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Question Number: 31611

Mechanics 6/20/2017

RE: rec, select Under 17

gary of nashua, nh usa asks...

What is the best position for the center ref to be in , in order, to assess field player encroachment during the penalty. Also, what us the restart if the kicker feints, how about if the ball goes backward at first touch?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gary,
just stand off to the side in the PA away from they AR as he has the keeper and goal line covered say 6 to 10 yards away from the PA spot and you rotate back out around as play develops. You do not blow the whistle to start until you are sure everyone and everything is where they need to be at the moment the kick occurs. It is not illegal to feint. If the PK kicker illegally stops then tries to go it is an INDFK for the defence and the kicker is cautioned. If the ball is kicked backwards it is an INDFK for the defence. There is time in the PK kicker's run up after the whistle to get a flickering look across the PA boundary lines as you back up and out as often players start encroaching on the whistle ahead of the ball being struck
IF the Kick is sent off fine just eye swivel along the PA boundary and PA Arc should reveal those who are encroaching. Then depending on severity and PK outcome judge accordingly. Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Gary,
Positioning is always about balancing the most important decisions with the most likely ones - and how positioning affects both.

The most important decision is judging whether the ball has crossed the line or not - and for a tight call, the only position to judge this is directly in line.

If you have a neutral AR then they will monitor the goal line - and keeper encroachment. You will take up position to the side (well out of the way of any players running in), and somewhere between the edge of the penalty area and being in line with the Penalty Mark. some referees like to be closer to the edge as this allows you to monitor encroachment more closely.

Without a neutral AR, I believe your only choice is to stand on the goal line, past the Goal Area. This is because the ball-over-the-line scenario is the most important decision you can make, and from this position, facing back towards the kicker a little you can still monitor encroachment at the moment of the kick.

You'll often see referees, before the kick, walk along the edge of the PA and point to the line (including the Penalty Arc line) as a very clear message to players not to encroach - then remind the keeper not to encroach.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Gary,
My colleagues have already given fairly detailed advice about positioning but I would just mention that the Laws of the Game also has a section which, while ostensibly there to illustrate AR/AAR positioning, also shows some recommendations as to the position of the referee for various dead ball situations. It is on pp 177-185 of the 2017-18 edtion of the laws.

When it comes to the other part of your question I would like to make it clear that under the Laws of the Game feinting in the run-up to a penalty is not an offence. It is only if the penalty-kicker stops after completing the run-up and then feints, that an indirect free kick is awarded to the opponents and the kicker is cautioned. If the ball is kicked backwards, it is also an indirect free kick to the opponents.

Incidentally, just in case it might be relevant, the NFHS has different rules regarding feinting at a penalty kick. Under their rules, any interruption of the kicker's movement towards the ball is a violation and results in an indirect free kick to the opponents. As I read it, in NFHS games a caution for the kicker in this situation is not mandatory but is up to the referee to decide.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
The advice of the Laws of the Game suggests reasonably level with the ball with inclined towards the penalty area line as the recommended location. Obviously that is with neutral assistant referees who can check for the ball crossing the line and blatant encroachment.
When the CR is on his own then closer to the goal line is more important as determining whether the ball crossed the line or not is key. How far in towards the goal line is a matter of personal preference and the referee has to consider other factors such encroachment by players inside the penalty area.
My advice is to consider the goal, goalkeeper and kicker as more important than any others in the kick. Minor encroachment with no effect on the kick or kicker is the least concern to the referee so personally I would set up in the recommended position in a way that I have a good view of the goal line. If the encroachment is blatant it will be easily viewed from that position.

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