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Question Number: 30566

Mechanics 7/4/2016

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

In Saturday's Eurocup match between Germany and Italy, in extra time, did I see the keeper mistakenly clear the ball into the back of the refereeŽ and when the ball came back into the PA: a player pick it up with his hands?

The only explanation I could think of was that it was a free kick and the referee contact was made inside the box, thus it had never cleared the box, so wasn't yet in play.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Yes an interesting situation which can be seen here
I understand the referee awarded a free kick to Germany for a foul by an Italian player on the goalkeeper. As the whistle had sounded the German defender picked the ball up for the free kick.
Now I felt the foul was generous to the GK as it appeared that the Italian attacker did not do very much if anything wrong?
Finally it points to poor mechanics by the referee. He should not have turned his back on the ball even if he felt that he needed to sprint to the drop area. He should have ran backwards watching clearly what was going on around the ball. Had he done that he could have avoided the ball. As it turned out he could have been embarrassed greatly had the ball fell to an attacker or entered the goal directly. I suspect he was so consumed with getting to the next phase of play that the only way he could do that is sprinting not running backwards. However little sense in worrying about where the ball might go when the gives should always be on where the is

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


Very interesting scenario here. It does appear that the decision was a foul of some sort as it appears that all the players stopped. What the foul was... your guess is as good as mine. I will differ with Referee McHugh on the mechanics here though. Yes, we are taught to never turn our backs to play as we are coming up as referees, but let's put some context into this situation.

The referee is sprinting to the next phase of play as he sniffs a quick counter attack. This thought is justified as it takes approximately 3 seconds between the goalkeeper catching the ball until it is punted. If the referee is backpedaling in this scenario, he will be well behind play and will never catch up.

Further, there are 6 officials on each of these games. I would bet in the pregame that the referee told the goal-line official to watch the area while the referee was moving to the next phase of play. I would bet it was also this official who made the foul determination.

Finally, it was a bad punt by the goalkeeper which started this whole issue otherwise we wouldn't even be discussing it it :).

As to your last question, the ball never left play so there was no requirement for it to have to leave the box.

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