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Question Number: 32438

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/9/2018

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32427

Just a clarification on what referee Peter Grove said. Although I've heard announcers talk about impeding when there's contact, it's my understanding that impeding (an IDFK) involves no contact whatsoever. If there's contact, the foul becomes holding (a DFK).

While outside of soccer, holding is thought of as grabbing, with soccer, my understanding is that it's unlawful contact that prevents an opposing player from moving freely.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Yes impeding in a soccer context does not involve contact. With contact it gets escalated to a penal foul.
Holding includes use of the body by physically preventing a player from moving forward. The arms do not have to be used which would be normal interpretation of holding outside of soccer.
Personally I liked the old foul of *obstruction* which was an IDFK offence and it did involve contact. I cannot recall the last impeding foul that I seen called at any level.
Old match videos shows multiple IDFK restarts inside the penalty area for obstruction which was placing the body in the path of an opponent without using arms. The law makers did not like it so it was removed from the laws. Impeding for me just does not work as intended.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Phil,
What you said used to be true before the major rewrite of 2016. However one of the amendments made was to add a new direct free kick offence of impeding with contact. Law 12 now states:

''A direct free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offences:
impedes an opponent with contact''

The explanation given for the change was:

''Confirmation that impeding an opponent with contact is a direct free kick.''

So as it stands, impeding no longer needs to be changed to the different offence of holding if contact is involved, as it can be a DFK offence in and of itself.

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