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Question Number: 32105

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 12/16/2017

RE: Competitive Under 19

Nikhil of Kansas City, KS United States asks...


A goalkeeper gains possession of the ball from an attacker, injures him/herself in the process, and goes down inside the penalty area with the ball in hand. Referee stops play because the GK has possession and no potential attack can develop. How would you restart play in this situation? Oftentimes, I have simply rolled the ball back to the keeper and told him/her that they can pick it up and play from there. Is this the correct way to restart? Or should it be a dropped ball or some other kind of restart?

Thank you in advance!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nikhil
The proper start is a dropped ball. Now in most instances the attacking team will not contest the dropped ball so once dropped in front of the goslkeeper he can pick the ball up.
The referee cannot prevent the dropped ball being contested yet my experience is that it rarely if ever hapoens on an injury to the GK who had the ball.
Also a goal cannot be scored directly from a dropped ball and it needs the involvement of two attacking players to do so as the player who contests the DB cannot score no matter how many touches he makes on the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Nikhil,
the correct restart is a drop ball from the point of the ball location, the injury site by the keeper .

There is nothing preventing the referee from simply dropping the ball and letting it bounce into the keeper's hands inside the PA. I have done this but I REQUEST the keeper wait until I attain a better field position before he kicks the ball down field so I do not have to run after play to catch up. I generally give the keeper a wave that I am ok and please go ahead to start NOW.

The issue is it is permissible under the LOTG for the opposition to challenge for possession, yet the principles of fair play dictate either they do not participate or ask/indicate to give the ball back as a sign they acknowledge the keeper or in other cases the opposing team deserves to have ball possession.


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