Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 26871

Law 13 - Free Kicks 10/2/2012

RE: Competitive High School

Bryan Whitworth of Tipp City, OH USA asks...

My son is taking a direct free kick, he asks for the wall to be 10 yards away. As the referee is marching out the 10 yards, an opponent moves to within 3 yds of the ball at the side interferring with his run up. My son stops his run up and asks the referee to move him 10 yards away. Referees decision - yellow card the freekick taker for time wasting and told him the player at the side does not have to be 10 yards away, only those forming the wall behind the ball - has to be 100% wrong ????

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bryan
All opponents must be ten yards from the ball in any direction so the referee should have asked for the player to move away from the ball.
I suspect though what happened here was that the referee was probably of the view that the opponent was not 'interfering' as your son commenced his run up to take the free kick and then at the last moment decided for whatever reason to ask for the player to be moved. Perhaps if your son asked for the opponent to be moved before the run up commenced that it may have had a different outcome.
Anyway the referee was incorrect in his assertion that the 10 yard rule only applies to those players in the defensive wall. Sure on an IDFK would a referee allow an opponent to stand 3 yards behind the ball? Of course not

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

The 10 yards is measured in all directions from the ball. While not as strictly enforced against opponents behind the kicker, that is because they are not interfering with the kick.

Please contact the local chapter in charge of assigning this referee and explain what you were told so the referee can be better informed in future games.

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Yup. 100% wrong. The referee cautioned the KICKER???? Ouch!!!
couldn't get more wrong if he tried

Read other questions answered by Referee Keith Contarino

View Referee Keith Contarino profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 26871
Read other Q & A regarding Law 13 - Free Kicks

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 26894

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.