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Question Number: 24313

Law 13 - Free Kicks 11/13/2010

RE: Rec Under 11

Richard of CARLSBAD, California USA asks...

During a U10 playoff game the goalkeeper touched the ball with her hands when the ball was outside of the penalty area. I blew the whistle and awarded a DFK to the opposing team from the spot where the goalkeeper touched the ball. While I explained to the goalkeeper why I blew the whistle the opposing team took a quick kick DFK and shot the ball into the goal. I disallowed the goal and made the opposing team retake the DFK. Needless to say the coach for the opposing team was not happy. I don't deny that the opposing team can take a quick DFK and I do not want to penalize the wrong team, however, I felt that I needed to keep control of the action in this case. Did I overstep my authority? If this was a higher level and not a U10 game would your thought process on this decision change?

Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

Richard,
You did not over step your authority, since you inserted yourself into the situation, you must have a 'ceremonial restart' in order to retain the appearance of being unbiased. Having the attacking team retake the kick was appropriate. Now, let's talk about the mechanics and the management issues in this event.

If you are going to insert yourself into a situation (such as you did in this case), then it's very important that you pre-emptively squelch any possibility of a quick kick by making in known to the world that kick cannot be taken until you blow the whistle. Doing this would have saved you a lot of grief.

You have (hopefully) throughout the course of the game set the standard that you wish to be listened to by the players. It's only reasonable then, to expect that the GK would turn her attention to you while you were speaking to her. In doing that, you pulled her focus off the game, and onto you -- unnecessarily, I might add. You might reconsider involving yourself in the event as you did. The consequences are that you are more likely to be the CAUSE of more problems, rather than the solution.

I understand the temptation to explain yourself, but there comes a time -especially in a playoff game (rec or other), that the stakes are higher and subsequently the expectations and standards of the play are higher. You rightfully called the foul and the GK doesn't need, nor should she expect an explanation from you. It's a foul, GK, tend your goal. And that's all. If, the goal keeper is confused by the call, she can ask her coach or even you after the game.



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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Richard
Referee Hoelscher is correct and she had provided a detailed answer. Once the referee 'engages' with a player such as a caution, speaking to etc then the restart is on the referee's whistle.



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