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Question Number: 31676

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/4/2017

RE: rec Adult

michael of Perth, West australia Australia asks...

Two players are going shoulder to shoulder which I know to be fair, the defender drops his shoulder into the attacker, knocking the attacker slightly off course, the ball was in playing distance of both,this happened in the penalty box. What should the outcome have been and sanction if any ?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Michael
If it was a fair legal charge which you say that it was then no offence and play on.
In respect of a legal charge the Law tells us that it is a challenge for space using physical contact within playing distance of the ball without using arms or elbows. So the shoulder can be used and the contact must be directed at the side of the opponent with the ball within playing distance of both. Should the charge contact be in the chest or back area then that is deemed to be careless, reckless which makes it a foul.
As to the level of acceptable force I describe it as easing a player off the ball, that is the challenge for space close to the ball. Where a player runs at an opponent from distance and knocks them to the ground shoulder to shoulder that is certainly careless, perhaps reckless which is a foul.
In this video there is a charge and the referee does not sees it as a foul
Did the player use his arm or his shoulder. There are no complaints from the players so I would say that it was a fair charge with no foul committed. One player is just stronger than the other.

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