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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.



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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.



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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.)





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