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Question Number: 29648

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 8/31/2015

RE: 8 College

kevin of steamboat springs, colorado usa asks...

Recently i was reffing a u14 game. A player was given a threw ball and taken out by the goalie ( a foul on the goalie). The ball popped out and went directly to an attacking player who scored. The problem is (in fear of injury as the collision looked bad) i blew the whistle. I blew the whistle while the player was shooting the ball and the overall play was not effected by the blowing of the whistle (the defense did not have time to react to player shooting.) I blew the whistle to call a PK but after seeing the overall play I ruled it a goal. I felt that the play was not effected by the whistle as the player shot and the defense would not have had time to react. What would have you done and why?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Kevin,

You are correct it is better to wait a second or two to see if there MIGHT be an advantage to be played. I do know for certainty in the MLS I watched a referee do exactly as you did BLOW the whistle just as it was being kicked into goal after a deliberate handling had occurred. After hemming and hawing, wandering about talking to his AR, he eventually signalled goal and kick off . The defender never got sent off, the other team got the goal, only the assessing team roasted his butt in the post game review! There was a notable Championship match in similar circumstances. where an early whistle took away a goal. That resulted in a PK and send off instead. So you are not alone in jumping the gun,
It totally blows chunks my friend but if you whistle play dead BEFORE the ball completely crosses the goal line under the crossbar between the posts there is no goal! There is the foul, dfk thus PK and unfortunately the spectre of DOGSO is present if indeed it was! So now the possibility of a send off. sigh You ask what would I have done ? I learned long ago to swallow the whistle when there is activity in the penalty area and a goal MIGHT result!

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Sorry, I hate to say it, but you blew it (pun intended).

Once the whistle is blown, you can't un-blow it. The game has been stopped, even if nothing that anyone could do would change what happens immediately afterwards.

You should have gone with a PK, and look at any misconduct - caution for unsporting behavior or send-off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Even though it really was you that took away the opportunity.

Use this as a learning opportunity. Slow and correct is better than fast and wrong.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Kevin,

I think we've all been in this situation to some extent. Nothing worse than a player being fouled, you can see that he has no chance of scoring, but as you blow the whistle he makes the miracle shot that slots through 6 defenders into the corner of the net.

If you've blown the whistle, then play is stopped. No way around it.

We can minimise the chance of this occurring by looking up at what's happening and taking a few extra moments if it looks like a goal is imminent. Usually there's no harm in waiting an extra couple of seconds.

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