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Question Number: 26468

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 6/17/2012

RE: Professional

Firoz of Kalyan, Maharashtra India asks...

Can a player directly pass the ball to his team-mate making a forward run after the referee's whistle at the time of kick-off or is this a rule to pass the ball to his team-mate standing next to him i.e, the conventional way of starting the match.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Firoz
There is nothing wrong with the ball being kicked directly forward at the kick off for a team mate to run on to. The only requirement is that all the players are in their own half before the kick is taken.
The reason that the ball is normally played forward & a short distance is to meet the requirement that the ball is played forward and also to retain possession.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The teammate can't start running until the ball has been kicked. Play doesn't start with the referee's whistle, but with the first touch on the ball.

But the kicker can send the ball downfield to an open area in the hopes that his speedy forward can catch up to the ball before the defenders get it.

Players can also try to score a goal directly from the kickoff.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

At a kickoff the kicker may kick it anywhere he likes as long as it's forward. His teammates may begin their runs behind the halfway line but may not cross it until the ball has been kicked,

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