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Question Number: 31799

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 9/19/2017

RE: Rec Under 15

Paul Samarel of New York, NY USA asks...

If a goalkeeper loses a shoe while kicking the ball to midfield, what should the referee do?

I know if a player loses a shoe they can put it back on when convenient. But this would be more difficult for a goalkeeper, especially with big gloves.

If we wait for the next restart, it might be considered dangerous if the other team starts attacking (with cleats).

So does the referee stop play and restart with a drop ball, or let play continue until it is likely dangerous, or something else?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Paul
An interesting question.
I guess each situation will be different and goalkeepers as you say are in the unusual situation where the gloves will restrict putting on the shoe and certainly retying it.
My sense is to see what is developing. I saw a goalkeeper remove his gloves recently in a game to tie a lace and he did that during play. The tricky time was when the gloves were half back on. I allowed play to continue and as it turned out there was no need to stop play.
It is also worth noting that goalkeepers may not have to get involved in play like a defender and a loss of a shoe may not be as dangerous unlike an outfield player.
So the options are varied. The referee can allow play to continue and see what develops or stop play, sort out the shoe and restart with a dropped ball. The trick is to determine when to stop play as it will not go down well when the attacking team are at the penalty area with play stopped.
If the referee does not wants to take any risk then he should stop play the moment the boot goes flying after the ball and restart with a dropped ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Paul ,
an astute observation. I think it is decision you can make based on situational play.

The loss of a shoe is not a definite reason to stop play although it COULD create a reason like PIADM which in the case of the keeper then causes a possible scoring restart out of really nothing.

We allow players to replace their shoe during active play without sending them off the FOP. We might even delay a restart so they can finish.

In the case of the keeper having to remove gloves and the importance of his position it is likely we cut him some slack if we notice the situation with a nearly whistle, hold up a restart or even a stoppage BEFORE the attack is on.
I think the drop ball is a last resort but I think it better than a goal with the gloves off head down tying a shoe it just feels icky if you know what I mean.

That said if the attack is on and only then you notice the keeper is fumbling about it is difficult to stop play solely for his plight unless he is endangered in some manner.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Paul,
Your question seems to presuppose that the referee is aware of the keeper's boot coming off. This being the case, I think the ultra-cautious approach would be to stop play, let the goalie put the boot back on and then restart with a dropped ball.

However the laws do not require the referee to stop play for a player to correct their equipment so you could try to let play continue and hope everything works out OK. This is a little more risky but might work - as in ref McHugh's example.

Your match, your decision, your reputation.

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