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Question Number: 25671

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/27/2011

RE: Adult

charles of garden grove, ca usa asks...

Attacker scores with bicycle kick and hits defender face simultaneously.
What is right call?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham


With amateur adults, it is a foul. The whistle should be blowing before the ball gets near the goal.

With kids, it is also a yellow card. The whistle should be blowing before the foot gets to the face.

The players at the professional level may accept the danger and accept that this is a goal, but it is not acceptable for the rest of us..

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Charles
The Laws of the Game says that a scissors or bicycle kick is permissible provided that, in the opinion of the referee, it is not dangerous to an opponent.
Playing in a dangerous manner involves no physical contact between the
players. If there is physical contact, the action becomes an offence punishable
with a direct free kick or penalty kick. In the case of physical contact, the
referee should carefully consider the high probability that misconduct has also
been committed.
So for me a player that kicks an opponent in the face on a bicycle kick that is a guilty of a foul, the goal is cancelled and the restart is an DFK

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

There is no one right answer, as a great deal depends on the situation, the skill level of the teams and individual players, etc.

We can generally agree, I think, that bicycle kicks put feet up where heads generally do the work, so there is high potential for PIADM to be called, especially in any recreational or middle skill level games, and especially with youth players. Any contact of the kicker's foot/leg with the face/body of the opponent needs strict observation and quick action. At a minimum, it is an IDFK and with contact a DFK. A caution should be considered.

The professional leagues are another ball of string. They generally have better situational awareness as to who is around them and the space they have to work. While the issue of whether the action is PIADM or a DFK offense is still there, the referee will have game management issues to consider, as well as whether the defender had some role in what happened.

I suppose the best answer to your question for anything below high level professional games is there is no goal, and a DFK to the opponents, with a possible caution, taking into consideration the circumstances.

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