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Question Number: 30352

Law 13 - Free Kicks 4/26/2016

RE: Select Under 16

Larry Kapenstein of Middletown, PA United States asks...

Indirect kick. First player just touches the top of the ball. Ball does not move. Second player kicks ball in goal. I didn't count the goal and gave the defensive team a goal kick to restart the game. Is this correct or should it have been a re-do?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Larry,

The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. Without movement, the first touch isn't putting it into play, so the one that actually makes the ball move is the 'first' touch. Thus, if nobody else touches it and it goes into goal, it's a goal kick. So you made the correct decision.

Bear in mind the ball doesn't have to roll - even wobbling on the spot can be movement if you can clearly see it. Although you may find some disagreement amongst referees on that!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Larry
If the ball did not move then it was not in play so a goal could not be scored directly from an IDFK. The restart is a goal kick if the ball entered the goal directly.
Now the great debate has been over the years as to what constitutes moved. IFAB the law maker has from next season added the word CLEARLY to moves. In these situations if the defenders sees the kick and they believe that the ball has in fact clearly moved followed by rushing the ball after that *kick* then that IMO may meets the requirement of clearly moved. That may be sufficient for the referee also?
Have a look at this video
Clearly the ball was not touched on what was a DFK. Now IMO had the ball been even tapped / stood on the referee would not have had to deal with the furore that ensued.
Notice the reaction of the two players in the defensive wall. Neither react to the lack of touch until the goal was scored. I suspect what happened was that the AR was looking for offside and the CR was busy looking for fouls in the penalty area and that coupled with Red 18 pursuing the scorer the referee assumed incorrectly that the ball was touched and moved.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy


This is a bit of a trick play designed to fool the opponents. Common sense tells me that you did the right thing. Actually, the ball is in play when 'it is kicked and moves'. You clearly judged that the faintest 'touch' of the ball did not satisfy that requirement so your restart was correct. Isaac Newton may not have agreed with you in that the ball did not 'move' when touched but we are not here for a physics lesson but rather to make sure the game is played fairly. Skill should prevail over trickery!

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