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Question Number: 29781

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 10/5/2015

RE: Rec Under 8

Bret Good of Mission Viejo, California United States asks...

What do you do when you are not sure of which play kicked the ball out of play?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Then you have to guess!

Some referees will promote the idea that it goes to the defender if you're not sure.

Sometimes the players will know though. If, for instance, one team seems to be moving for the throw-in and the other team seem happy to accept this, then there's no need to intervene. This will happen more in older games.

Sometimes you can pick this up straight away and give a fairly quick signal anyway, and still look like you know what happened!

The most important thing is not to look like you don't know. When you do give a signal, still give it clearly and with confidence.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bret
Give what you see. Now the technical answer is that the referee can go with a dropped ball. That rarely if ever happens. Yes there can be times when it is doubtful yet make the decision based on what way it looked. A referee or assistant is not going to see every minor touch and if say a forward kicks the ball and it looks like it came off the defender then that is the decision.
Now we can look for tell tale signs in the movements of players after the ball leaves the field of play. A defender backing up close to the action to defend tells us that it is not his teams throw. Defenders moving into position to defend a corner kick tells us that is what it is. It can also be helpful to just wait a second or so and see what the players do. Many times they can agree themselves with the decision already made.
In a recent game I thought a throw in was to Red and I waited a second. Green gets the ball with no complaint from Red. I would have been *wrong* if I decided yet no one knew.
Now the ones that cause the difficulty are the doubtful ones which involve close touches . In a recent Champions League game I saw an AR award a goal kick. An Arsenal player thought it was a corner so much so that he got cautioned for dissent. The video replay showed that the AR was indeed correct and the ball last came off the challenging Arsenal player that got cautioned.
At very young ages it does not matter very much. It is just about getting the ball back into play. Indeed with perhaps so many players around the ball it can come off any amount of players. Give what looks like the most obvious correct decision.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Bret,
hmmm there are times when the obvious clue is their body language! i.e.white goes to get it as the blue player readies to defend, chance are white throw is the best course of action but often both teams will think it was theirs and act accordingly. If you do decide upon a course of action in uncertain last touch situations be sure you apply your version of equality to both sides. Giving the 1st uncertain one to one side the next one to the other, even if you promote going with attacking play or going with the defense in all situations at either end of the field.

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