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Question Number: 29476

Law 18 - Common Sense 6/12/2015

RE: Travel Under 11

Matt of Bristow, VA USA asks...

A DFK is awarded to Blue in the defensive half. Blue #1 stops the ball three yards behind the spot of the foul pauses and looks for where he is going to kick it. Given that it was in the defensive half of the field, I was ok with the restart location. He then passes to Blue #2 who is standing at the location of the foul. Blue #2 stops the ball with his hand. I award a DFK to White for handling. Blue#2 protests that the ball was just being moved to the spot of the foul. The pass took a couple of seconds to be completed during which I mentally was thinking the ball was in play so when it was handled I made the call.

In retrospect, given the age, I think it may have been a bit harsh. Your thoughts? Does age/ability level matter? Also, if I judged that that was the real intent could I have restarted with a drop ball for an inadvertent whistle if play had not been restarted?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Matt
From what you describe this can go either way although I would agree that you feel that it was harsh. Put it this way. Would you have awarded a penalty kick if the handling happened inside the penalty area when the ball was kicked from outside the penalty area to inside in a similar manner? At Under 11 I suspect no ulterior motive other than to take the free kick from the correct location. I would calculate in to my decision previous instructions given in the game such as request to re spot the ball on other free kicks, players desire to take the restarts from the correct locations.
At open age I would be much harsher particularly if the circumstances looked like an attempt to avoid a challenge or a late change of plan with the free kick.

Not quite sure of your final point. If you did not want to award the free kick then technically a dropped ball is appropriate although I see little point in doing that. It is either a foul or it is not and if it is an inadvertent whistle then it suggests that there was no foul so why not just restart with the free kick from the correct location. The referee will encounter much more grief with a dropped ball restart than going with the retake from the correct location.




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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Matt,
it is good you are self evaluating, I can assume you were not mentored or assessed during the match because it likely someone would have agreed with your own evaluation, that yes it was harsh given at u 11 and the obvious reason why the hands were used. While we are not to interfere in the decision making of those playing as little as possible this might be a good time to do so pointing out the blue players were wanting to obey the LOTG and take the restart from correct restart location. Thereby simply making it a whistle restart from that point of the handling as the original DFK foul awarded to blue earlier. I see no reason for a drop ball as an inadvertent whistle just restart with the DFK originally awarded to blue. It is true a restart location in the defensive third does not have to fit a blade of grass location as one just outside the penalty area in the attacking third but consider this a teaching moment for them and you!
Cheers



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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

When dealing with handling, it can be useful to ask 'why did he do that?'
The answer in your match was that he was stopping the ball so that it was not moving when the ball was put into play.

If a player has no reason to cheat, the player probably isn't cheating. Conversely, if the player has a good reason to deliberately handle the ball, he probably did.



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