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Question Number: 25330

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/19/2011

RE: recreational Adult

John pensinger of Adelanto, Ca usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 25312

I didn't say I dropped my shoulder,The ref said I did but some of you are missing the obvious,I realize you can only go by what I am writing so here it is.I came out of my goal to stop an attacker from coming at my goal on a one on one,he was off center by about 7 yards,he had pushed the ball out far enough where I was able to get to it first and kick it before he run and catch up to it. He ran into me once I touched the ball first therefor the foul was on him once I have possession of the ball he should have pulled up.Whether I dropped my shoulder or not if I have possession of the ball last he can't charge into me.FYI there is no slidetackling in our league.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
The panel can only respond to what you write and from the description given. If the ref was of the view that in your words 'dropped your shoulder' then that is his view of what happened and that is what counts.

From what you describe now I would say that there was no foul and it was simply a coming together of two players challenging for the ball. That was my original answer taking out the 'shoulder' element.

Reading the other answers given one can take from them that it can go either way depending on the referee's view of the contact after the ball was played.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

John, you seem hung up on the notion that once you got the ball you cannot be called for a foul. That is not the case, and that is what we were attempting to point out. Just because you have the ball at your feet doesn't mean your opponent has to pull up. Now if as goalkeeper you legally have the ball in your hands, then yes, you are protected from any further challenges.

The ref told you why he made the call on you - because he saw you drop your shoulder into an attack on the opponent. That may or may not have been the case; we can't tell without having seen the play. It could be that you two players simply came together without a foul being committed on either side. But the opinion that counts is the referee's view of action, not the players'.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

USSF has recently issued a position paper for referees stating unequivocally that 'getting the ball first' does not give the getter a license to go ahead and foul the opponent - not that we needed reminding - most referees are well aware of that restriction. What happens before, during and after the coming together at the ball all go into the referee's evaluation of whether there is an offense to call and if so what.

It is possible the referee saw you prepare to take the challenge by the opponent to protect yourself and misinterpreted your action as a lowering of the shoulder into the opponent. We can only call what we think we see.

By the way, keeper possession which protects you from challenges means you have the ball in your hands, or trapped between your arm/hand and some other surface. It does not include when you have the ball at your feet - never has.

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