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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35107

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 9/21/2023

RE: rec Under 18

Larry of Danville, California United States asks...

At the taking of a goal kick the GK sets the ball inside the PA. The ball is stationary and the GK takes a soft touch kicking it completely out of the PA then kicks it a second time. No attacker attempts to advance on either touch. By Law this is an IDFK at the point of the second touch. My question is, should it be called, or just redo the goal kick, or even ignore it? Those who strictly interpret the Law obviously would say IDFK, but we routinely ignore trifling infringements such as the 6 second possession rule on a GK, or the exact position of a throw-in, and I wonder if you believe this would fall into a similar category. Does your answer change depending on the age and level of play.

Also, am I correct that if the ball was not stationary at the time of the first kick, then by Law the goal kick should be retaken?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Larry
Thanks for the question.
A double touch infringement is not doubtful or trifling and it cannot be ignored. So it is an IDFK every single time.
As to age of players I might be lenient atU12 and below yet it would need to have a reason such as the first kick was not an attempt to put the ball in play such as a slip.
Indeed if the double touch offence has an unsporting element to it the player should be cautioned for stopping a promising attack or dismissed for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity
Here is an example

If the goal kick is not taken correctly the kick is retaken. That includes the ball moving at the time of the kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Larry,
the INDFK offence for a second touch violation is within the potential boundaries of a DOGSO red card send off, lose a player, so it can be not trifling at all. Yet you make a reasonable point.
If it is trifling or doubtful , can it be ignored? There is no reason to retake if you are ignoring the offence if the ball WAS touched twice. The correct restart is the INDFK, IF, you were to stop play. By allowing play to continue, avoiding the INDFK reasoning, you are in fact considering it was a slip, a stumble of sorts or a youth just stubbed his toe and given no opponent was unfairly affected or denied an opportunity to challenge then to keep the whistle in the pocket will hopefully be accepted by the players . Mind you a blatant double touch is likely to get a few shout outs and eye raises so be wary, albeit firm, in your decisions. If as my colleague points out, you SAW the ball was moving and he tried to kick it and just barely touched it so tried a second time that could be an excuse to retake. Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Larry,
It's true that some trifling offences can be ignored but I have never seen a double touch offence treated as trifling and therefore ignored. I suppose, as ref McHugh mentions, you might treat it a little more leniently for very young players but at U-18 level I think the expectation is that this would be called and the indirect free kick awarded.

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