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Question Number: 31441

Law 13 - Free Kicks 4/7/2017

RE: Varsity High School

Aaron Speca of Virginia Beach, VA United States asks...

This is a weird one I still can't figure out. This is a DFK restart for blue, and for some reason I can't detect there's a violation that results in an IFK for white from the same spot.

The only thing I can figure is that the wind had caused the ball to move before the kick is taken and they kicked a moving ball, but if it was because of the wind wouldn't it just be a retake? (check out the corner flag)

This was early in the match; after a few minutes the CR allowed a 'holder' for most free kicks the remainder of the match.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Aaron,
the only thing that makes sense is the referee saw this as a double touch by the kicker. Thus an INDFK out. Other than that if he was concerned the ball was rolling and it needed to be retaken. Leaving a foot on top & removing it as a way of dealing with high winds could work. It looked as if she stuck a foot out to reposition the ball that MIGHT have been construed as an initial kick then backed off as the other ran over top and when she kicked it he counted it as double touch????? For me it was play on!

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Aaron,
If it helps, I can't figure it out either!
There's a player near the ball when the ball is slowly rolling. I'm wondering if the referee thought that player kicked it to put it into play, the second player didn't touch it, then the first player kicked it again.
Perhaps the thinking was the first 'touch' set it up for the 2nd player to come in and run with the ball, but even though that didn't happen the referee was still running off that decision.
Occasionally the referee does have a slightly difficult decision in trying to work out if the first touch was seeking to put a ball into play or if it was just positioning, and sometimes the referee isn't really able to figure that out until seeing what happens after.
On the video it looks like an incorrect decision.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Aaron
What I believe happened is that the kicker first touched the ball with the foot either trying to steady the ball or whatever. The second player runs over it making no contact and by that time the ball is already on the move from the wind. The kicker then comes in and kicks the ball for the cross. The referee IMO decides that it is a double touch and restarts with an IDFK. It is harsh to assume that the first touch by a Blue player put the ball in play when in fact it was the wind. The referee could have opined that the first touch was in fact to put the ball in play for the second player who just steps over the ball.
I watched one recently in a Pro level game and a player touched the ball to a team mate who missed the touch by his team mate. The kicker then played the ball again for a clear double touch. In that case the ball was moved by the kicker on the first touch and put into play.

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