Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 20275

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/16/2008

RE: jr. high Under 14

farrell lewis of west chicago, Illinois united states asks...

i was playing deffence and i was running at full speed and the attacker passed the ball, i couldn't stop so i ran into him but i used my sholder, he feel and it was a hard hit and the ref stoped and the player went of but he gave a kick for the other team. i am also a refferee and sholder to sholder is legal right? was this a correct call?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

I suspect the call was a dfk not an indfk and you might be lucky no cards were considered. I did not see it, so to guage it as fair but late shoulder to shoulder contact if the ball is played away would need you and the opponet both running at parallel, both at high speed and the opposition falling more to do with his inside leg being raised as you two contact each other shoulder to shoulder so he loses balance.

A player who charges an opponent in an otherwise legal manner such a charge is considered as a form of impeding ONLY if the referee has not considered the act as careless, reckless or excessive

If you HAD made late contact in a fair manner while I belive an INDFK for impeding is still possible as ATR 12. 22 says this could be in CHARGING AN OPPONENT AWAY FROM THE BALL, judging by the force and your explanation, no one here thinks this possible.

If the referee sees it as a late charge then a DFK with evaluation as to whether the misconduct was only careless (just a DFK), reckless caution show a yellow card DFK) or excessive (send off show a red card DFK)

You are responsible for any action you initiate.
The safety of an opponent is always a consideration.

Lastly the referee only makes correct calls even if we think they are incorrect as facts of play are his opinion, they are not subject to our opinion.


Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Shoulder to shoulder when challenging for a ball is legal. But running into an opponent who does not have the ball, whether you use your shoulder or something else is not fair or legal. I would have to wonder why you were charging up to him at such a clip without the control to stop? What if you'd gotten there before he passed the ball? Could you have stopped enough to challenge for the ball? Doesn't sound like it.

You may not have meant to hit him, but you as a player are expected to be in control of your actions such that you do not harm another player. At a minimum such contact is either a careless charge or tackle and as such is a direct free kick restart, and no caution. Given that it was a hard hit, you could easily have been given a caution for a reckless charge or tackle which is deemed unsporting behavior. It is even possible for such contact to be considered excessive force and a sending off will follow for violent conduct.

If you were to see such contact in a game you are refereeing, I hope you would see it as the offense it is and punish it accordingly.

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Gil Weber

Agree 100% with Referee Maloney and respectfully disagree in part with Referee Dawson. Making late contact (ball is already gone) cannot be impeding as the opponent has not been **unfairly** prevented from getting to or advancing the ball. In the scenario described the offense can only be a challenge deemed careless, reckless, or made with excessive force, and penalized as appropriate with a DFK (and, perhaps, a stern word), a DFK and a caution, or a DFK and a send-off.

Players must control their bodies, period.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gil Weber

View Referee Gil Weber profile

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Farrell; you're a referee and you think it's ok to go shoulder to shoulder and knock down an opponent when you're not even challenging for the ball? I wasn't there but you could easily have been cautioned or sent off depending on the force of your charge. Using the shoulder does not give you the right to use excessive force or for that matter to even do so in a careless or reckless manner

Read other questions answered by Referee Keith Contarino

View Referee Keith Contarino profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 20275
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.