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Question Number: 21659

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/16/2009

RE: U14 Adult

Brian Ronan of Bedford, Nova Scotia Canada asks...

Hello all and thanks in advance. I was at my youngest game last night enjoying being a spectator for a change and I'll add that they are considered a 'developmental' team so skill levels vary.

Our keeper made a save and picked up the ball and started to move into a position to drop kick it away. When she kicked the ball it went straight up and about 2 feet to her right (just a flubbed kick)however it fell pretty much on the 6 yard line. The only other person near the ball was one attacker who started to rush for it. When they were about 2 - 3 feet from it (and the ball still bouncing high enough our keeper couldn't kick it well) our keeper grabbed hold of it again. Now no call was made but I was thinking in my mind, yes, technically an IDFK should occur here as she released the ball and handled it again before anyone touched it but the ref let it go and she cleared it on a subsequent kick so I concluded he thought it was trivial and it wasn't going to impact the game.

I got to thinking today though, how would I have addressed it. Here is my thought process and I welcome your comments (and I hope I'm remembering things right)

1 - I would have blown it down and provided an IDFK on the goal line.

(here's where I got to thinking)

2 - while the keeper cannot be sent off for DOGSO in their penalty area - the opportunity for a goal was right there and I think better than average (ball 6 yards from goal, moving towards goal, only the keeper around and attacker about 1 yard away) - so I would need to show the yellow card for USB (I know she didn't mean it but I'm not there to be everyones friend)

(here's where I sometimes feel bad for the younger less experienced players)

3 - with the IDFK being SO close to the goal can I make it ceremonial and tell the kicker to wait for my signal. I say this because I know the kids would be confused about where a wall should go, if they can make one. Or can I let them take the quick kick. (I know in my heart that I can't take away the quick kick privilege - and at U14 they SHOULD know what to do). I would tell the kids to make a wall of course - but the coach might be yelling it and they would then react versus a quick kick while they all look at each other with mass confusion. (BTW - I'm thinking the answer to this is no).

Thanks again, I love the site and have learned lots.

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

An IDFK was called for, but no caution should be issued. In such situations, the punishment of the IDFK inside the penalty area is more than enough. I can see where a referee under circumstances where the kick is a complete flub and no opponent is nearby might let it slide as trifling, however that won't do for the situation you outlined, at least in my opinion.

As for the ceremonial kick, all you can do is use your best judgment based on the age group, the game dynamics and common sense. I suspect most players at this age and skill level will expect a ceremonial kick, but at higher levels of play they will and can and should be able to take a quick kick without interference. Be sure the teams are aware it is an IDFK - get that arm in the air ASAP, and be involved with your voice.

And by the way, keepers can be sent off for DOGSO in their penalty area - just not for anything involving handling of the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

If she missed kicking the ball entirely, it could possibly be viewed as a bounce, and thus she could pick it up again. But that's not what happened.

Although you say this was a developmental league, they still are U14's. They should have some sense of the Laws by then, unless this is a completely new program where everyone is a beginner. At U8 or U10 I might let it go, with an instructionary comment later on about how she was not supposed to handle it again. I recall one time I was called upon to ref for my daughter's U10 team. I made a call when the keeper picked up the ball that was deliberately kicked to her by a teammate. What was that? They didn't know that rule. Why hadn't I told them about it before? Because this was the first time it came up in 4 seasons; this was the first opportunity for them to learn.

I agree that the close-in IFK is enough, a caution isn't needed.

As for managing the restart, if there are players milling about you may have to proactively step in. But you should try to avoid taking away a chance at a quick free kick if the attacking team is alert enough to attempt one. In this game it was one-on-one, so a good attempt at a quick indirect free kick would be doubtful with no teammate to pass to. You definitely should NOT be directing players to form a wall; that is a coaching decision not a refereeing decision. But if there are defenders in the area who are starting to make a wall, you may need to manage this because they may not know that if the wall can't be 10 yards away, the players have to be on the goal line between the posts.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Bear in mind that if the offence occurs inside the goal area, the restart will take place on the edge of the goal area, parallel to the goal line at the nearest spot to where the offence occurred.

In regards to whether or not you should caution, the laws of the game (page 111) state that the goalkeeper cannot be guilty of any misconduct related to handling the ball in his own penalty area; you cannot caution the keeper for this.

If the keeper has fluffed the kick and it goes away from her then she isn't entitled to have a second shot at it. When you consider that an attacker was running onto the loose ball it's pretty safe to say that the infringement has affected play, so it couldn't be considered 'trifling''.

As to whether or not the kick should be ceremonial or if a quick free kick should be allowed - a quick free kick is always the player's right (assuming it's taken from the correct spot), and should only be denied if the referee needs to hold the game up for some reason. At this age theyll most likely be waiting for your instruction though, so if you ask them if they want you to set the wall up (assuming there's players milling around in front in confusion), then take charge, position everybody, tell the players to remain behind the line (not one foot on and one foot in front) and restart the match at your convenience.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

These aren't U10s we're talking about. At U14, even if it's rec, the keeper should know she can't handle the ball in this situation. She could have headed it away or chested it. It can't be considered trifling as there's an opponent right there 6 yards away from the goal waiting to kick the ball. So, award the IDFK but with no caution. Once you award the IDFK and spot the ball on the six yard line, you simply can't further disadvantage the team that was fouled by refusing them their right to a quick kick. The coaches should have taught these U14s when they can set up a wall. It's not your job to direct players to form a wall nor is it your job to direct the team taking the kick to take it quickly and that it's indirect. Your arm will be up in the air so they should know the kick is indirect. That said, if there's a lot of confusion or the kicking team asks, you may want to intercede and ask if the kicking team wants a wall set. If they say yes, then you make it loud and clear and point at your whistle that the kick will not be taken until you whistle for it

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Certainly the goalkeeper should have been called for the double touch. The IFK is correct and barring any sort of problems getting the ball from the keeper, just wait to see if the attacker will attempt a quick free kick. If they do not take it, the defenders rush in, or you are having difficulty getting the ball spotted correctly, then just blow the whistle and indicate that you will do it ceremonially. Get the wall back and properly positioned. Then restart, but only after YOU are satisfied that everyone is correctly positioned.

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