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Question Number: 26929

Law 13 - Free Kicks 10/22/2012

RE: Rec travel Under 15

Rob of Mantua, Ninjas Us asks...

On an in direct can the first touch be a non soccer touch,such as a toe touch. If not should play continue or should it be blown dead.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rob
Once the ball is kicked and moves it is in play at any free kick restart. A toe touch would be deemed to be a kick provided the ball moves. A tap on top of the ball would not be a kick nor a touch where the ball does not move. In those instances the ball is not in play and the referee makes a decision based on what happens subsequently.
The referee is the sole judge of whether the ball is in play or not.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I'm not sure what you mean by a non-soccer touch. Except for a throw-in, the Laws of the Game do not describe how to play the ball. They may define where the ball is placed and who is allowed to play it, but not how to play it. Just because a player does something out of the ordinary doesn't make it wrong.

On a free kick, the ball is in play when it has been kicked and it moves. The amount of movement required is minimal, only enough to see that it has gone 'from here to there'. Kicking is done with the foot - front, side, back, bottom, top, it doesn't matter what part of the foot.

If the first touch is not a kick or the ball does not move, then the next touch is the one that puts it into play. Player A could dummy a touch or might touch it without moving it, and then Player B puts it into play. There's no need to stop and reset the restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The first touch occurs when the ball is kicked and moves. The interpretation in the US is that simply tapping the top of the ball is not a 'kick' and does not put the ball into play.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

On a free kick a ball must be kicked, which means some part of the foot is used to move the ball from here to there - a small distance is sufficient. Players are not allowed to use their knee to move the ball, or their heads or chest or other silly maneuvers. Simply tapping the ball with the toe does not move it from here to there, and so does not count as a kick.

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