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Question Number: 29495

Law 13 - Free Kicks 6/22/2015

RE: competetive Adult

John Dizonno of Buffalo Grove, IL Lake asks...

Attacking team has a indirect kick; the player just touches the top of the ball, the ball does not move and the second player kicks the ball into the goal. What is the proper restart?

Goal kick or do they get to do the kick again?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John,
on any free kick the ball must be moved a discernable distance to be put in play. From your description a goal kick is the appropriate restart if you feel the 1st touch did not qualify as putting the ball in play. There is no retake unless your arm was not raised signalling an INDFK. If your arm is raised you are aware you drop it the moment you feel the ball is in play? The team kicking would see at that run over and tap on top the ball DID NOT qualify as a proper kick because your ARM would remained raised.

Also if the other team starts their rush in, accepting it as kicked, then go with it! I tend to be pretty liberal about ball movement, if I see it wobble the stomp tap is ok but a definite roll is easier to discern and thus not cause ANY misunderstandings.

I prefer the ball not being touched at ALL unless a strong wind is blowing it before the first kick is delivered. I have seen a few free kicks get disputed as trick plays the old roll over at the corner or pull the ball with the sole of the foot to reposition the ball then leaving it as you never did put it into play to be somewhat irritating. In my opinion, the referee should not be confused, the ball is in play or it is not!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
As the first touch did not put the ball into play then a goal cannot be scored directly from the kick that does because it is indirect. The restart is a goal kick not a retake.
Now this is the tricky part. The Laws only requires that the ball is kicked and moved. It does to state how far so a discernible movement is sufficient. If the kick moves the ball and the opponents are satisfied that it is kicked then in my opinion the referee should accept that.
Have a look at this video
The defending team has decided that the ball has been kicked and attack the ball. To disallow a goal here had the ball entered the net would in my opinion be unwise.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi John,

To be put into play, the ball must be kicked and moved. So, if it doesn't move, the it's the second kick that puts it into play - so we treat that as the first touch.

The question is - what does 'moved' mean? Does it actually have to roll off its position? Or what if it just wobbles on the spot? Some referees will not consider it moved if it just wobbles. Personally, I think 'moved' means 'visual movement'. So for me, a wobble is sufficient.

In the clip Ref McHugh posted, I would agree that the ball has definitely moved there.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Wow. Now this can get us in quantum physics here. For me moves means it must go from one point to another. Merely tapping the too of the ball is not movements the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. Thus goal kick.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


For the ball to enter play on a free kick, it must be kicked and move. There is of course no true definition given to 'and move'. It falls under the opinion of the referee. In the scenario above, a tap has likely NOT moved the ball. This means we still need a touch in order to score. Since the ball entered the goal without that second touch, the restart would be a GK.

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