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Question Number: 31116

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 12/16/2016

RE: Adult

Ceazer Chew of Perth, Western Australia Australia asks...

Hi there.

team A scores a goal and the ball is brought back to the middle for the restart. Without the referee blowing the whistlem Team B plays the ball and manages to score a goal in the one passage of play. The referee has allowed the goal to stand even though there was protest from the other team suggesting he didn't restart the play properly.

There is video evidence showing that no whistle was used to restart the play. What actions can be taken? Will the goal still count?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ceazar
The use of the whistle is not compulsory in the Laws and the Laws only refer to the use of a signal. The Practical Guidelines do refer to the use of a whistle as outlined by a Referee Grove although that document is technically not part of the 17 Laws, in this case Law 8.
Now there will be times when the game restarts without a whistle and most times it is never questioned. I have on occasions had teams take kick offs on goals without my signal and I simply allowed play to continue without question. I could call it back if I so wished had say the conditions were not in place.
Now in this situation if all the conditions of a proper restart are in place then the whistle, while advised, is not a condition that is an error in Law that is protestable if not used. Okay it would be better that it did not happen and a small peep sorts it yet the other side of this is that the team knows what is going to happen so is it really such an issue?
Have a look at this video
The whistle is used by the referee! Has the team a gripe here?
Here are two other examples
Some referees will not allow these to happen while others plainly do. Nothing in law to say it is wrong once the players are in their own half and the ball is put into play at the centre circle.
Here is another video
There is a substitution and a free kick with 10 yards requested. The referee does not use the whistle for the restart and the goal is scored. The Blue team protest vehemently because no whistle was used resulting in one player getting sent off. While it was poor mechanics there was no error in Law that could be protested. The other side of this is had the referee peeped the whistle as he moved back would the conceding team been any better prepared?

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ceazar,
As ref McHugh says, the main body of the law that describes the procedure for a kick off only says that ''the referee gives a signal'' and does not specify that the whistle must be used.

Having said that, there is another section of the laws entitled 'Practical Guidelines for Match Officials'' wherein it is stated:

''The whistle is needed to:
 start play [...] after a goal''

So I guess there is a slight inconsistency here. Personally, I prefer that the whistle be used at a kick off, as recommended in the Practical Guidelines. However, since the wording of Law 8 does not mandate the use of a whistle and the other section is a guideline rather than an actual law, I would very much doubt that this would be seen as sufficient of a technical error as to constitute grounds for an appeal.

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