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Question Number: 35499

High School 5/6/2024

RE: Competive High School

Iain Doleman of Las vegas, NV United States asks...

Attacking player fouled by defending player 2 yards outside penalty área, referee playas advantage and attacking player is fouled 3 yards inside penalty área, referee calls a foul and stops play. What is the testart?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Iain
The restart is a penalty kick.
Advantage has been played so that advantage has been realised and as there is a second offence in a more advantageous position the decision is to award a penalty kick.
Let me put it another way. Attacker is fouled and keeps going and is then fouled again some 4/5 seconds later. What would be the call? DFK for the second offence. Referees would never go back to the first offence advantage or not.

It may also have an impact on the disciplinary sanction as if there is a DOGSO situation the penalty award may result in a caution if there is a genuine attempt to play the ball whereas outside the penalty area the same DOGSO offence will result in a red card. The referee will not be concerned about that and simply give what is required in Law.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Hi Iain,

As indicated in NFHS Rule 5-3-1d, an advantage call can be given because penalizing the offending team will give an advantage to the offending team. In this case, the advantage for the foul outside the penalty area was appropriately called and the offending team did not gain an advantage because a penalty kick was awarded to the offended team.

The offended team is awarded a penalty kick because of the foul inside the penalty area as required by NFHS Rule 14-1-1. A penalty kick provides a much greater advantage for the attacking (offended) team than a direct kick from outside the penalty area.

Thus, the restart for the situation you describe is a penalty kick.

Have a successful and enjoyable 2024 high school soccer season.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Iain,

Advantage dictates that we award the Penalty Kick.

IFAB also have some examples confirming this in the Q&A part of the LOTG app and website.

Look at it this way - for the first foul, what's more advantageous to the opposing team: allowing play to continue, or penalising the first foul?

We are constantly making that decision over the period of a couple of seconds. Now, we have an outcome. Maybe that outcome is a goal. Maybe it's a shot. Maybe the outcome is the player mader a bad pass, or was tackled - or was fouled.

When we have the outcome, we need to again consider - is the outcome more beneficial than stopping play?

In this case, the outcome is a penalty kick. So no, we don't stop play for the first foul.

It's not an 'unrealised advantage' where we go back to the foul. The Penalty Kick IS the advantage.

Now, when there is DOGSO this can complicate things. If we assume it's a DOGSO with a genuine attempt on the ball, then outside the PA this is a red card while in the PA this is a red card.

Do we take that into consideration?

The right answer is still a PK.

A PK has a high likelihood of scoring a goal. And a goal is the biggest, most advantageous outcome of any play.

Sure, your opposition losing a player could be beneficial. Which might increase your likelihood of scoring over time - but we're talking about a debatable benefit that might have an impact over the course of the game, versus an immediate benefit with a high likelihood of seeing a goal.

And I don't really think losing a player is often a disadvantage. How often have you seen a team draw or even win after losing a player? My opinion is that losing the player can motivate that team's players to all put in another 10-20% effort. They also change their structure to try and cover for the missing player, while teams rarely change their strategy to try and exploit the missing player.

The red card is a vague, uncertain benefit over time that might increase the likelihood of scoring (or it might not)- while a PK is an immediate, high percentage chance at a goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Iain
Not a lot to add,
The first foul is a DFK!
If play was stopped, you make no mention if there are other circumstances at play here like Was there DOGSO criteria to consider?
Was it a careless only tackle designed to break up attacking play?
Was it a reckless tackle worthy of a yellow card designed to break up attacking play?
Was it the worst type of tackle SFP/VC excessive and a red card/send off designed to break up attacking play?

Referee witnesses the incident and senses there is an good opportunity to continue attacking to shoot or attempt to score! So rather than whistle it dead chooses to play advantage. Either by signaling or adopting a wait and see approach if anything better than this free kick opportunity develops.
The attacker is now inside the opposition PA and a second separate foul occurs, which I think we can safely assume is a DFK foul, perhaps even before the attacker had recovered from the first foul. Yet it would be incorrect to return to the site of that first foul as a PK is of GREATER advantage than a DFK outside the PA Any DFK foul inside the opposition PA is upgraded to PK status which RESTORES an opportunity to score if indeed there was DOGSO criteria met.

We also might have to unravel the culpability of the defender's actions as to card status depending on the nature of either of those fouls. You see we can make allowances for a reasonable challenge to win the ball that is within the PA and take away a red card for DOGSO and just show a yellow card for breaking up the attack because the PK restores that scoring opportunity whereas a foul like a jersey pull, a punch or kick into the back is NOT considered as reasonable and could result in a send off, show the red card dismissal reduce the team by a player along with the PK. There were 2 separate fouls so might each be a yellow card and that too is a red card send off situation. So there is a lot to digest!

Certain fouls can be a continuance foul like a jersey pull or hold/grab where it begins outside the PA but carry's on inside the PA through the dynamic play of the attacker refusing to be stopped . This foul is most likely a red card/send off as well as a PK because the defender has no other basis than to stop the player, NOT challenge for the ball. We award the PK rather than a DFK outside, because that particular foul is in essence a whole series of advantages over distance. This is different than say a trip, 2 yards outside and the player is stumbling not going to ground but falls well inside the PA.

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