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Question Number: 31335

High School 3/11/2017

RE: Rec High School

Salvador Flores of Indianapolis , IN Usa asks...

There's a ball bouncing and a defender tries to clear the ball but there's an attacker close by. As the defender is trying to clear the ball is low on the ground bouncing and when he tries to clear the ball the attacker bows his head and heads the ball foward and as that happens the defender kicks the player in the face since he missed the ball. Is that a foul and if it is how would you restart the play?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Sal
this happens every so often look at this john terry getting kicked

john terry doing the kicking lol

In both cases no one was sent off and truthfully I do not recall the restart it was either drop ball or a goal kick I think. Personally I am fine with a PK send off for the 1st one and DFK out with a send off for the 2nd one lol
There is some thought of PIADM as precipitating these incidents and If the player bends down to head a low ball as it is being kicked an INDFK for getting his teeth knocked out is heavy price to pay but I think you have to call these more than a coming together when they are reckless or excessive in your unsafe actions and force used or a careless action initiated with no thought to the consequences .
Your Match Your Decision Your Reputation Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Salvador
All players have a duty of care to themselves and opponents. Players should not be dropping down low to try to head a ball that is likely to be kicked with an opponent close by and neither should a player raise his boot high to kick a ball that is more likely to be headed.
Now there will be extremes at either end which are easy decisions. There will be ones though in the middle range that will be gray areas and could go either way. It is a matter for the referee to decide based on the circumstances.
In your example the attacker as described is guilty of playing in a dangerous manner by trying to head a ball close to the ground that is more likely to be played by the foot. The restart is an IDFK to the defending team. That though may be seen as harsh particularly with the attacker getting kicked in the face for his troubles. It was a risky play and unfortunate that it ends up with a kick on the player.

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