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Question Number: 32861

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 10/31/2018

RE: all Under 19

Steve M. Marquez of La Mirada, California United States asks...

I have been trying to find the reference for this problem/interpretation

In specifically a corner kick but it really applies to all IDFKs.

To restart play the ball must be KICKED AND MOVED. Does the action of stepping on the ball and then removing the foot, in solely a vertical manner meet the requirement of KICKED? The ball will move in a vertical manner, ever so slightly, but it will move.

And what is the source of you answer please?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Steve
the FIFA/IFAB LOTG are the ONLY credible source of information.
1. The authority of the referee
Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce
the Laws of the Game in connection with the match.
2. Decisions of the referee
Decisions will be made to the best of the referee`s ability according to the Laws
of the Game and the ‘spirit of the game’ and will be based on the opinion of the
referee who has the discretion to take appropriate action within the framework
of the Laws of the Game.
The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including
whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final. The
decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected.
• supervises and/or indicates the restart of play

LOTG quote
the ball is in play when it is kicked and CLEARLY moves except for a free kick to the defending team in their penalty area where the ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area.
End Quote

A referee must not be in doubt!

The kick can indeed use any PART of the foot or ankle, including the sole but NOT as a continuous roll where the ball and foot are always in contact to move it from a to b, as a reposition, versus a foot shove so that the ball actually leaves the bottom of the foot then the ball continues in a forward or backward or sideways motion.

Basically (ITOOTR) in the opinion of the referee, we want to see the ball move from
HERE 1x ----> to --->2x THERE on its own power imparted from the kick

The action of a step, squish, wobble or compression while not really technically correct MIGHT be sufficient if the team doing so and team they play against accept it as such & the referee accedes to their wishes and considers the restart valid by dropping his raised arm on an INDFK.

But the corner kick is NOT an INDFK. it is a DFK and while offside is exempt the ball can enter the opposition goal directly. This trick corner play were one guy tries to pretend he is merely placing the ball into the corner arc then step or kind of roll taps it inside the arc , pretending to leave it for another team mate who comes in and then dribbles the already ball in play trying to fool the opposition must not have fooled the referee into also not knowing otherwise a 2nd touch violation. The problems are the ball is not always placed on the ground inside the 1 meter arc area using the hand, the ball is very often rolled in with a foot. Plus a kick does not have to be powerful or travel far not even a circumference. The ball does not even have to leave the arc to be in play while travelling here to there is what we look for, a mere few inches is sufficient as long as we can plainly see the ball has visibly moved not just rocked in place. Mind you a lot of referees are whistling in corners given the crap that goes on in the PA between the two teams jockeying for position is making them almost ceremonial in nature!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Steve,
I think you may be looking at an old copy of the Laws (or some non-IFAB source) as your question contains a small but significant omission. The law does not say the ball is in play merely when it is kicked and moves but ''when it is kicked and CLEARLY moves'' (emphasis mine). The full wording is given by ref Dawson above and is from page 114, Laws of the Game 2018-19 edition, pdf version.

This part of the law wording was changed precisely to clarify that the ball must do something more than just wobble imperceptibly, in order to be in play. The exact meaning of 'clearly' can obviously be debated but for me it means that it should be clear to everyone - the match officials, players (including the opponents), people watching on TV, etc that the ball has indeed moved. Under this definition, a tap on the top of the ball that makes it 'move in a vertical manner, ever so slightly' does not meet the standard. Moving 'ever so slightly' means that it is not moving 'clearly'.

As for the tap on the top of the ball counting as a kick, I would say that it does. The reference is page 172 (ibid.) and the wording is:

''The ball is kicked when a player makes contact with the foot and/or the ankle.''

Since the sole is part of the foot, contacting the ball with it would qualify as a kick - however (and this is the important part here) just kicking the ball is not enough to put it in play. In addition to being kicked, it has to clearly move and as mentioned above, tapping the top of the ball in such a way that it moves only very slightly and imperceptibly is not enough, based on the way I read the law.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
All our answers are sourced from the current Laws of the Game.
At one time the Laws of the Game stated that the ball had to travel its circumference to be in play at a restart. That left little doubt about moving the ball. The issue then was how far the ball had to travel to satisfy a circumference. A circumference is roughly 28 inches or 70cm.
IFAB decided in 1997 in a major rewrite of the Laws to remove that circumference requirement from the Laws and replace it with kicked and moves. That was to reflect the way the game was being restarted.
In recent times debate has arisen about what is meant by moves as that had led to some game issues on restarts. The Law has now been updated to include CLEARLY moves.
So a step on the ball may not clearly move the ball, it could just oscillates it. Stepping on the ball with a clear foot roll of the ball does meet clearly moves. Some players position the ball with the foot. That is not a kick.
Now when I read about corner kicks and kicks and moves questions it always relates to ruse plays. The kicker taps the ball in a way that 'moves' the ball yet there is usually more in there such as verbal distraction of an opponent etc.
Rarely do I ever have a problem with kicked and moves even at an IDFK once the players see the ball being *touched* and there is a visible move of the ball. The move is the signal that the ball is in play and players respond accordingly.
On the ruse plays that I see on the web many of them are double touch infringements by the first kicker using his foot to position the ball and then a final touch. How is the referee to know if the first touch is a kick also? Or that the kick is so insignificant that no one has seen the kick other than two players.
Back in 2015 NY Red Bulls against Chicago had a ruse corner kick. The first player moved the ball a number of times with his foot and as he moved away he sort of tapped the ball with a foot. The NY Bulls team mate came over in what looked like he was going to take the corner kick, paused for a while until the defender had moved away and then dribbled the ball away. That to me is not in the spirit of the Law. The referee allowed it although it did cause a furore.
Have a look at this video
Clearly the ball was not touched on what was a DFK. Now IMO had the ball been even tapped / stood on the referee would not have had to deal with the furore that ensued.
Notice the reaction of the two players in the defensive wall. Neither react to the lack of touch until the goal was scored. I suspect what happened was that the AR was looking for offside and the CR was busy looking for fouls in the penalty area and that coupled with Red 18 pursuing the scorer the referee assumed incorrectly that the ball was touched and moved.
So kicked and clearly moves as part of any restart is when the ball is put into play. The referee should try to eliminate any doubt about that. If everyone on the FOP sees a clear step on the ball as a kick and clear movement of the ball then the referee does not have to second guess that. If on the other hand the action is somewhat uncertain, there is doubt about the action then the referee would be entitled to redo the restart or for that matter penalise for a double touch or disallow a goal scored directly from an IDFK.
BTW there cannot be a double touch infringement with the ball played by the same player from outside the corner arc on a corner kick. It is a retake. The ball as to be inside the arc for the first kick to be considered a double touch infringement

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