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Question Number: 29038

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/7/2014

RE: Competitive Adult

Michael of Tulare, Ca Us asks...

Last man gets a ball played back to him. He turns his trap backwards the keeper. He then proceeds to lay on the floor and pass the ball backwards with his head to his goalkeeper. Is this a legal play or considered to be a back pass?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Michele, not entirely sure what this means ""He turns his trap backwards the keeper???"" If the defender TRAPPED the ball with his foot then MOST definitely an INDFK and a caution if he tried to head roll that ball back to the keeper. Even leaving a trapped ball via the foot for a keeper to come and get is an INDFK offence as the ball is considered as deliberately kicked with the foot/

There is no back pass law, it is fine to pass the ball back to the keeper with no foul. There is only a restriction of a deliberately kicked ball or a directly throw in ball by a teammate to his keeper for an illegal use of hands and a USB caution to the player who circumvent these LOTG criteria that ask you NOT to do either! If a player was to do this, aside from looking like a complete doorknob, he could be guilty of PIADM if an opponent is close by plus if there is that much time to be able to wait, lie down and try to deflect a ball off the head so a keeper can use his hands to waste 6 seconds then punt it away is so ludicrously imbecilic I can not fathom why anyone could possibly think it a good idea to do so?

Although a referee is likely to award an indfk after cautioning show the yellow card to this buffoon ,

I think I would be laughing so hard as the opposition pounded the loose ball into the back of the net it likely would not occur to me to do so. I would have to wonder how the ball arrived at the head and decide from there but truthfully it is just a dumb idea period!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Michael
As you know there is a restriction in the Laws which prevents a ball being handled by a goalkeeper when the ball has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team mate. The kick can be in any direction although the majority of times it is backwards.
Now if a player tries to circumvent that Law by doing something that is a trick such as lying down to head the ball on the ground or flicking the ball up to the head then that is circumvention and that is punished by a caution for unsporting behaviour and the restart is an IDFK from where the circumvention happened. It makes no difference whether the goalkeeper handled the ball or not in those situations.
So what you have described of dropping to the ground to head the ball reads to me like a trick to circumvent which is USB. In normal play the player would kick the ball. If the ball was bouncing around or clearly in the air then a normal; header back to the goalkeeper would be legal.

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