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Question Number: 22672

Law 13 - Free Kicks 12/26/2009

RE: Competitive Under 15

Yuri of Valley, Nova Scotia Canada asks...

We had a free kick in our own half, my player kicked the ball when in was in motion. The player did not touch it a second time where it would be an indirect kick for the opposing team.
The ref awarded the other team a free kick, I thought it should have been retaken. Just looking for the correct start of play procedure. Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Law 13 says, 'For both direct and indirect free kicks, the ball must be stationary when the kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.' There is no direct mention of what happens if the ball is moving.

All infringements mentioned in Law 13 which result in a free kick for the other side happen after the ball has been put into play. Since the ball was not stationary, it was not properly put into play. Therefore the free kick must be retaken.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

It sounds as though play has not been properly restarted, nor was the free kick taken properly in the first place. So, based on your description this should be a retaken kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Was the ball momentarily stationary? Did the ball get kicked towards the spot of the infraction? This is why foot repositioning the ball can create issues. If the ball was say close to the correct position and it was subsequently tapped just a bit more forward and then kicked a referee could choose to see to as a double touch and an INDFK in favor of the opposition is the correct restart.

Of course if the ball was a free kick from inside the penalty area it will be retake no matter what, as the ball is NOT in play until it travels beyond the boundaries into play!

A moving ball violates the free kick restart principle and is a retake as the ball was not put properly in play! One generally verbally warns a transgression the 1st time but if blatantly obvious as a delaying tactic not so lenient one could be cautioned for delaying the restart.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Yuri
Context is also important in these situations as well as mechanics. You do not mention the context. What did the ref see here?. Did he see a ball kicked a short distance as an attempt to put it in play and then kicked again in which case it is an indirect free kick.
If the ball is moving having been thrown down or kicked by a team mate to that position and the player just kicked it then it is a retake.
In recent times many teams have adopted ruses on restart such as putting the ball into play in such a way that the opponents are not aware of that such as a small kick. As a result refs are now conscious of the ball being put into play. I suggest that the player shows without doubt that the ball is indeed not in play by either placing the ball by hand or stopping the ball with the foot in the correct position for the free kick. The referee will then be in no doubt

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