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Question Number: 21022

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/23/2009

RE: Rec Under 15

Mike Faulk of West Columbia, SC USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 20996

What are the rules regarding this situation:
On a corner kick a member of the offense attempting to head the ball in to goal runs into the keeper who catches the ball at the same time. Should there be a foul called on the player attempting the header?

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

It depends on a number of things, not the least of which is what the referee sees. If both players are going for the ball (and not each other) and collide, chances are decent that there is no offense.

Most referees can tell if players are playing for the ball or are playing their opponent. Let's say the player trying to make the header is totally focused on the ball, as is the keeper. They are probably peripherally aware of each other, but the ball is foremost. Let's also say neither player is going in faster or harder than the other, and they collide. No offense, generally speaking. There are always things which can happen which will make it an offense on either one of them.

The referee will have to make the final decision on such calls, with input if needed from the AR. Only they can determine the facts based on that game, those players, that day.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

There is no mention in the Laws of accidental contact that looks, to all, like foul play. These things sometimes just happen.


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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Opposing players trying to play the ball will at times come together at the same time in an effort to do so. The fact they make contact is looked at in the manner it occurs. Either player come in with arms extended pushing or a shoulder down to ram it is likely there is fault and blame going to be present. Just as easily one player jumps to head the ball as the keeper jumps to punch it, we collide and well sometimes stuff happens. We pick ourselves up dust ourselves off the referee ensures we are ok and the game goes on!

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