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Question Number: 32738

Law 13 - Free Kicks 9/23/2018

RE: Competitive Under 14

Frederick Plenn of Seaville, NJ United States asks...

If the attacking team is awarded an indirect free kick in the penalty area but less than 10 yards from goal and the defense is lined up on the goal line. Since they are within 10 yards, is there any difference as to when they may attack the ball (1st vs 2nd touch)?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Frederick
All defending players must remain 10 yards from the ball or remain on the goal line between the goal posts until the ball is kicked by the attacking team that is the first touch.
One of the great difficulties that the referee will have is ensuring that happens in a pressured situation. The defending team will be so keen to close doors won the ball that the referee will have to try to manage that as best he can.



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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Fredrick,
the LOTG state BECAUSE the distance to goal is less than ten yards the only spot on the FOP where defenders can stand is ON the goal line under the crossbar between the posts if they wish to block the shot! The difficulty is also ensuring the rest of the defenders who are NOT on that goal line are still ten yards away in any direction from the spot of the restart. I notice FAR too often opposing players are within 8 to as close as 3 yards away in behind or of to the side. THAT MATTERS they STILL must retreat ten full yards AWAY from the ball . As a coach I design a set play where the ball is reversed heeled backwards to an oncoming player. We are entitled to that ten yard space to run into uninterrupted until the ball is TOUCHED. This ensures we get to kick before they can interfere, if the referee allows them too close, they are already in the way. Close in INDFKs to goal are very tense and often done incorrectly!
Cheers



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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Frederick,
Assuming they are at the distance required by the law, where the opponents are standing doesn't make any difference in terms of when they may move. They are still allowed to move as soon as the free kick is correctly taken and the ball is in play (first touch). I think the wording of the law is actually quite straightforward in this regard, stating as follows:

''Until the ball is in play all opponents must remain:

at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts''



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