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Question Number: 30784

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/19/2016

RE: Junior Soccer Under 14

Martin Field of STAFFORD, United Kingdom asks...

What are the rules re 'backing in' and 'holding your ground'?

Yesterday at a game, the referee was continually giving fouls against defenders holding their ground at throw ins - when the attacker was continually and obviously backing in to them.

What are the rules please ? I admit I am not fully clear on them and would like to be able to explain the rules to my boys.

Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Martin
The key here is the likely location of the drop zone for the ball. If the ball is beyond both players and the defender hold his ground with the ball going beyond them that is holding and it will look like a foul all day long. Defenders must retreat to the ball or jump high enough to win the ball where they are stood. If in the act of jumping by the defender the forward backs in making no effort to play the ball then that is a foul for pushing using the back.
I would say that I see more fouls for players holding down opponents in such situations rather than holding ground.




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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa

Martin,

This is a tough question without being able to illustrate on the field. Referee McHugh makes some good points about what the defender should do to avoid the appearance of committing a foul. I would also add, that holding your ground also means that the defender is not committing any retaliatory foul such as pushing, holding, or charging. What a lot of newer and younger referees miss in this situation is the initial foul committed by the attacker forcing his way into the defender's space. Instead, the referee tends to see the push-off or holding by the defender and calls that second foul. A skilled defender will hold their ground but also be very subtle about any contact with the attacker so as to not be perceived as committing a foul.



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