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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000


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Question Number: 34228

High School 5/21/2021

RE: High School

LD Maya of San Mateo, CA USA asks...

Must a player be cautioned for moving a corner flag? why?

My perception was players must be cautioned, after all Law 17 states "The corner flagpost must not be moved," and Law 12 shows "a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, including if a player: ... makes unauthorised marks on the field of play." The flag is a marking, moving it makes a new marking, so caution?

I seems that the USSF's 2008 Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game specified "moving or removing a corner flag on a corner kick" as a cautionable offense.

What is your take?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi LD
Generally when a player removes a corner flag there is a problem with the flagpole. My experience is that some spring mounted poles lean into the field causing a problem for the kicker.

Personally I would never caution a player for touching or removing a flag when it is done to sort out a problem with the pole. I would simply stop the kick and ask the player to replace the flag pole in the correct position and allow play to continue with the corner kick.






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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi LD Maya,
if the player grabbed it and jerked it out then threw it in a manner of violence or anger that is likely sanctioned as USB show the yellow card or even VC, red card when used against an opponent. I have seen a player grab the flag that was whippy or bendable and use it as a snapping weapon against an opposing player by grabbing it, pulling it down then releasing it to whip up.

But a card for adjusting it or if it was leaning and thus straightened or pushed back chances are no card just a friendly let's fix this issue.
Cheers



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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

LD,

NFHS Rule 1.3 states that the corner flag shall not be removed during the course of play.

Removal of the flag can be considered unnecessary delay which is penalized by a caution to the player that removed the flag.

However, as with most unnecessary delays, the referee can determine if a warning or caution is warranted.

In my experience, I have cautioned players who removed the flag and threw it away from the corner.

However, I have not seen the removal of the corner flag in a high school game for many years. I hope that you seldom experience this action.

I hope that you get to work the upcoming regional high school playoffs.







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