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Question Number: 31947

High School 10/27/2017

RE: Varsity High School

Ted Campbell of Springfield, Illinois United States asks...

If there is a freekick and the opponent is about 3-4 feet from the spot of the ball, the offendws attempts to take a quick kick and the offending team attempts and deflects the ball as it's being kicked. What should the referee do?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ted
Well the first part is that it is a retake of the free kick. There could be times though when the player is moving away and ball hits the player which is not an offense.
The second part depends on how it happened. If a player was retreating and the ball hit the player then play continues and a caution could not be considered. However if the opponent deliberately stuck out a leg to prevent the quick free kick then that is a caution and the free kick is retaken.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Ted,
a free kick, one would think the optimal word being free here, means the opposition are supposed to do nothing but allow the kick to be taken while they stand ten yards away.
That said they tend to stand around closer and try to delay things by moving slowly or into the path or just plain reacting to the kicker trying to get things going. In this case it could be retake and a likely caution to the player for either not respecting the ten yards or for delaying the restart. If and its a slim thought but if the opponent was retreating and Not making any effort to interfere the kicker trying to kick the ball at him MIGHT be trying to draw a caution in which case we might caution him for USB in trying to deceive us we also could allow play to continue if there was no reason to think USB just a bad aim into the back of retreating player.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ted,
I think this is another example (as is so often the case) of a call that could go different ways, depending on the exact circumstances. The law provides for a few basic scenarios, as follows:

''If, when a free kick is taken, an opponent is closer to the ball than the required distance, the kick is retaken unless the advantage can be applied; but if a player takes a free kick quickly and an opponent who is less than 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball intercepts it, the referee allows play to continue.

However, an opponent who deliberately prevents a free kick being taken quickly must be cautioned for delaying the restart of play.''

So depending on what happened exactly and the referee's assessment of it, it could be advantage and play on, a retake, legal interception and play on or if it is a case of deliberate prevention, a caution for the offender.

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