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Question Number: 31827

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/26/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Ryan of Bronx, NY USA asks...

In a rec league match the other day, while defending a player who was coming down with the ball, and they went back with their leg to kick the ball around me, I got to the ball first and moved the ball away. The other player followed through with their leg and kicked me in the shin instead of the ball. I went down in pain and play was stopped. But then when I got up, the ref said that it was a drop ball because he stopped it due to my injury and it was not a foul. He explained that because the player was already in his motion to kick the ball, there was no way for him to stop his motion, so since it was not intentional nor inherently dangerous, it was not a foul.

Been playing and watching for more than 30 years and I've never heard of such a thing. Am I crazy or is he?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ryan
Always a tough call to make. I have seen these go either way as there can be a fine line between the tackler preventing the opponents kick of the ball and the opponent kicking the tackler.
As described I would say that the foul should have been awarded to you as the defending player kicked you after you clearly played the ball away. I have also seen situations where the kick is almost completed and the tacklers prevents the kick by sticking a foot in, getting kicked in the process.
Factors that can affect the call is obviously timing of the kicks, the direction of the kicks, the manner of the challenge and what the players can see in making the challenge.
Sometimes we just have coming together and those happen from time to time. So I can see somewhat where the referee was coming from on this although I disagree with his unintentional argument as that is not part of the Law. Getting kicked is inherently dangerous so I do not buy that argument either. I suspect he did no want to penalise in a situation where a kick was almost completed and the opinion that the player was already committed and in motion.
I believe that most times we should go with a foul against the *kicking* playey as we do in most all other cases.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ryan,
if the ball was clearly won and it was a late kick to the shins it is an obvious foul.

Yet if you arrive just in time to nick it away as the kick is being completed you will get the odd call well going oddly as no foul will be seen as obvious by the CR or as in your case a drop ball due to the injury.

WE might opine you were entitled to free kick of at least a careless foul. I
have seen situations where a dangerous or reckless element whereby after a defender cleared the ball away the attacker FORCEFULLY raises up a late arriving high leg or foot into the chest or head that should not only be a foul but a card.

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