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Question Number: 34363

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 9/30/2021

RE: Rec, AYSO Under 19

Mourad Tighiouart of Los Angeles, CA United States asks...

This scenario has been bothering me and I want to be ready for it:

An attacker takes a shot at the goal outside penalty area. Ball touches the referee outside penalty area but continuous towards goal.
1.   If the goalkeeper (GK) doesn’t touch the ball and let it go inside the goals, then we know that the referee restarts with a drop-ball to the GK.

2.   If GK inside the penalty area controls the ball, should the referee stop play and give a drop ball to the GK or should he/she give advantage to the GK ?

3.   If GK inside the penalty area deflects the ball or the ball rebounds off the GK and before a whistle is blown goes off the field of play, should the referee give a throw in (TI) or corner kick (CK) to the attacking team, or drop the ball for the GK? Does it matter if the touch of the ball by the referee affected the direction of the ball and GK’s reaction?

Thank you for your expert feedback,

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mourad
Prévention is better than cure so a referee should be extremely careful about contact of the ball in the last third of the field of play.

Anyway the Laws tells us that the ball is out of play when it touches the referee in three particular situations. So the dropped ball is where it struck the referee and to the team that last touched the ball.

So in all three examples the dropped ball is at the location of the referee when it struck him to the attacking team with all opponents 4.5 yards away. If the referee is inside the penalty area the dropped ball is to the goalkeeper.

There may be times when the contact of the ball by the referee is insignificsnt in that it in no way changed the outcome of play so for example a pass that deflects off the referee going to the intended player with no discernible difference to the outcome the referee might allow play to continue in that it may not have met any of the three conditions for a dropped ball.

On a shot at goal that hits the referee is for me a reason to go with the dropped ball in all circumstances where it strikes the referee.

A subtle yet important point in general is that the whistle is only the signal of the decision not the decision itself. So while the whistle may sound when the ball is in the penalty area the decision is made when the ball contacts the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mourad,
If the referee obviously deflects the ball his location determines the drop ball restart point.
In your 1st example it is not a goal but a drop ball in favour of the attackers where the referee was when hit by the ball back out side the PA on the FOP .
It woud be the same for your other 2 examples as the ball can not change possession but I could see a corner kick if there was no real obvious redirection or contact.
ONLY if the referee was INSIDE the PA when hit with the ball would the drop ball go to the keeper.

There is a slight possiblity if the ball contact was insignificant and no one or play was totally unaffected that play might continue. I had a ball pass beteewn my legs and it just kissed my calf but did not change or alter irs direction or speed and no one complained when the keeper picked it to punt it out!

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