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: 20946

Law 3 - Number of Players 3/8/2009

RE: Select Under 10

Steve of Long Island, New York USA asks...

Recently I was officiating a BU9 game and I came on a situatuion with a coach i'd never encountered. Defender on Team A Kicks a rolling ball, the ball deflects sideways/backwards off of his foot toward the keeper (inside the PA). Just as the keeper is about to pick the ball up (legally, in my opinion, since there was no intent to pass back), Team B's coach shouts out 'he can't pick it up !', and the Team A keeper, hearing this, kicks the ball out of bounds, giving a Throw In to Team B. At halftime, I asked the coach if he knew the rule, and he said yes he did, but 'you can't blame me for trying to get the call.' I told him that the kids hear things and react accordingly, and it's not fair to alter how his opponents play by shouting out wrong instructions. My question is, what's the best way to handle this - i.e. card the coach (legal in this league)? If it is obvious that his shouting 'instructions' changed how the opponents played the ball, I assume we still have to live with whatever actions took place (throw-in in this case, maybe a goal next time). Or, would I be allowed to stop play, card the coach for misconduct, and resume with a drop ball or an IFK for the other team. Thanks for the help

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The coach has illegally interfered with play. He may issue instructions to his own team; he may not issue instructions to the referee and may not try to influence the other teams' play. At a minimum he should have been officially warned - equivalent to a caution for a player, reported to the league, and evidently in your league shown the yellow card. If coaches in more experienced leagues do this, they should be dismissed from the field and surrounds; that would be extreme in a U9 game.

As this is interference by a non-player, the restart is a dropped ball.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Ah, and remember that a dropped ball doesn't require a player from each team, or any players for that matter.

In this situation a drop to the keeper who was going to pick it up will teach everyone all of the right things.

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Coaches are permitted to give tactical instructions to their teams. This coach exceeded his authority. Now the question is: was he acting responsibly? Hmmmm.....

Trying to get a call by influencing the referee is giving instructions to the referee, this too is exceeding his authority. Hmmmm....


Read other questions answered by Referee Chuck Fleischer

View Referee Chuck Fleischer profile

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

My fellow panelists cover what the coach did very well. However, I want to take issue with your understanding of what constitutes deliberately kicking the ball to the keeper. USSF is clear in it's instructions to us the deliberate does not mean with the intent of kicking the ball to the goalkeeper. Deliberate simply means that the play on the ball was deliberate and not a miskick. Here is what Jim Allen had to say on his official Q&A website in Feb 2009:

We add a final note, meant solely to clarify for referees (and, unfortunately, many instructors, too) that the phrasing MUST NOT be interpreted as "kicked with the intent that the ball go to the goalkeeper." "Deliberately" modifies "kick" and not the direction (meaning the totality of the direction "to the goalkeeper") which is why the kick must be deliberate and the direction must be deliberate (i. e., not a miskick) but the direction itself doesn't have to be the specific direction of "to the goalkeeper."

Read other questions answered by Referee Keith Contarino

View Referee Keith Contarino profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 20946
Read other Q & A regarding Law 3 - Number of Players

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.