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Question Number: 20976

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/14/2009

RE: Competive Under 13

Glen of Littleton, CO USA asks...

Got a question from my son's game today. On corner kicks the team kicking the ball had one of their players harass the goalie. By harass I can say they didn't push the goalie with their hands but rather had the player plant a hip into the goalie and push him off his position. The ref warned the player a couple of times but the player always continued the pushing. From what I could gather the kicking team's coach felt they could do whatever they wanted as long as they didn't push the goalie with their hands. I can't find any rules on this. What is the proper call?

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

So many to choose from when making this call! Pushing (does not require the hands, although that is the most common); charging off the ball; impeding (trying to block the keeper off the ball without contact); holding, etc. Now, of course, none of these are offenses until the ball is in play.

The most successful way to deal with this is to warn the miscreant once. You can bet they've been coached to do this - not too many players come up with such unfair means on their own. If they don't heed the warning, made before the ball is kicked, then as soon as the ball is kicked, TWEET! and it is either a direct or indirect free kick out of the goal for the defense depending on which offense from above is committed, and make a point to look directly at the attacking player at fault - the LOOK. It is too bad this referee didn't have the brass to issue a well deserved caution for such behavior - it is cheating, pure and simple.

Most teams don't try that more than twice. Third time I always check them for color blindness, although I've been known to do the test on the firt occurrence. Depends on the teams, the day, my temper, etc. It's such a stupid pet trick, but there will always be teams and players that will try it and unsuspecting referees who miss the tactic entirely. Tsk.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

I agree with Ref Maloney. Young kids don't come up with such stuff on their own. They've been coached to do this by someone who is ignorant of the Laws or just doesn't care. Such coaches will train their players to do whatever they can get away with and are a disgrace to our sport. Equally disgraceful are referees that allow such misconduct to go unpunished. The keeper is to be left alone at the taking of a corner. He is not to be pushed, hip checked, pulled, followed, tripped etc. Such actions are illegal and should be punished. This referee has given this coach permission to teach his players how to cheat. Hopefully the next referee that team gets will have some cajones.

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