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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35419

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/31/2024

RE: Rec Under 15

Robert Kolecki of Ambler, PA USA asks...

My 14 yr old daughter was playing midfield when a hard-kicked ball got firmly lodged between her thighs. She was not in any significant pain. She obviously did not want to use her hands to dislodge the ball. None of the other players tried to kick the ball for fears of hurting her. She started to take small wobbly steps forward, with the intent of actually walking into the goal for a score. After moving for about 30 meters, the ball finally dislodged by itself. If she had “scored”, would it have counted? What if the ball never dislodged? Thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Robert ,
I too am very surprised the referee had not intervened prior?? Your daughter was fortunate the opposition held off kicking at her! As my astute colleagues implied, it is most definitely a form of PIADM based on the actions of your daughter. We can allow a moment for her to realize what has occurred and deal with it appropriately, waddling like a duck is not a realistic maneuver unlike a goal SCORED when a player TRAPPED the ball in a similar manner and did a forward somersault tossing the ball high over top the keeper into the goal. There was no defender challenging thus there was no danger, just a unique goal.

In the situation with your daughter it should not RESULT IN A GOAL as the referee should be stopping play long before she waddled into the goal. If it had occurred right on or near the goal line and she jumped or fell over the goal line because it just happened then possibly the goal counts as a one and done action, not a prolonged PIADM.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Robert,

Interesting situation! This falls under Playing In A Dangerous Manner (PIADM). This is the law that applies when a boot is lifted high near an opponent putting them at risk. It can also cover situations were a player puts themselves at risk - for instance, a low header at knee height around opponents.

By not releasing the ball from between her thighs (which she could easily have done by lifting her legs apart), she's created a situation where no opponent can safely play the ball. In doing so, she's putting herself at risk, so is committing PIADM. Once it becomes clear she's not releasing the ball, the ref should have awarded an IFK against her.

Strictly speaking it should probably only occur once an opponent approaches her, but I'd imagine everyone is standing back confused.

This is like when a player falls on the ball. We need to give them a reasonable chance to get up, but if they don't and they continue to lay on the ball, or lay on the ground with it trapped between/under their legs, then they're creating the situation where no opponent can play the ball without putting themselves at risk, so should be penalised.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Robert
Thanks for the question.

Im somewhat surprised that she was allowed travel 30 metres as it is Playing in a Dangerous Manner. The key is your comment that the opponents did not try to kick the ball for fear of hurting her.
The opponents are entitled to play the ball and to do so they would probably risk kicking her thighs.

So what should have happened when it did not resolve within the first few metres the game should have been stopped and an IDFK awarded to the opponents from that location. It did resolve itself with the ball becoming available to play and perhaps when no opponent threatened a challenge the referee sort of waited to see rather than intervening. A goal could not be awarded in such circumstances.

It is akin to a player falling on the ball. We give the player a chance to get up off the ball or roll away from the ball yet if the player continues to lay on the ball is is PIADM and an IDFK to the opponents.

The PIADM can be both to opponents and to the player with the risk of kicking am opponent or getting kick.

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