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Question Number: 27755

Law 13 - Free Kicks 9/13/2013

RE: Competitive Under 16

Michael Schulman of Redwood City, CA USA asks...

On an Indirect Free Kick, what is the definition of 'moves' as in the advice to referres - 'The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.'

We had the situation last week, where the first player just tapped it the tinyest amount. The opposing coach claimed the ball had to move one revolution. (I believe that was a very old interpretation).

How much is 'move' in the above ? Another ref told me that if the ball is touched in any way, that by the laws of physics, it does move. Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Until the mid 1990s the ball did need to move one revolution at any restart. This was changed to 'kicked and moves'.

If we're going to discuss the laws of physics then objects are vibrating anyway, so it's already moving. These types of discussions have no place on the field - let's look at what's reasonably interpreted. I don't think saying 'well, there was no visible movement but the laws of physics dictate there must have been some tiny movement' is really a suitable interpretation of the law.

If you see the ball move, it's moved. The only debate is whether wobbling on the spot counts as movement, or if the law intends for the ball to move at least slightly off the spot (even if it rolls back). Personally, I think that any visual movement will suffice.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The coach was wrong. Any movement of the ball is enough for 'moves.'

The usual problem in an indirect free kick is not 'moved' but whether that the ball was 'kicked'. A tap of the top of the ball with the bottom of the foot is not a 'kick.' 'Kicks and moves' requires a kicking motion of the foot.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

At one time the ball had to move a full revolution to be put into play at at a kicked restart. That is no longer the case and it is dated thinking.
Once the ball is kicked and moves then it is in play
I would go as far as to say that once the opposition saw a kick with the ball moving the 'tinyest amount' that was good enough for play to continue. Sounds like looking for a very poor gripe to me

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

When 'kicked and moves' first came out, the physics argument was presented: If the ball was touched, then some portion of it must have moved, even if you had to go down to the molecular level.

That was not the way it was meant to be interpreted. There must be some visible movement. USSF came out with the example, 'from here to there' - the ball had to be in a different spot, not just quiver.

If the tiniest tap in your game was on the top of the ball, it is not likely that it moved. But if the tap was on the side, then likely the ball did move somewhat farther than the next blade of grass, and it would be in play.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 27755
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See Question: 27952

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