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Question Number: 29698

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/14/2015

Jason of Wylie, TX US asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29684

Thank you for the clarification. Makes perfect since now.
Coincidentally, this came up for me this past weekend. Only this time I was the coach. The ball was kicked into the chest of one of my girls from 5 yards away and she pulled her arms to her chest, didn't move them afterwards, called for handling both times.
I have worked with the entire crew before, and the CR and I get along great. I consider him a mentor, and he is actually the one that gives me a hard time about letting these calls go. So after the game I had to give him a little ribbing about it. lol

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
In my game yesterday I had an incident where a midfielder swung his arm and batted the ball to the ground. My initial reaction was that it was his turning movement that caused the contact with the ball not that he deliberately intended to swat the ball. I gave the free kick and there was no complaint from the conceding side. If I waved it away it would have caused hassle which in the game which I did not need at that time.
Now how a player raises the hands for protection can have a bearing on the call. There is a huge difference between the player turning away with an instinctive arm raise for protection to the player moving towards the ball using the raised arm to charge the ball down. Sometimes referees don't discern the difference and see the arms raised as a deliberate act of handling. Perhaps on another day another referee might not give the calls. What it does highlight is that players at their peril raise their hands towards the ball.

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