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Question Number: 27916

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/21/2013

RE: Under 14

sean of barnegat, nj usa asks...

This happened alot yesterday at my son's game !! The other team was awarded a goal kick,the player placed the ball on the ground ready to be kicked. About to kick the ball the player then picks up the ball and moves it to the other side of the of the box. This is a fullback not the goalie doing this. My question is this legal?Once the ball is placed and ready to be kicked the ball can't be picked up by hand and moved?? And what would be the correct call ?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Sean
Unless the action was done deliberately to delay the restart of play there is nothing wrong here and the referee allows play to continue.
The change of side can be done for a variety of reason which can include direction of the wind, being on the same side as the kicker's defensive position, location of target forwards etc.
If it is done to waste time the referee should admonish the player and/or caution for delaying the restart of play. Generally referees will tolerate it when the player moves to a particular side but not constantly changing after spotting the ball. If the player does not have a pattern or its looks like time wasting then the referee should intervene. However no matter what the referee does the restart is still a goal kick with the time lost added on.
In a NFHS game there is a rule to prevent this but not in a FIFA / USSG game.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

There is nothing to prevent resetting the ball prior to the goal kick. If the player is being quick about it, to get the ball to a better location for the kick, there's nothing wrong.

However, if the player does this in an attempt to use up time, it should not be permitted. The player should be warned, and on repetition cautioned for delaying the restart. Note that the referee should be adding on time to compensate for time lost, so a simple word is usually sufficient.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

A few years back this was automatically considered to be an illegal delay of the game in the US but that has changed. Now, most referees will allow this.

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