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Question Number: 20956

Law 14 - Penalty kick 3/10/2009

RE: Competitive Under 17

Anonymous of Somewhere, One of Them United States asks...

OK. Im keeping names out of the email because Im embarrassed that I got this wrong as an AR, and Im sure my Center is likewise embarrassed.

A word about the Center: he is a USSF grade 6 State Referee for whom I have the utmost respect. I'm a USSF grade 7 and when and if I declare and upgrade, Ill try to apply some of what Ive seen him do on the field because I regard him as a very solid referee.

OK time to set the scene:

We have a U16 boys game that, quite frankly, has been a sleeper up until (and isnt it always the way?) a defender fouls an attacker in the penalty area and the Center calls a Penalty Kick. It was a magnificent call. The defending team might have yapped about it for seven seconds if that. It was one where everyone in the world knew it was a PK and the Center looked strong for calling it.

Attacking team member taking the kick is identified. Keeper is likewise identified. All other attackers and defenders are properly positioned outside the Penalty Area and its corresponding arc and behind the level of the ball. Ball is properly placed on the Penalty Spot. Referee gives the signal and the kick proceeds.

Member of the attacking team (obviously not the kicker) encroaches prior to the ball being kicked. Ball goes into the goal. Center referee recognizes said encroachment and sanctions it by awarding an indirect free kick to the defending team at the spot of said encroachment.

I'm on the team/bench side of the field and I happen to be the trail AR for this situation. I hear both coaches ask: "wouldnt you retake the kick?" I maintain my silence because (thank God) they were saying it amongst themselves and not asking me directly.

We go to the referee area after the game and the Center discusses said scenario with another State Referee who is widely regarded in our group as a Laws and ATR maven and he initially agrees that the Center got it right. Well, I then get out a copy of the Laws and see that it says if a member of the attacking team encroaches and the ball goes into the goal, the kick is retaken.

And that's when the entire referee crew has the same "oh sh*t" reaction.

First question: did we as a crew get this one wrong? I think we did and that the match is protestable (not sure it will ever happen), but Id like to ask the panel.

Secondly, pure opinion here: given that the attacking team has infringed upon the Laws, why in Hades should they get another "bite at the apple" as it were by retaking said kick?? Yes, I know, this panel is not FIFA nor IFAB, but Im just trying to seek out an opinion here.

Sometimes it just flat out sucks to be human. Thank you for your time.

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Hello Anon. Opinions abound concerning what should be done when a kicking team cheats on a penalty kick. The IFAB has chosen to have an opinion and theirs' is do again if the ball winds up in the net. Why do they have such a silly opinion?

Let's see, could it be because of the cheating the penalty kick awarded was not fairly taken? Could it be? I think it is and fairs fair when they are made to do again and do it right this time. Granted it doesn't look fair because of the two bites of the apple thing. Fact is your referee team didn't give them the right to a fairly taken penalty kick, did you youse guys?


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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

There is a chart in the ATR which is very useful under 14.9.

Maybe it will help to think about it this way: It is always a retake if the ball goes into the goal, unless it was solely a defender who infringed (then of course it is a goal!). It is an indirect free kick out ONLY if the attacking team infringes Law 14 AND the ball does not go in the goal.

I don't know about unfair. Having a goal pulled back seems a pretty stout punishment all by itself.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Well, you can rest (slightly) easier because better refs than you have gotten it wrong. Several years ago, if the ball did not go into the net, play continued. Shortly after the IFK restart was introduced, a crew made the same mistake in a World Cup qualifying match between Bahrain and Uzbekistan. And yes, it was protested. UZB protested the match even though they had won - and then they lost on the replay.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The law is specific do that and this happens.
Well you guys didn't do so *that* is a BIG problem
The game is now in protest land!

Encroachment is often considered trivial by virtue of this fact!
What does it do to affect the kick and keeper's ability to stop it?

The referee has decided to follow the script set in law and concludes the encroachment by the team TAKING the PK it WAS NOT TRIFLING or DOUBTFUL!
Thus the restart MUST be retaken IF a goal is scored.
The outcome is now based on a miss application of law!
The result of this match COULD be null and void if either team protests or the league is made aware of the issue .
As AR you need to get to the referee before this indfk restart occurs IF you knew better! Standing silent in support of a WRONG decision or at least one YOU KNOW to be wrong is failing the duty of the AR to NOT LET the referee screw up!

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Well, your crew got it wrong. The IFAB has declared in their infinite wisdom that if the kicking team infringes and the ball goes into the net, the kick is retaken. My guess is that the initial awarding of a penalty kick is serious and the team awarded the kick should get a fair chance to make it. Personally, I'm with you. But no one on the IFAB has ever asked me for my opinion and I doubt they ever will. In the meantime, this is something you have to get right. The match is now protestable.

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