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Question Number: 26770

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/16/2012

RE: Varsity High School

Bob of Philadelphia , Pa USA asks...

Two players running side by side. The defender puts foot in front to get the ball touches the ball. They get tangled up. It's right inside the box. One ref blows the whistle and calls a pk. Then the middle ref comes running in and red cards the defender. On the defenders team there were two other defenders near by. Well with in distance to stop the player if needed. Preventing an obvious goal scoring opportunity was the reason given for the red. What are your thoughts? Understand the pk but the red was unjust in my opinion.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
Defenders nearby does not exonerate a player from denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. The defenders must be position so that if the foul is not committed they would be in a position to challenge for the ball so as to prevent the goal scoring opportunity. Generally that would be directly between the foul and the goal.
Referees evaluate what is called the 4 Ds
# Distance between the offence and the goal
# Distance to the ball - the likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
# Direction of the play
# Defender - the location and number of defenders
I might add the decision is made at the moment of the foul not what develops afterwards through the movement of defenders.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

The question is whether the referee(s) thought the remaining defenders were close enough to the play to have had an opportunity to defend the play. If not, and if it was a tripping offense on the defender, then DOGSO is quite likely.

Given the result, the referee(s) must have determined the remaining defenders were not close enough to defend the play.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 26770
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See Question: 26821

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