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Question Number: 28909

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 10/27/2014

RE: Rec Under 12

Jay LaFountain of Coldwater, MI USA asks...

I was ARing for my assignor. There was a kick-off, and one of the defending players encroached after the whistle, prior to the kick. The center ref blew the whistle to stop play and then restarted with an IFK from the spot of the encroachment.

I didn't stop the game at that point because I didn't want to argue with him about it and I also was unsure that I had the laws correct, but my memory was telling me that every restart that has some sort of infringement, except penalty kicks and throw-ins, result in a rekick. Double-touches by the kicker being the exception in every case, as well.

So since the ball wasn't legally put in play the restart should have been a kick-off, as the game hadn't really restarted yet.

At the half we looked in the law book together and saw the laws, and it looks like I'm right per the definition of Kick-off... if there is any other infringement, rekick.

I wanted to know if there was history here, that at one point that would be a IFK at the spot of the infringement, or if he just made it up.

It also occurs to me that if that happens several times, there could be a yellow for delaying the restart, and that misconduct would be the only way to penalize this infraction.

As an update, my first season of soccer refereeing is over, and I've already run myself ragged calling a U10 game without ARs for offside a couple times. The lack of AR availability is a little demoralizing, but I didn't get any flack from anyone on my offside calls beyond the normal you get anyway. It's a lot easier to do the U8 games without offside. I have to remember the mantra, 'I won't be perfect, but I will be fair.' While I'm playing the players are looking for perfection (unless the foul is against them!) but I'm not going to be, so fair is all I have left to aim for. It seems every weekend more goofy stuff occurs, but I always at least know what I'm calling and getting the restarts right, thanks to the laws and this website. Reading the entertaining and often repetitive questions and answers on this site has really cemented exactly what offside is into my head, and also helps to have knowledge of what to do when things go crazy.

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

You are correct that a kickoff should be retaken when the opponents do not maintain the distance, or stay in their own half, until the ball is in play. The infringement occurred before the ball was in play and the general rule is that nothing that happens before the ball is in play changes the restart. (The general rule is subject to a number of exceptions, particularly for penalty kicks.)

Congratulations on your first season. It is challenging to be the sole referee. But, as more parents and coaches understand that the purpose of matches under 12 is to develop players who can play the game with joy and creativity, there will be less need for perfect officials. Particularly, because the perfect referee has yet to be born.

My second year was harder because I started to listen to negative coaches and parents. Don't let them get you down. They are just yelling at the yellow shirt. Keep doing what you can to get better.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jay
There is no history excuse here for your assignor referee and he was mistaken. The correct restart is a retake. The only IDFK is for a double touch by the kicker. Now at one time a goal could not be scored directly from a kick off and that has been the only significant law change in recent memory.

As regards the lack of ARs welcome to the game worldwide. Most games that I officiate at do not have neutral ARs just linesmen who do not do offside. Referees just make the best of it based on their view of the situation from their viewing position. It is not ideal yet most times referees get the calls correct certainly on the obvious ones. As I tell players I'm here on my own and it my best call based on what I can see.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


No excuse for this one! Maybe the assignor was confusing the restart for encroachment on a penalty kick, but the kick hadn't happened and I digress. The correct restart would be a kick off since as you noted the ball was never in play. Glad to hear you enjoy the site and are getting something out of it. Several of the posters on here have been doing this for a long, long time.

As to refereeing, I view a game as this: from minute 1 to minute 30 to minute 60 to minute 90, was I consistent in my application of the laws to both teams? Did I restart the game properly? Did I put myself in the best position to see the play? You will make mistakes and people will always make noise. If you are confident in your performance and are consistent in your application of the laws, then you can walk away from the game pleased in your performance. Congrats on completing the first season and good luck next year. Remember to never stop learning and never stop striving to be better.

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