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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34382

Mechanics 10/14/2021

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

I wish to ask a question about a possible scenario. For example, the ball goes out of the pitch near the corner flag and at first, the central referee points out for a corner kick and the attacking team quickly takes the corner kick. However, the assistant referee warns the central referee that it should have been a throw in instead of a corner kick since the ball went out of the pitch over the sideline. At this point, does the central referee has no choice but to allow play to go on since the laws indicate once the play has restarted, the referee cannot change the decision? Or, does the central referee still have the opportunity to stop the play and restart the game with a throw in?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
Poor mechanics has created this scenario. There should be clear communication between the assistant and the referee on the decision. If the AR has seen something that the referee has missed then he has to advise the referee of that immediately and while play may have been quickly restarted that does not prevent the referee from stopping play and going back to the correct restart if he is satisfied that it is a throw in.

It is not unusual to have a difference of decision between a referee and assistant on a restart including direction of the restart. Either can have seen something that the other has missed and it is up to referee to decide what is the correct decision. A quick restart does not prevent the referee from stopping play immediately and sorting it out.
What should not happen is that when play continues for a period it should not be stopped unless it was for something significant such unseen violent conduct, an extra player on the field of play, ball clearly out of play, missed penalty flag etc. If too much time has elapsed then the only possible restart if play has to be stopped is a dropped ball. How much time is a judgement call yet for me it would be when there has been a number of phases of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs,
players can initiate a quick restart but IF it is the wrong one or performed incorrectly or from the wrong location be it miscommunication or poor mechanics the referee has the power and duty to bring it back and restart correctly. This should be done ASAP. The longer it continues BEFORE being reverserd the more issues it could create! However, if it a matter of opinion the referee decides! For for example the ball in the air clears the flag and exits the FOP where it could be touchline or it could be goal line.

If VAR was in play and say a ball had defintely actually gone out of play over the goal line , come back and then back out again for a throw in, much like if the offside player had partcipated in an illegal outcome this is cause for a review and correction..

I recall a match where the ball was well outside the goal line well over a foot clear into touch for what should have been a goal kick but thr ball was centered into the PA and a goal resulted. Because at the time there was no VAR . The AR was not looking along the goal line, more at the 6 yard goal line looking in with the body of the attacker screening him. Lets just say the post match review did not go especialy well.

VAR can correct OBVIOUS mistakes but it is not an opinion breaker. When push comes to shove, the referee has the final on field decicion. VAR would not get into a scrabble of being a goal kick, corner kick or throw in if the AR and referee had a diffrent version of a ball exiting in the Air over the flag stick. Good communicatio, effective mechanics, EYE contact and some common sense in reading players can make any decision appear decisive. Try to keep any communication for interpersonal not public projection in cases of disagreement.

On a funny note but again signifies how good mechanics and proceedures could eliminate these moments. The referee calls for a throwin in favour of the blue team. The AR had correctly flagged the throwin but was awarding it to the yellow team. The baffled AR was clearly puzzled. REASON? The blue keeper who was iwearing a yellow jersey and had left his PA into the FOP and kicked the ball into touch . However so too the yellow keeper was in a yellow jersey as well lol Perhaps if the referee had asked the keepers to put on a diffrent jersey it might have prevented the colour conclusion from occuring?

I try to remind officials, without meaning too we occassionaly dig ourselves into little holes of trouble but with a bit of justice, a good crew and luck we can fill them up or climb out quickly Other times we seem to find ways to dig deeper and bury ourselves. Bad decision, bad mechanics, bad proceedures, doubling down on bad intel or being ego driven to ignore the warnings generally lead to dispirited matches

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