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Question Number: 34307

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 8/18/2021

RE: Rec Adult

brian casey of Romford, aurora soccer club canada asks...

If the ball hit's the ref and bounces back to the player that kicked the ball does the ref still stop play and award a drop ball??.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Brian,
Most probably not. The law only calls for a dropped ball if the ball hits the referee and either:

"a team starts a promising attack or

the ball goes directly into the goal or

the team in possession of the ball changes"

In the scenario you describe, it is clear neither of the last two conditions are met. I suppose that depending on the exact circumstances, it could come about that the player is actually in a better attacking position after the ball bounces back to them and so the referee might decide that a promising attack has started but I'd say there's a relatively low chance of that.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
The referee will have to take account of the circumstances.

In a recent EURO game this very event happened and the referee did not stop play as none of the three conditions listed by my colleague Referee Grove was met. The ball went back to the kicker so in many ways very little if anything changed so other than perhaps quietening those that believe its a DB every single time play was correctly allowed to continue.

I think what has happened is that referees are calling all contact on themselves irrespective of the outcome and I suppose it can be justified if the referee believes that it has started a promising attack perhaps through a change in pass options or not passing whatever the case may be.

The key is to try not to allow contact in the first place!

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