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Question Number: 29684

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/11/2015

Jason of Wylie, TX USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29679

What Referee Wickham says about playing the ball after the contact is what I have heard from other referees, but is contradictory to the answers I got in question 29653. Just wondering if this is just a 'in the opinion of the referee' call. If there is accidental contact or contact from a protective reaction, I'm not calling anything. No matter if they gain control of the ball or not. That's seems to be the right call according to my last question.
Of course I could just be reading his response the wrong way. Ha!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
I read the answers as consistent. What is suggested is that after the accidental contact that the player then makes a deliberate action to redirect the ball. That is two separate actions.
As regards the previous answers the outcome of the ball hitting an arm or hand when it is not deliberate makes no difference to the call. Okay it is never an easy call when a team gains a huge advantage and the opponents feel hard done by when the ball has comes off an arm advantageously.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jason,
the ball hits the arm no foul, you decide to redirect the ball after it impacts, foul.
It is often instinctive to deliberately push or swat more than pull away and of course not making any effort to get out of the way if there was time, again, a deliberate action. The most positive thing a referee can do for the teams, is be consistent with their views, based on the experience and knowledge he has accumulated. If you hold the opinion, it was NOT deliberate, you are correct not to award a foul. As I mentioned BECAUSE it is an EASY spot, ball meeting hand or vice versa, it gets negative attention from those seeing a blatant advantage off what MIGHT have been looked at by others as a foul... You need to be firm and confident and aware that dissent on any call is part of the game!

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

If there is incidental contact with the ball, it is not a foul even if the ball falls to the advantage of the player (or even enters the goal).

But, after the initial contact, if the player then controls the ball with the arm, the player has committed the foul of deliberate handling of the ball.

Younger and inexperienced players may not be able to do this, but experienced players learn how to disguise a deliberate handling of the ball after the initial contact. For example, a younger player may raise an arm to block a shot to the face - but has no idea where the ball will land (and doesn't care); an experience player can not only block the shot, but then control where the ball goes. They practice how to cheat this way.

As a referee, watch the elbow. It commonly moves toward the body when there is a reflexive move to protect the body. It commonly moves away from the body when the experience player is controlling the ball.

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