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Question Number: 29529

Law 16 - Goal Kick 7/12/2015

RE: Social Adult

Andrew of Scarborough, Western Australia Australia asks...

We just had a strange decision where the opposition took a throw near our goal.
They threw it down the touchline looking for their player, but neither their attacker nor our defender touched it and it went out of play past the goal line.
The ref then spent about five minutes blowing his whistle, until he explained that because no-one touched it, it wasn't a goal kick (6 yard box) but a free kick from where the ball went out and we ended up taking the kick from the touchline around 2m from the corner post.
I guess my question is: what was the ref smoking? and why didn't he share?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Andrew,
whatever the referee is smoking best avoid it if it causes mind cramps like that??
There is zero justification for such a decision. Unless the thrower ran own and touched/played the ball...BEFORE.. it exited the FOP? Only the referee knows (If he remembers) the why or rational for such a weird decision. The only acceptable restart is the goal kick for a ball last touched by the opposition before crossing your goal line.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Well let's see. The ball went over the goal line, last touched by the attacking team (the thrower), and a goal was not scored. That's the definition of a goal kick. I don't know what the ref was thinking (or smoking).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
Certainly on the face of it a weird decision. The only logical decision was a goal kick as the ball crossed the goal line last touched by an attacking player.
I was trying to think what possible reason for a free kick in such a location. Now there are situations that a free kick is taken from where the ball was located when play was stopped which could include close to the goal line. Those include where a substitute entered the field of play without permission and interfered with play or the referee stopped play to caution a player for say a breach of law 4. None of that happened here so I believe the referee got the decision badly wrong.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

By the sounds of it the ref didn't share because he didn't have anything left!!

Sounds like you already know this was completely wrong.

With a throw-in, once the ball has entered the field of play (and I mean, any sliver of the ball is above the line) and the throw-taken correctly, the ball is in play. So if it goes out, it's exactly the same as if it went out after being kicked around in play for 5 minutes.

So in your case, it should definitely have been a goal kick. This isn't an entirely unusual situation.

Another similar case is when the throw is taken, the ball is above the line but swerves back out. That makes it a throw to the other team - but it also demonstrates my point about why it should have been a goal kick in your scenario.

In my earlier years I had a committe role on my local Referee's Association. We always really appreciated receiving feedback on these sorts of decision (blatantly incorrect interpretation of the law), so we could educate the referee.

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