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Question Number: 31329

Law 13 - Free Kicks 3/9/2017

RE: Rec Adult

David Youngs of Irvine, CA United States asks...

On a free kick the player quickly takes the kick and kicks it directly at an opponent about 1 yard from the ball. He kicked it lightly so as to have it bounce back to him so he could play the ball. This was an intentional play on his part.
Should this be allowed? Or should it be considered unsporting behavior?
In essence, he struck the opponent with the ball but with no significant force.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi David,

This tactic is perfectly fine. It's quite a risky tactic - so while I understand your concerns, it's not among the things we should be considering to 'circumvent the laws of the game'.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi David,
As Ref Wright says, this is perfectly OK. In fact, there is wording in Law 13 that specifically addresses this point, as follows:

''If a player, while correctly taking a free kick, intentionally kicks the ball at an opponent in order to play the ball again but not in a careless or reckless manner or using excessive force, the referee allows play to continue.''

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi David
perfectly acceptable as long as no malice (directed into face or groin )or excessive force used
Note the three videos although not exactly what you were referring too it shows possible issues.

2010 dean saunders of Sheffield united cheeky tactic

player not respecting ten yards not being respected

kicking ball at player


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
Older referees will remember when this was not allowed. Not any longer and as described there is no offence with play continuing. The same also now applies to a throw in with the Law specifically mentioning this as outlined by a Referee Grove

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