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Question Number: 26834

Law 5 - The Referee 9/25/2012

RE: competitive Under 15

jerry strabbing of troy, mi usa asks...

This situation took place in a tournament in Bloomfield Hills, Mi. And my local assignor asked me how would I have handled it, if I were in the middle.

Two attacking players and two defending players were involved in the play near the defender's penalty area.

The first defender and attacking players were competing fairly for the ball when both fell down,neither appearing to be injured, but neither able to stand after repeated trys.

The ball then rolled towards the other two defending and attacking players who now competed for the ball. The attacking player won the ball and dribbled near the two players on the ground to gain separation from her defender, and then shot and scored.

After the goal had been scored, it was determined that the first two players' shoe laces had become entangled and had prevented them from standing.

Since it did not matter in the result of the game(4-0 few minutes left) , both coaches were ok with the goal standing, but after the game bith coaches told the referee that they would have upset with the referee's decision if this situation resulted in the game winning goal.

I have thought about it and can not come up with any other decision than to have let play continue and the resulting goal stand.

Neither team gained an advantage or was disadvantaged by the two players on the ground. Neither player on the ground tried to play the ball when it was dribbled nearby causing an unsafe condition. No purposeful action by any of the players created an advantage or disadvantage. What was there for a coach to be upset at other than bad luck.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jerry
A very unusual situation and one that would be extremely rare.
In my opinion the event happened to be a 'rub of the green' accident and it was not intentional. The 'best' decision would be to award the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

The coaches and possibly your assignor seem to believe the cause of the initial players entanglement is somehow relevant to the subsequent awarding of a goal. I do not see why this would be a factor.

Put another way; 2 opposing players are challenging for the ball. No foul is committed but both players fall to the ground. Neither is injured. Should the referee stop play?

Of course not. In both your scenario and mine, there are no fouls or injuries. Why should play stop? This is a good goal

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Perhaps the players should more securely tie their laces in the future!

There is no supportable reason under the Laws for the referee to stop play here. No injury, no violation of the Laws, no safety issue - sometimes there is no making coaches happy, but that's not our charge - making the correct call or no call is. In this case, no call was absolutely supportable and correct.

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