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Question Number: 31883

Law 13 - Free Kicks 10/9/2017

RE: Competitive Under 15

Gary Robinson of Pleasant Grove, UT USA asks...

What is the correct restart for an improperly taken indirect free kick? I had a U12 game where a defender deliberately passed the ball back to his keeper who picked up the ball. I blew the whistle and signaled an IDFK for the attacking team. The attacking team's first player ran by stepping on the ball, but the ball didn't leave it's original spot (the ball did not 'clearly move'). The second player kicked the ball towards the goal, but missed wide of the post and the ball went over the goal line so I signaled for a goal kick.

In this situation, I allowed the goal kick, but I'm not confident that was the correct restart. If the ball had been kicked into the goal by the second player, what would have been the correct restart since the attacking team's first touch was improper? Disallow the goal and retake the IDFK by the attacking team? IDFK by the defending team? Goal kick by the defending team?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
Once the referee deems that the first kick does not put the ball into play then the second kick does. As the ball went wide directly from the kick the correct restart is a goal kick which is what you gave.
Now where it gets difficult is if a goal is scored directly or the second player dribbles the ball away. If the first kick did not put the ball in play then the restart is a goal kick for a direct shot which crosses the goal line and an IDFK for a double touch. That can be a hard sell if the first player made kicking contact with the ball and everyone opines that the ball did in fact clearly move.
Personally I would be extremely slow to not take strong contact on the ball by the first player as a kick particularly when the opponents who are watching the ball deem that it is a kick and in play. To not *accept* that kick contarary to player reactions means that there might have to be encroachment to be dealt with on the second kick by opponents closing the shot down which is a retake.
Have a look at this video
Had the first player stood on the ball I would say there would have been no complaint from the conceding team that the ball was put into play. As it turned out it should have been an IDFK out to the defending team for a double touch as the ball was certainly not kicked nor did it move or even wobble.
My advise is to keep it simple. If there is decent contact on the ball by the first player with opponents taking that as a kick then the ball was put into play so why question that or complicate it. I can assure you no one is going to protest that the *kick* was not a kick. I have yet to ever be questioned about a kick on the ball not meeting the moved requirement.
I had one recently where a player took a QFK, played it to a team mate who misunderstood his team mate and left the ball which required a second touch by the kicker to prevent an opponent gaining possession. Queue protest from opponents followed by a whistle for a double touch.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gary, incorrectly taken?

If the ball is kicked directly into the goal or out of play . We have either a goal kick or a throw in as those restarts fix the fact as to who last touched the ball before it exited the FOP

If the attempt to initially put the ball in play does not meet your criteria of kicked and moved and the ball was dribbled away then an INDFK for a double touch. Again if the ball is not put in play then the next kick if a direct goal or out of play we are back to goal kick or throw in.

If the kick is NOT signaled correctly by the referee the kick is to be retaken no matter the result.

Keep in mind if the ball makes even accidental contact with any other player it counts as a second touch.

Also if the defenders accepted the foot stomp roll as moving the ball and have encroached closer then ten yards before the second kicker has his go are you sure it is a good idea to not accept the ball as kicked and moved if say the kick was blocked by one of these now too close defenders? Technically a retake and caution for failing to respect the ten yards as you convince them the ball was not yet in play.

WE discussed this off the wall and in the end I think far too much worry over nothing. If they accept the tap why argue it is not a kick? My feeling here is a gut one not a law one here might be an AN EARLY whistle instantly if you are firmly decided that first attempt is NOT a kick but you can see the players have thought it one. IT might cause confusion or get you a dirty look depending if the 2nd kicker had a crack at it as this does occur quickly but if the whistle is going prior to the ball going out or into the goal might be easier to make your point.
Again though pick these battles for they are but skirmishes and can lead to undesired after effects. It they thought it a kick why argue? As we all agree we have never had an issue over this our 90 plus years experiences. Kick = foot meeting ball


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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

There is a common way of taking indirect free kicks, and that is for Player 1 to tap the ball so it moves, and for Player 2 to then blast the ball in a desired direction.

But that doesn't mean other ways of taking the kick are 'improper'. Consider what commonly happens after an offside infraction. It's an indirect kick, yet the goalkeeper or defender taking the kick blasts it downfield, in hopes that a teammate will receive the pass. No assisting player tapping the ball first, just a long ball.

As my colleagues have remarked, if the first touch is not deemed to be a kick that puts the ball into play, then the next one does. So we see the results of that second touch. If it goes directly into the goal, it's not a goal, but a goal kick. Anywhere else that the kick goes, we play it that way. (A kick wide or high of the goal is a goal kick; a kick that stays on the field is simply a pass; a kick that goes to an opponent is a gift to the opponent.)

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Gary,
The IFK you describe has not been improperly taken. If the first touch did not make the ball clearly move then it simply means the ball is not in play yet. Once the second player kicks the ball, the kick has been legitimately taken and if it goes wide, a goal kick is the correct decision.

If the ball had gone directly into the goal, the Law is quite clear on the correct restart. Law 13 states:

''if an indirect free kick is kicked directly into the opponents' goal, a goal kick is awarded''

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