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Question Number: 34662

Mechanics 8/12/2022

RE: Rec Under 15

Trent Futrell of Knoxville, Tennessee United States asks...

Corner kick, play is stopped. Attacking team is getting ready. Attacking team is leaning into the defending keeper jockeying for position. I let play go. Should I have told attacking team to not touch keeper and then let the corner kick continue? Or is it a whistle and the ball goes back to defending team? If so, is it a dropped ball to the keeper? Wasn't sure since play was stopped.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Trent
Thanks for the question.
This a pet peeve of mine at the higher levels of the game. Referees are advised to not allow play to restart and to speak to the players engaged in the pushing, shoving etc
This is the full text of the advice
**Referees are reminded to make an early intervention and to deal firmly with holding offences, especially inside the penalty area at corner kicks and free kicks. To deal with these situations:
# the referee must warn any player holding an opponent before the ball is in play
# caution the player if the holding continues before the ball is in play
# award a direct free kick or penalty kick and caution the player if it happens once the ball is in play**
Rarely if ever have I seen a referee get beyond the first point despite the conduct continuing afterwards. I get the point of intervening when the actions are getting heated with players being overly aggressive etc yet if they are doing what has come to be expected then why intervene until an offence has been committed. It can help "sell" the call as the referee has been seen to speak to players who then paid no heed to the advice. I have come to the conclusion that it is high level referees appearing to carry out the advice to a certain degree yet not going the full distance with free kick, penalty kick awards and cautions which the law suggests.

In your example as you allowed play to continue you need to have decided whether the attacker beside the goalkeeper committed any holding or pushing offence once the ball was kicked and in play. If an offence was committed after the ball was in play then a free kick to the defending team is awarded at the location of the offence. Had you not allowed the kick until you had spoken to the players involved the restart does not change. It is still a corner kick.
At grassroot and underage my approach was to decide if the conduct was simply jostling etc and I always paid particularly attention to the player positioned beside the goalkeeper whose role can be to impede, hold, block the goalkeeper. Once that happened it was an immediate whistle once the ball was kicked and in the air. Many times teams gave up the tactic once a foul was called as it was then seen as a waste of a corner kick. Other times the action came to nothing with the ball going away from the goal area and any action was seen as trifling or doubtful. In those instances there is no need to intervene

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Trent,

Thanks for your question.

First off, anything that happens while the ball is out of play doesn't change the restart. So, if you whistle to delay the kick then speak to the players, it's still a CK. This holds true for just about every time the ball is out of play. Even if at this time the keeper turns around and punches the striker (or vice versa), it's still a CK.

The only time that actions while the ball is out of play can change a restart are the specific situations at a Penalty Kick, and when a player incorrectly takes a throw-in.

Proactive refereeing is generally better than reactive refereeing. If we can, through managing a situation, avoid awarding a FK, that's usually a good thing.

Say you do nothing and the CK comes in - at that moment the GK decides he's had enough and pushes the attacker back. You now have a penalty, and a defending team that feels hard done by. Or, the attacking team scores a goal, but you've disallowed it because you think the attacker has stepped into the path of the keeper to block him.

These incidents of leaning in and a little push and shove can easily escalate - and you also have to be careful of dives.

Generally speaking, you're better off having a quick toot of the whistle to hold up the kick, approach the players, say something like "that's enough with the pushing - you don't want me to be disallowing a goal or putting down a penalty for something silly. No more" - and the 'grasscutter' type motion with the hands helps make it clear.

The good thing about this is that if it continues when the kick is taken, it usually makes it very easy to award a FK going out. You've verbally and visually communicated the warning to everybody. If you're waiting for a kick and you start seeing hand usage, a very loud "HANDS DOWN!!" usually does the trick.

Every player has the right to their space on the field. The attacker has every right to stand immediately in front of the keeper, and standing there can't be an offence (it can, however, become an offside offence if, say, another attacker takes a shot and they're blocking the keeper). So, they're allowed to hold that position if the keeper is trying to push through them - problem is, keeper usually starts trying to move forwards, then attacker puts his weight back, and they're both leaning into each other and it escalates.

And then sometimes - especially if you've given the players a warning at one or two kicks - sometimes, on this kick, you might be better off letting it go until the kick is taken so you can award the FK as that might be the message that's required rather than give ANOTHER warning while the ball is out of play. If you're thinking of doing this, you want to be quite sure it will be the attacker committing the foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Trent,
wonderful advice from my colleagues, little to add other than reiterate the useful advice that pro active is certainly better than reactive to thwart trouble. The acceptable tolerance by what players are willing to endure and what an official can permit within the LOTG is reflective of how the interactions develop over time. Before a restart if the acceptable mild jockeying is permitted to continue too long, it can escalate quickly into an elbow, punch or vicious shoving as irritation and the dynamics of occupying the same space give way to anger.

I dislike the shadowing by an attacker intent on blocking the keeper movements and will call impeding with or with out contact if I can see that is their DIRECT focus rather than an attempt to play the ball. If the attackers simply take a position on the FOP and it is the defender /keeper who shoves or pulls creating the foul then we are in PK territory.

As mentioned any action taken by the referee to put a halt to the shenanigan's BEFORE the corner kick is simply handling a form of misconduct which could be cautionable if truly egregious but most likely a warning to cease and desist is sufficient.
The restart itself is unchanged.

Once the corner kick is in play THEN if a referee were to intervene, a new restart is created by the actions of either the attacker or the defender fouling one another.

I have dealt with incidents like these in several ways some well, others? Well not so much!
Keep in mind who is at fault first.

I had a an attacker shadowing and bumping with the keeper so I blew for that impeding. Unfortunately the keeper was unimpressed by the attacker's antics & not able to grasp the reason for the whistle choosing to two handed shove the attacker in the back in a very forceful manner crashing him to the ground. There was a bit of confusion in me awarding the DFK out for what the attacker was doing but cautioning the keeper to how he retaliated. I was blunt with the defending captain the whistle had sounded prior to shove. A stoppage WAS imminent there was NO reason to shove the opponent! Retaliation is a players worst decision ESPECIALY when the official has recognized & effectively dealt with the actions leading to it.

After doing the traditional cut out the crap quick pre-corner speech I had an attacker still shadow & lightly bumping the keeper, who nevertheless caught the incoming ball. He was staring at the attacker so I called out,
I said to the Keeper, I saw it, but ball in hand so go ahead, play on!
I said to the Attacker, back away you were fouling the keeper, you looking to be cautioned?
Keeper runs out from the goal area to the top of the PA and punts ball downfield past the midline. They counter attack all is well. I am smug, thinking that advantage, albeit deep in the defending third, worked out well.

SAME Situation but after I had INDICATED advantage the keeper chose to fling the ball into the face of the attacker instead of carrying on.
In your opinion,
Award a DFK out?
Award a DFK out caution the keeper?
Award a DFK out show the red card and send off the keeper reducing the team to 10 .?
Award a PK caution the attacker, red card and send off the keeper reducing the team to 10 ?

In this case because the keeper did NOT react well as did my other keeper incident , I am forced into a much different scenario! We could sell a PK claiming he squandered the advantage by virtue of reacting foolishly yet by not grasping how angry or irritated the keeper was from the attackers' interference? Perhaps I should have signalled an immediate free kick out and laid into the attacker, possibly cautioning, for creating the reason in the first place but my adventurous lets keep play moving thinking likely created this incident, WHICH be it so, we still have to deal with the ugly reaction and sending off the keeper for VC was a lock no matter his reasoning that ball into the face was an excessive violent action .

I wanted the players to play the way I wanted! I learned to pay closer attention to what they wanted!

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