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Question Number: 30943

Law 17 - The Corner Kick 10/23/2016

RE: Rec Under 13

Patrick of Bel Air, MD USA asks...

I have coached my players to take short corner kicks with a striker and a wing both placing the ball quickly, and getting in play as fast as possible, usually a short 2-3 yard pass from the arc.

The defense began marking the player receiving the short corner, eventhough he was only 2-3 yards from the corner. I complained to the official at half time. I agreed, if the ball went out near the flag, and my team played quickly so as not to give the defender time to retreat 10 yards, then the defense was entitled to be close to the flag.

However, if the defenders weren't within 10 yards at the time of the corner, they shouldn't be permitted to 'follow' my player who is attempting to receive the short, quick corner.

The referee stated that he wasn't going to allow my team to have both 'advantages' of the quick corner, and the 10 yards. And that my team would have to request the 10 yards each and every time, slowing down the play. I explained to him that I thought this was incorrect. He said he would check with his partner, who agreed with him.

I still believe I am correct, that the defending team should not be allowed to intrude on the 10 yards from the ball space, and that repeatedly doing so should warrant a caution.

Please let me know your interpretation. Thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Patrick
This has become a problem for the game so much so that a marking had to be introduced to delineate 10 yards. It is regularly ignored with impunity.
Now if the player is within 10 yards and he is retreating then that is fine. Any quick start has to take account of players who are already within 10 yards and retreating. Different matter entirely on the player that comes from a distance at a restart to prevent it by encroaching within 10 yards. That is certainly a warning on the first occasion and a caution on a repeat. Indeed Law 12 actually spells it out as a caution for ** failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a CORNER KICK, free kick or throw-in** My capitals.
So it is just like a free kick and must be treated similarly. Defending player already there and retreating is a decision that the kicking team has to make on the restart. Coming forward within 10 or already with 10 stopping the kick by forward movement should be prevented.
Now there are many times when teams decide not to go with the corner kick in such circumstances and it then gets *ceremonial* just like the free kick. The referee moves the player/ s back. The challenge there is that the team has accepted the circumstances rather than taking the restart. I also see teams not take it short when there is only one opponent in the area. Teams if they want to play short should be set up in a way that the single player is easily dealt with through movement of the two attacking players in the corner.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Patrick,

I began writing this post by stating what I suspect was going through that referees mind, but I really can't figure it out! There's no obligation for players to kick the ball any particular distance - short corner is the right of your players. Like a short free kick.

10 yards is also their right. You get both rights.

As you state, once the corner is taken the players accept the position of the opponents if they're already within 10 yards - but if those players are withing 10 yards and move to intercept the ball before it is kicked then that's a cautionable offence. Same if they move within 10 yards, or aren't retreating 10 yards.

Usually in these cases it's managed by the referee rather than cautioned, but a caution is certainly an option.

In this case I'm going to have to say that the coach is right and the referee was wrong!

Fortunately I don't think too many referees will maintain that perspective. The referee may fail to take action on defenders encroaching 10 yards - and the players asking for 10 yards can certainly assist with this.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Patrick,
please tell me you are thinking of taking the referee course and becoming a referee? ;o) You are spot on in your thinking and if you have an opportunity to pass this information on to the official of this match you might suggest he have a peek at the LOTG again to refresh his memory.
At the elite level they even mark a ten meter hashtag on the goal line to remind the players a corner kick ,being a free kick, requires 10 yards. You have every right to take the corner quickly and at whatever distance you wish and once again you are spot on in recognizing that if you choose to do so you accept if there are defenders closer then 10 yards who are not yet backed up as the LOTG require. HOWEVER, unfortunately the whistle restart of corners is now fashionable given the barrage of garbage activity that occurs within the PA , forcing referees to constantly try and manage the ridiculous pushing, pulling and holding going on. So asking for ten yards is really buying into this quagmire of intervention. Unfortunately the coach being correct does not make the referee do what is right which would be to ensure the defenders do not get to shut you done prematurely by encroaching. Tactically two players at the corner should be able to manage one defender too close but watch out for offside on the return pass.

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