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Question Number: 31518

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/8/2017

RE: Competitive Under 19

Steven of Plano, tx usa asks...

Hi, I have two questions:

1) I was the center for a competitive 18 year old match. Attacker receives a pass and uses his chest to stop the ball, lets the ball bounce off his chest, and attempts to do a bicycle kick into the opposition goal. Simultaneously, Defender attempts to head the ball away while the attacker is in the process of doing the bicycle kick. Defender and teammates complain that a high kick should be awarded. In the end I did not award one. What should be the right call in this situation?

2) In another match, I was also the center in this case. Attacker heads the ball pretty high up to the point he tries to run up and go for a second header. Defender also sees it and is standing in the place where the ball is falling down and gets ready to try to head the ball. However, neither of them see each other and they end up colliding into one another. Defender complains it should be a foul against attacker. I ended up not calling anything due to judging it to be a 50/50 call. In your opinion is that correct?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Steven,
As I read your description, both of these sound like decisions that could go either way and in the end, it is up to the referee on the day to make the decision (as stated in Law 5) ''according to the Laws of the Game and the spirit of the game and [...] based on the opinion of the referee who has the discretion to take appropriate action within the framework of the Laws of the Game.''

When it comes to the first incident, the Laws do give specific guidance, to wit:

''A scissors or bicycle kick is permissible provided that it is not dangerous to an opponent.'' So if in this instance there was no danger to the defender, you would be justified in allowing it. However, if the opponent was endangered, you should give the offence.

The second incident is a classic example of something that is purely up to the referee. If you saw it as a simple 'coming together' with no fault on either side then there is no-one who can gainsay it.

As the saying goes, ''Your match, your decision, your reputation.''

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Steven,
Your first one is a tossup because I do not have sufficient information o give an opinion yes it was or was not!
There is no foul of a high kick just PIADM which can include that type of high foot action. The bicycle kick is an impressive display of athleticism but it can indeed be done unsafely. Now whether it IS a PIADM infraction will depend on the opinion of the referee as to how & when it is performed!

Often the player performing the kick will have TIME and position to accomplish such a maneuver safely. Thus no infraction even if a close by opponent watches in awe!

Then again if that ball was being contested in a challenge and was at a height to be headed or played by the chest and the opponent faced a flashing foot at head height while trying to challenge then it could very well be a PIADM or if he is actually kicked, a DFK offence.

You ask the right call ? It is what YOU see and based on what your understanding of the LOTG on PIADM are up to that point!

Your second one has me leaning to a foul created by the player who first headed the ball because if his opponent has the best position on the ball coming back down then the ramming was done to remove him out of the way as opposed to just a neutral coming together ? That what it appears to be. As in adjudging the situation it is but a guess based on your available information. Given it I have not witnessed the event or reviewed a video. It might well be a fair challenge shoulder to shoulder going up at he same time but who collides into who here?

As referee your opinion on a fact of play is final but if you are reviewing decisions to better understand them I suggest having your matches monitored, assessed & videoed. It is important to get quality feedback from your peers and to be upgraded by an association intent on turning out better educated officials. Training, observation, attention to details, assessments and ongoing monitoring. It is hard to play back a moment in time after an event but good on you for seeking post game reviews a it shows you are trying to improve and understand.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steven
Thanks for your questions
1. In the situation where a player attempts a bicycle kick it must not pose any danger to an opponent. If the opponent is close enough to the high ball to head it then IMO there is a danger from a bicycle kick or for that matter any high boot and it is PIADM. Now the high kick that poses no risk is where the opponent/s are a number of paces from the ball with no hope of playing it and makes no attempt to move his head to the ball. There are times when there is a fine line in that proximity and only the referee on the day can call it based on the direction of the boot and the stance of the player and location of opponents.
Have a look at these bicycle kicks
Most pose no risk and there are two that are questionable. The opponents though appear to turn away either to block the shot or for protection? I think those two are probably okay given that the players come forward a distance to the ball and sense what is going to happen.
2 On your second question I would be leaning towards a foul on the defender. He is under the ball watching it come down and the attacker through his movement charges into him. If both were moving towards the ball then one can argue that it was an accidental coming together and it is play on. When players are on the move only then there is an onus on the players to look where they are going to ensure that they does not crash into an opponent.
Now having said that, earlier in the season I had a somewhat similar situation. The attacker knew that there was going to be contact from a defender inside the penalty area on a ball that went straight up in the air and on contact went down easily looking for a penalty. The attacker made no attempt to play the ball. I waved it away on the basis that the attacker looked for the contact and the foul. That happen less at higher levels of the game as players move into the ball when it is there to be won and as a result it will be a more of a physical aerial challenge.
Now as to your calls on the day I would say that they could go either way

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