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Question Number: 26610

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 8/8/2012

RE: Club Under 19

Scott a of Huntsville, Alabama Usa asks...

Can a player have both feet out of bounds and kick the ball back into the field off play. Is the only consideration whether the ball is fully across the line

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Scott,

You're correct - all that matters is whether the ball has wholly crossed the line.

Some sports require the ball to have contact with the ground outside the touch line to be considered out of play - either the ball touches the ground, or the ball touches a player who is touching the ground outside the touch line.

Soccer is different. Either the ball has wholly crossed the line to leave the field of play or it hasn't - nothing else matters!

So really, it would be completely legal for a player, completely off the field of play, to kick a ball that has partially crossed the line to keep the ball in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Scott
The only consideration here is the position of the ball. As all of the ball has not crossed all of the line the ball is in play and it may be played by a player. That player can legitimately leave the field of play to play the ball.
One could compare it to the taking of a corner kick. There is no restriction on the player being off the field of play to run up to kick the ball that is on the field of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

It's all about the location of the ball. All of the ball must be past all of the line. If 1/2 of the ball is over the line,the ball is still in play. But, it is also easy for the kicker's foot to be entirely beyond the touchline line. Play should continue.

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