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Question Number: 31454

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/15/2017

RE: Rec Under 15

David Matos of Jonesboro, Georgia USA asks...

In our game today a PK was awarded to our team. We took the PK and it was blocked by the keeper, a defenseman then grabbed the bouncing ball in the 6 yard box. We had 3-4 players running in for the ball at the time.

The Ref Cautioned (Yellow Card) the player and awarded a second PK for the handball.

I felt he should have been dismissed since it clearly prevented a scoring opportunity.

The ref stated to me that 'it was not preventing a scoring opportunity' basically because it was a rebound off the keeper and therefore did not merit a red card.

I politely told him I disagreed. The team that did this already has been booked with a Red and dismissal for the same thing earlier this season.

I appreciate any insight.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi David,
A referee would not consider a past history of a sending off in a previous match for a set of circumstances however similar in your mind as a reason to make a decision. The referee would have to arrive at a decision based on HIS current level of understanding the LOTG and the integrity of his neutrality in their application of what he saw in your match.

The act of deliberate handling is not an AUTOMATIC sending off . The referee must be convinced that it meets certain criteria that in fact the ball COULD have entered the goal or was about to be deposited into goal except for the act by the defender preventing it. As a rebound the ball is NOT headed into the goal so direction is not certain as criteria . There are 3 other criteria which my colleague Ref McHugh alluded to we take into consideration. It is possible the other attackers COULD kick the ball into the goal if it was not grabbed thus a denial of opportunity is certainly possible but then was the keeper about to grab it? Was the ball grabbed as it was going to leave the FOP over the goal line for a corner or a goal kick? Were there other defenders trying to kick the ball away ?

The PK was for the deliberate handling as a DFK offence inside the penalty area it is the mandated restart .

The referee made a judgment and only cautioned the deliberate handling inside the PA as unsporting NOT as a denial of the opportunity possibly thinking the PK is an extension of that opportunity so it was not truly lost. . . If THAT was the case the referee has not paid attention to the latest information that a deliberate handling is a send off if it denies a goal or a obvious scoring opportunity in or out of the PA.

"However, where the offence is handball or clearly not a genuine attempt to play or challenge for the ball (as defined in the wording) the player will be sent off"

There was a rethinking going on about having to expel those when the opportunity to score is still very good as most PKs have a 75% plus conversion rate. I think you should have your PK kickers practise more so as not to miss those PK opportunities! lol "When a DOGSO offence is committed by a defender in the penalty area, the penalty kick effectively restores the goal-scoring opportunity so the punishment for the player should be less strong (a YC) than when the offence is committed outside the penalty area. "

So in conclusion you maybe correct, that indeed the defender did deny a goal scoring opportunity by a deliberate handling and could have been shown the red card & sent off . Still the referee chose to caution show a yellow be it the right thing to do given he did not see it as a DOGSOH (as an opinion on a fact of play it can not be disputed, even if it was based on the referee being unaware that it should be a end off or there was insufficient criteria to be 100% certain.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
Referees evaluate each foul that occurs when there is an opportunity to score to determine whether or not an opportunity has been denied.
In evaluating that the referee must decide that all the conditions of a DOGSO are present which are referrred to as the 4Ds. These are
# The Distance between the offence and the goal
# The likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball Distance to the ball.
# The Direction of the play
# The location and number of Defenders.
All four need to be present and there may be times when one is missing such as say the offence happens while the players are moving away from goal - direction of play or the attacker was well away from the goalkeeper and it was simply a misjudgement of location - distance to the ball in which case there is no DOGSO.
In this case the attacker does not have the ball do the referee has to determine what roulette happen had the handling not happened. Does the bill go to an unmarked forward, is the angle of any potential play a good opportunity to score,
Yes many times it will be a DOGSOsending off but not every time. The circumstances previously was no doubt different as perhaps might be the opinion of what happens next.

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