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Question Number: 30027

Law 18 - Common Sense 1/17/2016

RE: Rec Adult

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

This situation came up in our game last night and I discussed it after the game with a team-mate who also is a referee.

The opposing player was shielding the ball in the corner, with two of our players marking him closely from behind. We were down by a goal and needed to stop the time-wasting. Eventually it was knocked out for a goal kick.

Question: could one of our players have stepped out of bounds to get to the other side of the player and get a kick on the ball?

My team-mate thought that might fall into the Law that states no player can leave the field without the ref's permission. We know that, in practice, a player could step out of the field to get around an opponent who is blocking his path. Is this not along the same lines?

If there's a problem¦ does it get any better if the player steps back on the line before contacting the ball?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Yes this is perfectly acceptable as it is part of a playing movement. The reason why it rarely happens is that it can usually be a one on one situation so the opponents by going past the player with the ball off the field of play then allows the player in possession to turn away. I see it all the time that players will never go past to challenge from the goal line side and more often they stay behind perhaps committing a foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Barry,
YES you are correct.
the touchlines and goal lines are to mark the field for the ball in play. When a player with the ball gets close to them often the opposition will have to go around to attack the ball. We consider this as part of the normal playing conditions. The reason they run the ball into the corner is the 5 ft corner flag acts as a deterrent to doing so at times.\ Cheers

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