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Question Number: 25312

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/15/2011

RE: rec Adult

John pensinger of adelanto, ca usa asks...

While playing keeper an opponent on a breakaway pushed the ball to far in front of himself allowing me to come out and kick the ball out. Afterwards the attacker ran into me and the ref called me for charging even though I played the ball before he made contact with me,the ref said that didn't matter because I dropped my shoulder before impact.Is he correct or am I because once the attacker played the ball out to far and I was able to play it before him he should have pulled up and not ran into me?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

'I got the ball' is not an excuse for fouling your opponent. If the ref saw you dip your shoulder to take out your opponent, a foul against you sounds like a correct call.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

I can only suppose that the referee's opinion of 'too far in front' of the opponent was different from yours. If you were correct, and the attacking player continued on in spite of the fact that you got to the ball first, the foul probably ought to have gone the other way.

If, on the other hand, the lowering of the shoulder mentioned by the referee says he saw something else.

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Answer provided by Referee Nathan Lacy

This is a tough one to answer from a description only. Seeing the event so that one can understand the dynamic of the play is critical (see referee Maloney's description above). It is one thing if you play the ball out and your momentum carries you into the collision and quite another if you go into the challenge with reckless abandon and no regard for the opponent - timing is critical in evaluating these situations. Given your comment that you 'dropped your shoulder' then the referee may well have seen your foul as being an event 'after the ball was played'. For example, just because a fair challenge is made and the ball is tackled away does not mean the tackler can then bring the trail leg in behind the players legs and bring him/her down - fair tackle but an unfair 'follow through'. There is also a difference between protecting yourself and 'taking out the other player' - all of which are difficult to assess without seeing the actual event. Having said all of that, I do think that in most cases were a referee to see you 'drop your shoulder' and go into another player that the foul would be called against you because what has essentially happened is that you have gone from playing the ball to now 'playing the player'. All the best,

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
Take out the dipping the shoulder part and I would say that it was not a foul but a coming together of two players. Once you dipped your shoulder that is pre meditated and the referee will view that as a foul even if the ball is played first.

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