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Question Number: 24181

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 10/18/2010

RE: Rec Under 14

Keith Karwacki of Manchester, NH USA asks...

A few years when I was still Reffing I witnessed a play on a rec u-12 game that I still don't know the correct call on coming down the field slightly ahead the ball an offensive player kicked the ball causing it to head in the direction of the goal. I turned to follow the ball and I saw a soccer cleat go past me, strike the ball and cause the ball to go over the touch line. My call was a goal kick since the last player I saw touch the ball was an offensive player. Btw the cleat belonged to a defensive player.

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

I'm confused. How on earth did a ball out over the touchline end up being a goal kick again? Ordinarily, this is a throw-in.

Assuming the ball actually exited the field over the goal line, and not the touchline, the referee has to make a decision on who last touched the ball. There is no need to rush a decision. Take a moment to follow the cleat that last touched the ball up to the person owning it, and the answer appears. And/or look to one's AR for help, since they probably had an excellent view.

If the teams complained about the call, which would cause it to stick in one's memory, sometimes it helps to just ask the players. Not for every ball or even more than one or two a game, but generally, the players are honest - especially at that level. Or, alternatively and actually first, watch the players to see who goes to get the ball for the restart. That gives one a clue to follow.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Keith
A very unusual situation and it depends how the cleat got to hit the ball. If it was thrown by the defender it is classed as deliberate handling and the restart is a direct free kick or a penalty inside the penalty area. If it was an accidental loss of the boot in a challenge then I believe the referee has to make a choice and perhaps Law 18 comes into play. If the defender's boot moved the ball out over the goal line then it is a corner kick. If the ball was going out anyway and the ball simply touched the ball as it went out then a goal kick would be the 'best' restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

You mean the ball went over the goal line don't you? If it was a defender's cleat that hit the ball you have to award the restart to the attacking team. That's the first and easiest part. Now you have to decide how the cleat came to hit the ball.

I like the idea put forth by Ref Maloney (that's why she's our fearless leader!). See who retrieves the shoe and then watch the reactions of the players. I find it hard to believe a U-12 rec player has the skill s to be accurate enough to purposely throw the shoe and hit the ball so my gut is to award a corner kick.

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