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Question Number: 23362

Law 14 - Penalty kick 5/24/2010

RE: Select Under 18

Ted Snyder of Belleville, IL St Clair asks...

This question is a follow up to question 23197

Follow up, this occurred in a game I was watching, not reffing. PK awarded for foul in box. Player taking PK shot, goalie saved, came back to player who took the PK. He punched it in...referee called double touch. I thought if it hit post and player punched it in, its a double touch. But not off the keeper. I asked a couple of very experienced referees, believing they would say goal. They insisted it was the right call, double touch. What is the call?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

On a penalty kick, the kicker may not touch the ball again until it touches another player. The opposing goal keeper is another player.

Your understanding of 'double touch' is correct.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Law 14 says, 'If, after the penalty kick has been taken:
the kicker touches the ball again (except with his hands) before it has touched
another player:
an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, the kick to be taken
from the place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 ? Position of
Free Kick)'

The goalkeeper is another player. This should have been a goal. Please report these very experienced referees to your state referee instructor, so they may have their erroneous opinions corrected. Is it possible that these referees misunderstood your question, and thought you were talking about a rebound off the goal? Since the goal is not a player, then that is a second-touch infraction.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Experience is a funny thing. People think if you've done something for a long time you have experience. But experience only helps if a person learns from what they do - if they did it right, they learn how to continue doing it right; if they did it wrong, hopefully they learn why and move on to doing it right, and they continually seek knowledge and betterment to bolster their experience.

Being an experienced referee can mean either one has worked the game long enough and with enough support, motivation and curiosity to have corrected or changed bad habits and misconceptions or one has simply been a referee for a long time - what we not so fondly refer to as the referee with 'one year of experience ten times'.

Perhaps you need to find a new set of 'experienced referees'? Or, given your understanding of the above situation, perhaps you should be the one being asked! Indeed, on a PK or other free kick, if the ball rebounds off the keeper - or any other player - the kicker is free to kick the ball again. That is not true if the ball bounces off the referee, the goal post or crossbar, though. Then we do have a double touch offense.

All the best.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

I assume you don't really mean 'punched' but rather 'kicked'? It's a sad state of affairs that ANY referee much less 'experienced' ones could see this as anything other than a goal. The Law is simple, straightforward, and apparantly not read often that at the taking of a penalty kick the kicker may not play the ball until it has touched another player of which the keeper is one. There is nothing in the Law that says the keeper should not be considered a player.

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See Question: 27792

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