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Question Number: 28329

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 4/12/2014

RE: Select Under 15

Lance of Chula Vista, CA USA asks...

For lining up for a Kick Off, Law 8 states 'all players must be in their own half of the field of play'.

I've noticed in professional matches that the team taking the kick off will have a player with one foot on their half and one foot on the opponent's half. Is this allowed under Law 8?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Lance
It would be deemed to be trifling and it has no real effect on the game. So most referees would ignore this and allow play to continue.
The older Laws of the game stated under Decision 8 that and I quote
""'The Laws of the Game are intended to provide that games should be played with as little interference as possible, and in this view it is the duty of referees to penalize only deliberate breaches of the Law. Constant whistling for trifling and doubtful breaches produces bad feeling and loss of temper on the part of the players and spoils the pleasure of spectators.'""

The referee should only deal with the blatantly obvious breach and that simply involves the referee asking the player to move into his own half before allowing play to start. If it happens after the signal is given it's only a retake anyway so no gain for the opponents.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Lance,

As Ref McHugh stated, this is a trifling offence and would make no difference to play. If the player is wholly in the opposing half then I'd advise telling them to step back (otherwise there's the perception of you ignoring a clear breach).

Technically one foot over the line would be breaching the law, but it's not something you want to be fighting.

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