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Question Number: 31419

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/3/2017

RE: Varsity High School

Aaron Speca of Virginia Beach, VA 23456 asks...

What do we think of this play?

Player in black did sustain a head injury when her head hit the turf, which is one reason I raise this due to the concern over head injuries and the fact that studies show significantly more head injuries occur due to 'rough play' than due to heading the soccer ball.

No call on field (either on the tackle or the subsequent tackle by the defender in black on the attacker in white).

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Aaron
This was a foul by White on Black and it should have been a DFK. I suspect the challenge for the referee here was a poor angle of view and the full extent of the foul contact was not seen. It probably looked like the players were in a foot wrestle for the ball with the ball being lost. Black then fell causing White to fall on her.
Another factor can be that the referees focus can be on the ball only. Watching the action at ball level can lead to other higher up contact being missed.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

This should have been called a foul. Contact like this should not be permitted in a high school game. That is why the high school soccer rules committee emphasized that teams and officials must eliminate rough play. I agree with you that allowing rough play like this will result in more head injuries. Hopefully, the referee will use this as a learning experience. Are you aware that the second most dangerous high school sport in terms of injuries is girls soccer. Rough play in a girls soccer game as shown on this video should not be allowed by the official.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Aaron,

At about 8-9 seconds into the video there's a foul by white on black. Black is trying to get past white and white is clearly holding black back.

While it's difficult from the angle on the video, it looks like there may be a charge from behind right at the end as well.

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