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Question Number: 31769

Law 13 - Free Kicks 9/8/2017

RE: competitive Adult

Robert Belk of Bethesda, MD USA asks...

Indirect free kick: player touches top of ball but ball does not move. Teammate then kicks the ball toward goal.

How to handle???

The ball is not in play until the ball moves. Therefore, the player that kicked the ball has taken the first touch and the ball must strike a teammate or opponent for a goal to be awarded if the ball enters the goal/net. Otherwise, if the ball enters the goal from the 'first' kick the restart is a goal kick.

Is there logic to have the kick retaken? That would seem to penalize the defense by giving a re-kick to the offense.

Merely touching the ball is not an offence.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Robert ,
a sole tap that wobbles or compresses the ball does it fit your interpretation of visibly kicked and moved? Does it fit the PLAYERS acceptable tolerances as kicked & moved? The ball IS permitted to be kicked with ANY portion of the foot including the sole .

For an INDFK you raise your arm/hand (I suggest you actually STATE it is an INDFK for clarity) the moment the ball is touched a second time you drop the arm. THAT is the signal to players a second touch HAS occurred.

The only reason to restart COULD be if YOU are unhappy in NOT accepting the stomp as putting the ball is in play but the defenders encroach within ten yards as THEY accepted the foot stomp as the touch putting the ball in play. If you think you wish to set the precedent claiming you were not aware of it being VISIBLY kicked or moved or if you award a goal kick instead of a goal or IF the kick is missed and goes out of play a goal kick restart or thrown in . Your match Your Decision Your Reputation. I see a need for explanation NOT a need to caution! You might get an argument from one or a sigh of relief from the other given the possible statement by you " I never saw it kicked or moved you guys were aware that WAS an INDFK that the step on does not count? yada yada that to me is relaying tactical information which I might do at a youth level.

I have seen it done but the keeper was unable to stop himself and reach out to GET that 2nd touch. Do we tell him after we dig the ball out of the net too bad you touched it as I SAW it kicked in directly? Again tactical information suitable at youth perhaps?
Try to intervene as little as possible but IF you do not pretense or bluster CLEAR concise INFORMATION!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Robert,
For me, your analysis is entirely correct. The first touch, if it does not make the ball clearly move, does not put the ball in play. The touch by the team mate is the one that puts the ball in play.

There is no reason to call for a retake and that I can think of, in the specific scenario as you have described it here based on the actions of the team taking the free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Robert
For us older referees we recall the time when the ball has to roll its circumference for it to be in play. There was little doubt about the kick and moved at that time except that if it did not travel very far was it in play? That was removed from the Laws in 97 and replaced with kicked and moved. The lastest addition has it that the ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.
The principle is that there should be little doubt by both the opponents and the referee that the ball is in fact put into play with a clear kick.
Ryan Giggs of Manchester United fame never touched the ball with his hands when placing the ball at a free kick or corner kick. He used his foot every single time to position the ball yet when it came to putting ball in play there was a clear action which could not be mistaken as anything other than a kick.
In your example the key is whether the action of the *kick* moved the ball or not and if the ball moves it is in play. If I see a defender rush the ball at the first *kick* then I am opining that the ball was clearly seen to move on that kick. That rush has sent out a clear signal that the ball was kicked and seen as in play. A dummy of the kicking movement is used sometimes and players many times react by stopping when they do not see the kick
If I opine that the kick did not put the ball in play such as a dummy / repositioning then the defender/s are not entitled to rush the kick as the ball is not in play. If you so opine then the ball is not in play and therefore encroachment is not allowed and can result in a retake. If the defensive wall just stands there and does nothing then there is no basis for any retake.
My advice is that on an IDFK there will be two players present if the team is going for a shot. Simply tell the players stood at the ball that a foot tap, step on the ball is not sufficient to put the ball in play. Advise them that the ball must clearly move. Prevention is better than the cure which will be to disallow a goal or going with a retake because of encroachment.

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