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Question Number: 31785

Law 13 - Free Kicks 9/13/2017

RE: Competative Under 15

Iain of Las Vegas, NV USA asks...

On a direct free kick which player or players may ask for ten yards?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Iain
The procedure is not set out in Law. If the law was being properly followed then the need for enforcing ten yards would not be required as the defending team would retreat ten yards at every free kick. Unfortunately we know that does not happen with in fact the defending teams doing the opposite by many times waiting at the ball in attacking positions until they are moved back.
If a referee is doing his role correctly he should be enforcing the yards himself without the need to be asked. Having said that when it is requested then any member of the attacking team can request it although only those in a position to judge the 10 yards are best placed to know if 10 yards has been given or not. Experience tells us that it is those at the ball that do most of the asking although it does happen that other players may shout for the yards. It does not make any difference who requests it and it is either there or it is not.
I would also point out that at certain times and locations the referee will make the free kick ceremonial in nature which means that the kick can only be taken on the whistle and that will only happen when the ten yards has been enforced. Even if the kicking team does not requests the yards the kick will not happen until the signal to do so is given.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Iain,
anyone can ask but the referee will only pay attention to the aggrieved team.
When the referee blows a whistle to stop play for a foul or offence the nature of that offence or situation will dictate a CERTAIN restart. Under CERTAIN conditions there will be CERTAIN misconduct associated with the actions that the referee MUST deal with . In these cases the restarts are delayed or made ceremonial as there is business to be attended, cards to be shown. Generally the referee will automatically signal or make it abundantly clear to all parties to WAIT for the whistle! Allowing time for defenders to place the wall and generally halting any requests for yardage

On CERTAIN free kick opportunities that arise, the aggrieved team has EVERY right to take it quickly provided there is no misconduct the referee feels he MUST deal with, 0r the free kick is NOT a PK. OR the referee is simply inclined to micro manage a particular situation to head off confusion ie indfk closer than ten yards to goal)

Then the restart could be either an INDFK from 6 yards to the goal or further out or a DFK 18 yds. or further out.

In these cases the opposition BY LAW must withdraw 10 yards in ALL Directions unless an INDFK is closer than ten yards to the goal line in which case the defenders are permitted to stand ON the goal line UNDER the crossbar & BETWEEN the posts!

The attackers might wish to set up a special free kick and request therefore intervene by asking for TEN yards even if the defenders are in the process of withdrawing. This will make THAT Free kick CERIMONIAL and to be restarted ONLY with a whistle. That request CREATES referee intervention and allows both teams time to set up plays or walls.

Another issue or problem is the defenders like to stall and DO NOT withdraw a full ten yards lollygag about near the restart point to block or delay the kick to which an attacker will say, hey ref can we get the 10 yards? This is pointing out to the referee we wanted to go but these guys are too close why are you not doing something.? A referee CAN choose to intervene and CAUTION the defender who is NOT complying by withdrawing ten yards BEFORE anyone ASKS for ten yards. This will make THAT Free kick also CERIMONIAL and to be restarted ONLY with a whistle.

The defenders MUST remain ten yards away until the ball is ACTUALLY kicked and moved . The whistle does NOT give them the right to advance, It signals only the CR's readiness to all that the play can continue and permission to go ahead and kick has now been given.


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