording.

I have certainly heard about the concept of not allowing two bites of the cherry although I'm not sure I totally agree with it. What the IFAB wants the referee to decide, is whether the advantage has 'ensued' or not. For me, that means judging whether within the next few seconds, the non-offending team ended up in a better situation than they would have been in if the foul was given.

Depending on exactly what kind of shot was taken and how much its success or otherwise was affected by the foul, the referee could decide that the shot means the advantage has indeed ensued. Usually, after a clean strike is made, unencumbered by the prior foul, many referees would not then go back to the original offence.

I should point out though, that getting a shot away is not the only way that the advantage can be realised. If after a foul, a promising attack develops and continues in a clear and promising manner beyond the few second limit imposed by the law, most referees would also see that as the realisation of the advantage. If the attack immediately falters and breaks down, then most referees would probably go back to the original offence.

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