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Question Number: 28630

Character, Attitude and Control 8/2/2014

RE: ALL Other

J. Tyler of Wilm, DE 19810 asks...

Situation- 2-0 game 7 minutes to play. Player from team scores and after scoring runs into the goal to get the ball so he can get it back into play as quickly as possible. He picks up the ball and the goal keeper smacks it out of his hands and a 'slight altercation occurs' No punches , or even aggressive pushes just grabbing for the ball. How do the LOTG address this? My understanding was from a clinic that the scorer is to be cautioned for 'delaying the restart' even though his intent was to in fact speed up play. Please advise, thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

for a brief period of time there was a clause in the laws which effectively stated that any player provoking a confrontation by touching the ball unnecessarily when it's the opposing team's restart would be cautioned. The intent behind the law was to prevent the exact scenario you've described - strikers grabbing the ball in this situation is often seen as antagonistic towards the opposing keeper.

However, this law was too problematic so it was removed fairly quickly. That means it's really at your discretion on how to handle the situation.

For me, I think both players are in the wrong - while it's common, I don't like the practice of strikers grabbing the ball in this situation because there's just no reason for them to. But having done that, there was no reason for the keeper to intervene.

Given that the altercation wasn't overly aggressive, a word with both players would probably be the best response. Try to get the attention of the players as soon as the situation starts to prevent the 'wrestle' for the ball going on too long and escalating.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

It is at the discretion of the referee as to how he deals with this. It can be intervening to have a word with both player, it can be a caution for the scorer for delaying the restart of play when there is a confrontation and/ or a caution for the goalkeeper for unsporting behaviour for his slap of the ball and altercation. As the restart is by the conceding team the scoring team has no right to the ball so the scoring team has to be careful not to provoke the confrontation..
The wise referee should be alert to this and do his best to prevent this happening by perhaps requesting the ball or asking players to desist before it escalates. As described I would suggest the ''word'' with both players the most appropriate response.
Do the least that is required to manage the situation.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Tyler,

There is an aspect of gamesmanship at play by both parties.
LOTG address this as a normal part of competitive play but it is clear it is only ONE team's restart, the other has no right to intervene!

Usually the team that scores when closing the scoring gap or having just tied a match feel energized!
Now that they have the momentum, they believe they can score again and are most eager to restart quickly!

The keeper is generally in a prissy mood having just conceded a goal! His team generally want a little time to regroup and calm things down or if time is short to draw out the restart for a bit especially if still a head by a goal or two.

As mentioned it was briefly considered a "must caution" now is a "discretionary caution" when the scorer or any of his teammates tries to fish the ball quickly from the back of the net to place on the centre spot or as part of a goal celebration. While it is not illegal to want the ball possession, how one decides to do so will again put the caution lights on standby. The team that is scored upon might be ok for the opponent to run the ball quickly to centre since they have the kick off restart! Knowing the ball is waiting for them, it will be there when THEY decide to kick it off

If I sense the scorer or even possibly the keeper is rubbing it in, is overly aggressive and is in fact causing excessive delay as opposed to just being overly excited or peeved, my caution light is blinking. You make note that the scorer is in fact only attempting to grab the ball not punch the ball out of the keeper's control. The key point here though it is NOT his restart! His actions precipitated a keeper striking action, this needs to be shut down immediately!

Rather than resorting to cautioning either player, get to the trouble spot quickly, use your presence and speak firmly to both players! Warn the scoring team to leave the ball alone. It is after all, the Keeper's team restart! Tell both no tussling is going to be permitted. You can request the ball. You will decide whether there is any "unnecessary delay" by adding time to make up for any time lost. Use the 'I could' part of referee discretion , not 'I will or must' , to make your point and come across as a savvy referee not a pedantic one!


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