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Question Number: 30961

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/27/2016

RE: Select Under 15

Matt of Bristow, VA USA asks...

Two questions regarding PIADM:

1) Players from opposing teams both attempt to head a ball at waist height and their heads make contact with each other. The contact was not severe enough to warrant a stoppage of play for a potential injury, but I judged both players guilty of PIADM and restarted with a drop-ball. The offense occurred just within the penalty area, so I guess you could use tactical impact as a deciding factor and give the kick to one side or the other, but I defaulted to the old rules and used a drop ball. It felt odd given the oft repeated mantra that it is nearly impossible for two infractions to occur simultaneously. Your thoughts?

2) A goalkeeper makes a diving save but gives up a rebound. With multiple players from both teams around the ball, the keeper makes no effort to get up and attempts multiple times to clear the ball by kicking it while lying on the ground. Much to the chagrin of one coach, I called him for PIADM and awarded the IDFK at the location dictated by the laws. I discussed the call afterwards with my ARs and I decided that the call was correct. Your thoughts?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Matt,
1. As described, and if this was a game played under the Laws of the Game as promulgated by the IFAB, it cannot be PIADM, because this is an indirect free kick offence, while the LotG state that any offence that involves contact must be a direct free kick or penalty kick. However, when it comes to awarding a dropped ball, this still might be a case of simultaneous offences (there can always be an exception that proves the rule).

2. Without having actually seen the incident, I am not 100% sure this would be a case of PIADM.

The definition on the LotG says:

''Playing in a dangerous manner is any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player themself) and includes preventing a nearby opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.''

If the keeper was attempting to play the ball with his feet I'm not sure it would necessarily be threatening injury either to himself or others. Also, was any opponent being prevented from playing the ball? Again, this is not entirely evident from your description

The normal scenario for PIADM with a player on the ground is an outfield player lying on top of the ball, where it would be dangerous for the prone player if other players attempt to kick the ball out from under him. Here, it seems to me the other players could quite possibly still attempt to play the ball without endangering the keeper, although it would depend partly on just how long the keeper remained on the ground and the relative positions of the various players involved as they tried to kick the ball.

Just because a player is on the ground and attempts to kick the ball, it is not necessarily PIADM. However the age and skill level of the players would also inform your decision - in a youth game you would probably be more likely to call this than in a professional, adult game.

Finally, remember that once again, PIADM involves no contact between the players. If it ends up (as seems possible with so much swinging of legs going on) with any contact between the keeper and the other players, you may have a simple kicking foul to call which could go either way, depending on who initiated the contact.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

1.) The drop ball can be used anytime you feel a stoppage necessary for something not mentioned in law. Here there is head to head contact so we must lean on the side of caution. Especially given the push with concussions lately. Yes, you could decide to give a kick if you feel one side was at more fault than the other side. I have no problem with this. Stop - make sure all are ok - and drop ball.

2.) The question here is: was an opponent adversely effected? If yes, then you are correct in the IFK. If not, play on. Sounds like you judged it to be the later and awarded an IFK. No beef from me.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Matt,
yes I have heard the indecision speech by many YET FIFA had has advice that suggests it could be simultaneous. So your concerns are born from the historical use of that tepid piece of advice, Yet rarely does it occur and if there is contact PIADM is upgraded to DFK status. If this is a teaching moment in the match to highlight what you consider an unsafe action that can be interpreted as a foul then explain to those responsible and those playing. As to not serious ? Perhaps just consider head to head as serious and thus the drop ball is the correct restart for the stoppage as a safety concern if you were truly stumped as to who is at fault without worrying to explain to an assessor about simultaneous fouls lol .

Your match your decision your reputation you felt the decision was correct and like all good officials you are self analyzing in via post game reviewing if there is room to evolve, improve or alter your knowledge. There are no better officials then those who seek to constantly improve so well done !

I would be inclined to think the keeper inside his own penalty are to be less susceptible to this foul then outside his area. The very fact they dive head first into the feet of oncoming players, you realize it is a dangerous occupation, there are risks. There is NO foul against playing or kicking or even shielding the ball on the ground. Many a goal and many a clearance occurs from such positions

Given this is a youth match I can not fault a referee for erring on safety. Such a decision like this might be a hard sell for a Man U match but in theory PIADM is at the opinion of the referee if the criteria is met.
So HOW was this criteria met?
Did any opponent stop playing the ball?
Based on the description it sounds as if they did not worry about the keeper as much as you did? I would be MORE concerned I think, if they were hacking at a ball trapped under his legs as opposed to it bouncing around being a tempting target to score or clear.

Given we must try to imagine the situation it is difficult to paint a clear picture in out minds. A key point though in yours, is you felt this was necessary. So ask yourself why? Keep in mind, WAS the ball AVAILABLE to be played! What was the danger to or created by the keeper? Was it simply the length of time the ball was bobbling about and you worried he might get hurt?

Players tackle each other for the ball all the time you judge the actions as fair or foul. I do not fault your decision to be safe and if you had not intervened and he got a solid whack to the groin or knee or head you might say ah ha I told you so but in a goal mouth scramble the keeper is usually the guy at the centre of getting the worst of it and he knows the risks. You tried to protect him from himself as he was doing his job as keeper. AT u-15 it seems sort of odd but at u-10 perhaps not. The fact the coach does not agree is hardly surprising they generally do not agree when we form an opinion against their team lol

Foul recognition is a developmental art as much as structured science and application. NO one can say with certainty you MUST or you NEED to alter or change your views as to what PIADM is or is not. Self analyzes will eventually get your gut, mind and heart in sync with your experience knowledge and compassion.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Matt
The advice is that a decision should be made not a dropped ball in such circumstances . IFAB has now changed the law in respect of simultaneous fouls (when more than one offence occurs at the same time) in that it now wants referees to punishes the more serious offence, in terms of sanction, restart, physical severity and tactical impact.
In my opinion fouls rarely if ever happen at the same split second. One player can have less chance of playing the ball fairly, one can be more careless, one is a fraction late etc. The simple answer to Q1 is who headed the ball. Had to be one of them. Which way would you give a throw in if there was no clash of heads. Once you decide that Red headed the ball then every likelihood that the opponent is the most guilty party. If a player headed the ball first and then followed through on an opponent then that can also be careless by the heading player. Foul goes against him.
Also once there is contact there cannot be an IDFK. It MUST be a DFK
On your second one the question one has to ask was whether an opponent was prevented from playing the ball for fear of kicking an opponent. In these situations it is unlikely as my experience is that attackers see the ball and will play it no matter what legs are there. It is not unusual to see attackers try to play balls that GKs have dived on. So for me I would probably not call this and adopt a Wait and See approach. Sometimes no decision can be best where the ball is kicked away or the GK manages to get a hand on it in which case it cannot then be played by anyone other than the GK.

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