Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 32160

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/12/2018

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32159

Suppose the ball slipped & hit her leg (accidentally) &/or bounced away after hitting the ground & an opposing player then got to the ball.

Would you card the opposing player for delaying a restart?

Since whether the possession was deliberately released could be a close question, giving a yellow in that situation would be harsh.

Thanks again for all the wonderful advice!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Entirely different matter as the ball has bounced away from the goalkeeper who has now lost possession and control of the ball, caused only by the goalkeepers mistake. In that scenario it is play on and as the opponent has touched the ball the restriction of the goalkeeper using her hands to make a save has been lifted. No possible card for anyone as the ball has been dropped and put into play.
It probably would be a card if the opponent say jostled / interfered with the goalkeeper deliberately causing her to lose the ball. That though is not what is described.
In this video the goalkeeper has caught the ball, bounced it and then thrown it to ground which makes it available to be played by an opponent. The goal was good. Had the ball bounced off the GK leg while bouncing it with the same outcome it is also play on.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Phil,
As I understand your description, the keeper has released the ball from the hands, is not (for instance) in the process of bouncing it, and the ball has rolled away from the keeper so an opponent who plays it has not committed any offence. Also, the offence of delaying the restart of play is only possible when there is a stoppage in play and there is no stoppage here. Since this is a case of ongoing play and there is no restart, it would not just be harsh, it would be technically incorrect to caution the opponent for delaying it.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil
a keeper with 6 seconds of handling possession can BOUNCE the ball and retain control but she can also drop the ball accidentally and be allowed to pick it up within the 6 seconds especially with no opponent nearby.

There could be cause for an INDFK out and a caution if it was the opposition player who caused the keeper to lose possession!)

If there is a nearby opponent who is not affecting the keeper's release, where when a keeper was bouncing a ball that inadvertently contacted the foot or a depression in the ground and suddenly veered off rolling away that opponent is perfectly entitled to challenge for that ball as it is now in active play despite the intentions of the keeper.

The fact we can cut some slack for an accidental release is no reason to punish the opposition for a mistake by the keeper.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32160
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.