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Question Number: 25218

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/15/2011

RE: Rec and Comp Adult

Matt of Farmington, Utah USA asks...

In my daughter's game yesterday, an opponent took it upon herself to be a little silly. The ball was coming toward her in the air, and it bounced in front of her. On the upward flight of the ball, the player tugged her jersey out in front of her, and trapped the ball underneath, against her body. She then ran forward about 5-10 yds, when the Ref blew the whistle. From what my daughter overheard from the other team, the girl did it on a dare. The ref spoke to her, but did not issue a yellow card.
Now, I'm a fairly new Ref. I know what she did was wrong (everybody on the field knew that). But my question is, how does the infraction relate back to the LOTG? What would have you said to the player? Mind you these girls are U15, not U7. Thanks!

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The foul was deliberately handling the ball. The jersey was used an an extension of the hand. I would have said 'wouldn't it be fun if that were legal?' (Subject to Ref Lacy's wise comment.)

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Matt
The player through her action deliberately handled the ball which is a direct free kick or a penalty offence. As regards what further action the referee should take is a matter for the referee on the day. She can caution the player for unsporting behaviour or she can simply admonish the player and tell her to stop being silly.

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Answer provided by Referee Nathan Lacy

Good comments above. The bottom line for me is the tenor of the match. Somebody being silly - and all are seeing the humor - handle it 'lightly'. Somebody being silly but the other team is 'not amused' - a bit more stern in how I address the issue. No silliness and the player has been problematic and is bringing the game into disrepute - caution. It all depends....... All the best,

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

For some reason, a lot of people seem to think that a 'really blatant' deliberate handling is a caution.

Deliberate handling should only be a caution if it's a tactical foul to either break up an attack or put the ball into the back of the net. Otherwise it's just a foul - no matter how intentional it is.

Of course, the other factors which Ref Lacy described also come into play.

Using any object held in the hand to stop a ball counts as deliberate handling - for instance, a player's shinpad might fall off. They're standing there fixing it up when the ball passes by, so they stick out their hand, holding the shinpad, and stop the ball with the shinpad. This is deliberate handling, and then we can consider the other factors for a potential caution.

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