Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 26354

Law 17 - Corner Kick 5/18/2012

RE: High School

Joe Sereno of Gaylord, MI USA asks...

Last night at a high school game the attacking team took a corner kick. Four attackers moved into a position around the keeper (no bumping) but they all raised their arms over their heads. They kept them up until the kick was taken and then lowered them.

The corner was a perfect kick into the goal. But my question is about the four attackers around the keeper keeping their arms up. Would this be considered some kind of distraction as 'arms up' is not how you could ever play the ball?

Thanks for any thoughts on this!

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

You sometimes find that players put their arms up at a corner to try and suggest that they're not pushing their opponent (and thus, if there's jostling, then it's completely the fault of the opponent). I have a hunch it may have something to do with that - ie they've been taught to all get in the keeper's way, but to make it clear that they're not pushing him.

I wouldn't worry about the arms being up, rather focus on what the 4 players are doing. There's no problem with them standing there, but if they do anything to prevent the keeper from moving for the ball then they've committed the offence of 'impeding the progress of an opponent' (or charging, if there's contact, which would be pretty likely here).

Just make sure the keeper isn't going to push them - and if anything starts, get on top of it early and make sure the keeper knows to let you look after any fouls.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Joe
Many times player raise their arms above their head to show that they are not pushing or holding an opponent in this case the goalkeeper. There is nothing wrong with that per se.
However the real issue here is that a group of player have positioned themselves so as to prevent the movement of the goalkeeper towards the ball. The goalkeeper if he has no path to the ball and the players' only actions are to prevent that movement then they are guilty of impeding / obstruction or if there is contact a holding or charging foul.
I will accept that a team can put one forward or perhaps a second but to sorround the GK with no way of moving is a foul and it should not be allowed.
Again another 'set play' created by a HS coach that should be punished.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

When the referee sees this before the kick, it is a good idea to hold up the kick and talk to the players.

Keepers can respond violently to someone moving elbows around their face. Talking reminds them that you are watching. They will perceive that you will protect them (the 'good message') and that they shouldn't do anything stupid (the 'bad' message). My usual comment to the forwards is 'you know you can't use those to score.' It usually brings a chuckle, and I know that I have them.

There is nothing wrong with a player standing still, raising the arm to prove they aren't doing anything wrong. Four of them are doing it because they want to hinder the keeper's vision. It is a practiced tactic. Any movement (arms or players) when the ball is play is likely to be impeding the keeper ('obstruction' under NFHS rules). Calling impeding the first time you see it generally ends the tactic.)

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 26354
Read other Q & A regarding Law 17 - Corner Kick

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.