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Question Number: 32481

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 5/29/2018

RE: Rec & Comp

Raymond of SAN FRANCISCO, CA United States asks...

Hi gentlemen. I've got a question about dropped balls. The way I understand Law 8, dropped balls are unique in being the only restart where the player who makes first contact with the ball can make additional touches before anyone else plays the ball. Perhaps that's because the ball is in play as soon as it hits the ground, and the player did not actually restart play with his/her touch?

Be that as it may, a dropped ball kicked directly into the goal results in a GK or CK restart. But what if a player dribbles away with the ball after it touches the ground, and after making a number of touches, shoots and scores a goal before anyone else touches the ball? Good goal? It would never happen in higher level play, but I can just imagine a Rec game where one particularly skilled player (who might need a prompt transfer to a Comp team!) could pull the trick off. If it ever happened under my watch, I'm not clear on the correct restart.

Thank you, as always, for your insights!

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Raymond,
It doesn't matter how many touches the player takes, if only one player touches the ball after it is dropped and before it enters the net, a goal is not awarded.

The wording of the law is quite clear on this:

''If a dropped ball enters the goal without touching at least two players play is restarted with:

a goal kick if it enters the opponents' goal
a corner kick if it enters the team's goal''

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Raymond
Thanks for your question.
The scenario you question was posed by referees in the past due to a number of such situations actually happening. The Law before the current wording only spoke about directly from a dropped ball so the multiple touch, dribble to score scenario did result in a score although that was not what the Lawmakers intended.
As a result the Law wording was amended to include the wording as outlined by Referee Grove which now requires that two players must be involved to negate the directly part. Unfortunately an unsuccessful attempt at a save by a goalkeeper is a touch by a second player and therefore technically a goal. It is somewhat like trying to stop a throw in entering the goal directly without a touch which is a goal kick / corner kick compared to the unsuccessful save which makes it a goal.
Now having said all that my association UEFA sanctioned a player who scored such a goal after the ball was kicked uncontested to him at a dropped ball. He ran with the ball and scored. Technically it was a goal and the referee allowed it although the player was suspended, fined heavily and asked to do some soccer community work as a result if the action. So it is seen as a very negative unsporting action by the game.
My advice to referees has been that if a player indicates that he is going to *give* the ball back and he does not do that then it should be USB for the unsporting act of verbal distraction at a restart or showing a lack of respect for the game which means a caution and an IDFK restart.
I certainly would never allow a goal in such circumstances. I recall in a particular game many seasons ago on a DB I felt that the GK deliberately allowed the ball to enter the goal as he made no effort to stop the long kick back to him. This was long before the original law change. I immediately apologised and said that I dropped the ball from the *wrong-* location so I went with another dropped ball which negate the *goal*. I told the player who made the original kick and who was somewhat upset by the GKs actions to kick the ball out for a throw in which he did and the game went on. I was never going to award a goal here in such a situation. Where it has happened at Pro level the scoring team has allowed an uncontested goal to undo the error.

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