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Question Number: 25840

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 12/18/2011

RE: All Stars Under 11

Sarah Stock of Redondo beach, Ca. USA asks...

Here's my situation,
Goalie grabs the ball at the top of the 18 after a shot. Goalie gets pretty close to stepping over the line so the ref blows his whistle (I think for a hand ball at top of box), he then decides that that's not the call and signals to continue play. Meanwhile the goalie slips and the ball rolls out of her hands while the other team kicks it into the open net. Most of the girls on defense had stopped because of the refs whistle. Coach screams out that the whistle was blown and the ref looks over and says 'well no one stopped' which is not true. The girls did stop.
My question is When the whistle is blown is that the stop of play or can the ref say 'opps I made the wrong call, play on'

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Sarah
Unfortunately the referee made an error here. Once he blew an inadvertant whistle the game had to stop. It makes no difference whether any player stopped or not and he cannot signal for play to continue. The correct restart is a dropped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Oh dear. The answer is no. Play stops when the referee blows the whistle even by mistake. The referee should have restarted play with a dropped ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

I'd suggest contacting the relevant authority there, just to pass on the information regarding what happened so this referee can receive some coaching in this area.

As my colleagues have stated, if the ref blows his whistle then play stops. It's that simple.

If the referee changes his mind for any reason, such as deciding it wasn't a foul at all, then the restart will be a drop ball. But play must be restarted, and not 'continued'.

Situations like this one are precisely why the referee can't say 'actually, forget the whistle, keep going'!

The goal was the result of the referee making an error in law.

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