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Question Number: 21923

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/9/2009

RE: Other

Nicholas Broderick of St. John's, Newfoundland Canada asks...

Just a couple of hypothetical situations involving player's equipment and when it comes off. I posed the first of these to a Facebook group and I was redirected to the comic strip 'You Are the Ref' where Keith Hackett, the FA Official who gives the answers, gave the answer as a dropped ball restart, but I thought I'd ask here as well:

1. A goalkeeper decides to remove his gloves (for whatever reason) and sets them down just inside his left goalpost. The play comes down to his end and a shot on goal is taken, but is blocked by the goalkeeper's gloves sitting on the goal line and is deflected out of play wide of the goal. What is the restart (goal kick, corner kick, dropped ball)?

2. A goalkeeper forgets to fasten his gloves and he is diving to save a shot on goal. As he dives his gloves come loose, leave his hands and as they fall to the ground make contact with the ball before it goes out of play over the goal line (wide of goal). What is the restart (goal kick, corner kick, dropped ball)?

3. A player with loose footwear loses his shoe accidentally near the goal line but decides to leave it (for offside purposes). The ball is struck by an opponent and hits the shoe before rolling over the goal line wide of goal. What is the restart (goal kick, corner kick, dropped ball)?

4. A player with loose footwear running to the ball loses his shoe accidentally and the shoe becomes a projectile. It flies and strikes the ball (kicked by an opponent) before it rolls out of play over the goal line, wide of goal. What is the restart (goal kick, corner kick, dropped ball)?

There are only two situations regarding misplaced equipment I understand clearly:

1. If a player intentionally removes a piece of compulsory equipment while the ball is in play, we have an IDFK at the spot of the ball when play is stopped and the offender receives a caution for unsporting behavior.

2. Any piece of equipment held or thrown by a player (or any object for that matter) counts an extension of the hand and the Laws are applied accordingly (deliberate handling, ball out of play restarts, etc.). (Both from Law 4)

But these leave out a lot of possible scenarios. So I guess the big question I'm asking is: When is a piece of equipment not attached to its owner an outside agent, an extension of the player it belongs to, or just part of the field of play?

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

1. Gloves are not compulsory equipment. This would be the sam as having a water bottle interfere with play. Dropped ball
2.Gloves still considered an extension of his hand as if he threw them at the ball. Corner kick
3.A player may lose a shoe accidently and continue immediate play but he may not purposely leave the shoe and continue play. Dropped ball.
4.dropped ball

By the way, I'm not sure of any of my responses. They were first things I thought of

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Think on the FAIRNESS of why a drop ball is the restart for actions that the laws of the game cannot cover?
Simply there must be a decision to restart play!

If the equipment items are DELIBERATELY placed on the goal line as in a water bottle or gloves and left there perhaps one could streee---eeeeetch this as an extension of the hand. IF the keeper was responsible possibly one could sell an indfk as the best option to restart caution show a yellow card. If the items are there *accidentaly* then only a drop ball.

If the items are deliberately thrown at the ball they of course they are extensions of the hand same as if thrown at a player!
The DFK foul of striking or the foul of HTBD will apply if a player where as the keeper inside his area will be an indfk only for a HTBD and a DFK for striking an opponent.

The acts are at minimum cautionable show a yellow card! If the HTBD denies a goal as DOGSO H the send off show a red card could apply to a player (keeper only if outside his own area!) If a strike at an opponent of course VC must be considered!

A deliberate kick at an object as in mud or a piece of equipment flicked at the ball is only an act of USB as it is not illegal to kick at a ball as it is in using the hands. YET if the kick of the item was at a player then we could apply the same logic as striking as an extension of the hands for kicking at an opponent as an extention of the foot! Just something to think about!

Accidentally a shin guard comes popping out, a shoe is stepped on the heel and is mired in the mud or a pair of glasses or a toque or a glove comes free if the ball hits these items, in my opinion play could continue and if the ball goes out of play which ever team last touched the ball sets the criteria for the restart!

The laws are bendable to an extent and it is not without discretion these situations that are far fetched could have a divergent set of opinions as to what is FAIR and what the laws permit!

When players lose manditory equipment by accident there is no immediate piunishment or need to stop play. The player must ASAP correct the equipment malfunction or face being asked to leave the field to correct or face a caution for USB or even incurr an infracion of PIADM by seeking to engage in a challange without adequate protection.


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Answer provided by Referee Gil Weber

1. The goalkeeper has placed an 'outside agent' on the field of play on his goal line. When the ball strikes that outside agent play is stopped and restarted with a dropped ball on the six yard line. Unless we have reason to conclude it was done intentionally to unfairly disadvantage the opponent no sanction to the GK is necessary.

2. The goalkeeper has lost his gloves through complete accident -- just as if his hat flew off in the wind. There is no intent to unfairly disadvantage the opponent, and no offense occurs here. The 100% accidentally lost gloves are not considered an extension of the GK's hands (as they would be if thrown at the ball). Nor are the gloves considered an 'outside agent' in this instance (as opposed to scenario #1) since their being on the field rather than on the GK's hands was completely accidental. The restart is a goal kick.

3. The restart is a goal kick. Same situation as scenario #2.

4. The restart is a goal-kick. Same situation as scenario #2.

In scenarios 2, 3, and 4 there is no indication that the player did anything other than try to play the ball fairly. That gloves or shoes or hats or shin pads may **accidentally** come off and touch the ball does not create a breach of the laws or any reason to stop play for a dropped ball. If the restart absent such accidental touch would have been a goal kick or corner kick or goal, then that's the restart.

Just my opinion, of course. YMMV.

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