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Question Number: 22537

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/17/2009

RE: competitive Under 19

Kley Parkhurst of Mc Lean, VA USA asks...

D1 takes the ball to the corner and shields it. D2 stands right behind D1. A1 comes over to try to get the ball, but is unable to reach it through D2 or D1. Impeding? D1 can clearly play the ball. D2 can possibly play the ball by reaching through or around D1's legs. (If D2 were an A, clearly not impeding).

I didn't call impeding.
Eventually somebody pushed somebody so there was a restart. D1 and D2's intent was to use up time as it was near the end of the game. Are there other possible violations?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Referee Parkhurst
Clear case of impeding by D2 if there is no contact and I would suspect that there was contact with the attacker A1 so it is then a 'holding' foul and the restart is a direct free kick from where the infraction took place
While one can suggest that D2 might have the ball within playing distance his/her only intention of being there is to impede or prevent an opponent from tackling for the ball, which is illegal. The playing distance here is tenuous as he cannot really play the ball except by reaching through or around D1 and that IMO is not playing distance or shielding.
My advice on this is not to allow this to even develop as it is a recipe for confrontation. The moment D2 goes into an impeding position blow the foul.
Take this to an extreme. Say that D1 was in the corner with the ball and surrounded by all other nine outfield team mates in a circle, all of whom could touch the ball would that be legal?? Most definitely not so D2 in your case is just one of the circle of players prevented access by an opponent from challenging for the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

In my opinion, it sounds like this is impeding, D2 stood there to prevent an opposing player from having a chance at challenging D1 who is shielding properly. Put a stop to this, but try to verbally work this out first if you can, try shouting 'D2 don't obstruct.' Then if D2 makes no action to stop impeding, call the foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

A player may shield the ball if she is within playing distance. While it is not against the laws for two teammates to shield the ball at the same time, it is unlikely that each is within playing distance. Within playing distances is not a measurement defined under the laws, but is based on the opinion of the referee.

In this case, it is likely that D1 is within playing distance of the ball, and D2 is not.

While the post involves defenders (who risk a corner kick if the ball is flicked off their legs), double shielding is a common tactic by attackers in their opponent's corner when time is short and they have a lead. After a short corner, the attackers both shield the ball to use time. The referee must get close and must become proactive against retaliation by the opponent. IMO, better a IFK for impeding to the defense than a red card to the defense for planting their leg in the attacker's back.

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