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Question Number: 32280

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/5/2018

RE: Other

Bob of Glasgow, UK asks...

Penalty kicks.
When is an offence considered inside or outside of the box?

Theoretical situation - player A (attacking) is in possession of the ball and is running into the box directly towards goal from the D at the edge of the box - defender puts out his leg to deflect the ball and misses, but catches the attackers trailing foot which is marginally outside the box - but most of the attackers body is either over the line, or inside the box. As a result, the attacker is tripped, loses his footing and ends up well into the box.

Penalty, or no penalty?

Obviously the decision is down to the referee and it is a very marginal call, but what is the correct decision?
Is the offence deemed to have been committed outside of the box as that is where the contact between defender and attacker is made? Or is it deemed inside the box as that is where the majority of the attackers body is at the time of the infringement?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
Point of contact is what is key. If the trip on the player happened to his foot which is clearly outside the penalty area it is not a penalty. The line is part of the penalty area.
In your example the technical answer is no penalty. On the ground in real time it might be called as a penalty as it is a very difficult call.
Have a look at this video
Freeze frame showed that the point of contact and trip was outside the penalty area yet a penalty was awarded.
Under the amended law the penalty decisions results in a possible yellow card rather than always a red in DOGSO situations
We received the following on a recent question.the referee went with a direct free kick. On video review the decision should have been a penalty kick

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Bob,
As ref McHugh states, it is the point of contact that counts, certainly when it comes to what we could call 'single contact' fouls such as a kick or trip - although his other point about the difficulty of making such a call correctly in real time is also well taken.

There is a slightly different scenario which has been in evidence recently (it was one of the VAR decisions in the recent, controversial Tottenham vs Rochdale FA Cup game) of a continuous holding foul where although the initial point of contact might be outside the area, if the holding continues on into the penalty area, the correct decision is to award a penalty.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Bob,
Fouls are at the point of contact. So in your scenario, the foul is considered outside of the Penalty Area.
Deliberately Handling the Ball is different - it's considered as 'whole of ball' rather than the point on the ball where contact occurs. That means if, say, the ball is on the edge of the PA with 90% outside the PA and on the field, and the keeper is outside the PA and handles the part of the ball that's outside the PA, no offence has been committed because the ball is inside the PA - but if a defender deliberately handled that same part of the ball it would be a penalty kick.

For continuous fouls like holding, the foul actually occurs over the course of 2, 5, 10 yards (or however long the holding went on) - so if the foul started outside the PA and continued inside, then it's a penalty kick. In that the referee needs to determine if the foul was still occurring inside, or if the player just fell as a result of the foul as he was crossing the line.

Similarly, if a player is tripped just outside the PA, but stumbles inside and is fouled again, it's a penalty kick - although the tricky part is sometimes because the player is off balance, that last touch isn't a foul even though it knocked them over.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Bob,
point of contact is the foul location but there are certain types of fouls like holding which is a continuous fouls that can carry into the PA over distance.
What is not considered for a PK is if the trip or push occurs outside and after stumbling about the opponent finally falls inside due to the force of the foul outside. That is NOT to say that a small secondary foul inside can look innocuous but still create the actual fall. We can apply advantage to a foul outside the PA and if a secondary foul occurs inside the PA we award the PK as the location itself is advantageous. A deliberate handling foul the ball itself must be inside the PA the location of the defender is unimportant. The point of deliberate contact must involve the ball inside the PA.

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