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Question Number: 32965

Mechanics 1/10/2019

RE: Adult

David Moran of London, Please select United Kingdom asks...

By the letter of the law,
1 ALL penalties should be retaken for encroachment without exception
2 At least 33% of all throw ins are foul and should be retaken.
3 Players are seldom booked for failing to retreat 10 yards at a free kick. In fact some player usually gravitates towards the ball.
4 Goalkeepers are rarely reprimanded for holding onto the ball for over six seconds. The Burton keeper (rather understandably) held on for at least ten seconds. No action taken.
Either uphold the laws or change them if you want respect. Please!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
At one time the Laws of the Game had the following statement
** The Laws of the Game are intended to provide that games should be played with as little interference as possible, and in this view it is the duty of referees to penalise only deliberate breaches of the Law. Constant whistling for trifling and doubtful breaches produces bad feeling and loss of temper on the part of the players and spoils the pleasure of spectators. **
This statement was removed from the Law only because it was felt to be an unnecessary reminder of the referee's fundamental duty to penalise only those offences that matter. The spirit, if not the words, of this Decision remains at the heart of the Law.
Now the law makers knew that if the referee was to call every single offence the game would descend into unpleasantness. Neither the players nor spectators would take kindly to a referee calling every single offence and probably games would be a whistle fest and may not get finished due to the amount of yellow cards that would have to be issued.
On your points
1. Encroachment is generally trifling with at least 8 out of ten penalties converted so the need to retake is miminal
2. A throw in is a simple way of restarting the game. If a TI is incorrectly taken it is turned over to the opponents not retaken. Players at the lower levels of the game get concerned about TI mechanics and look for a cheap turnover of the ball. Rarely at the higher level is it questioned nor is there any real advantage gained.
3. Both teams engage in this tactic so unless there us blatant unsporting action referees tend to ignore this in the same way that teams ignore it. In a recent EFL game that I saw the referee cautioned for stopping the ball which was entirely correct. If the kicking team do not want to take the kick quickly then referees rarely need to get involved.
4. I remember the game before the 6 second rule. As currently managed whether it is 6 or 10 plus the ball is put into play quicker with no possibility of the GK getting it back into his hands without it first touching sn opponent or in open contested play.
Your point as to Law changes us well made and the current mood us to make changes that help in the playing of the game. There is a journey to go on this as many teams in the game do not play the game in the spirit of Fair Play. Some recent changes say on encroachment has seemed to be counter productive.
I watched a referee dismiss a goalkeeper for encroachment in a penalty shootout in a Youth International game. You can imagine the post match reaction to that decision

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi David,
While I think that you have some justification for some of the points you are making (especially point 3, which is one of my personal 'pet peeves') there is also a not small amount of merit in what ref McHugh mentions about trivial and dubious offences, and over-use of the whistle. Nobody wants a match that is being constantly interrupted for trifling offences that have little impact on the game and which nobody - not players, not spectators and referees, want or expect to see called.

I also wouldn't agree completely that all the things you mention, take place quite as often as stated. On penalties for instance, I think there has actually been an improvement here starting with the last World Cup and I have seen penalties where there was either no encroachment or only the very, very slightest amount (a trivial or dubious amount) of encroachment.

On throw-ins, I would have to disagree fairly strongly - my observation is that improperly-taken throw-ins are vanishingly rare and are if anything, called too frequently. In the last couple of seasons in the Premier League for example, I have seen at least three throw-ins that were incorrectly penalised when there was in fact, nothing wrong with them. The requirements for a legal throw-in are fairly minimal. When I coached, I had a little mantra that I used to remind our players how to take throw-ins properly: 'Both feet on the ground, both hands behind the head.' A slight over-simplification perhaps (though intentionally so, to make it easy to remember) but the only really significant requirement missing is the part about foot positioning - which was a part that they pretty much all knew about anyway. Unless one of the feet is completely over the line, a throw-in taken with both feet on the ground and with both hands starting behind the head will be legal about 99% of the time.

There are a lot of myths about what constitutes an improperly-taken throw and most of them are not supported in law. Twisting at the waist, bending at the waist, releasing the ball with spin, releasing the ball in a downward trajectory - none of these things are in and of themselves, in direct contravention of the requirements of the law (although some improperly-taken throws could also contain some of these elements).

On players not retreating at free kicks, I'm pretty much with you - I think it's a bane on the modern game, is the least trivial of the items you mention (I think it often has a seriously detrimental effect) and I think referees should be much more strict on it - precisely because of the stifling effect it very often has, on attractive, attacking football.

As far as the six seconds law for goalkeepers is concerned, I think it is not really serving the intended purpose and could stand to be changed. Six seconds is a bit too short, in my opinion - if a keeper has made a diving save and is sprawled on the ground, sometimes they might be fairly hard pressed to consolidate their hold on the ball, get to their feet, get into position, find a team mate and distribute the ball, all within the required time frame. I would support a change to say, ten seconds but with the proviso that it should be more strictly enforced. However I think there should also be a caveat in there that the strict application of the time time limit only applies when the keeper has unfettered control of the ball and is not being hampered in any way by an opponent (to prevent opponents from taking unfair advantage and trying to win a free kick by delaying the keeper).

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi David,
You do raise some good points.
Now, older versions of the LOTG used to state that referees should ignore trifling or inconsequential infringements. Going to your first point, that would be interpreted as a step or two inside is a 'trifling' infringement.

If a player, nowhere near player, unintentionally clips another player's feet and trips them over but play isn't affected in the slightest, that would be inconsequential even though it could be classified as a careless trip (of course, if there's any malice or cynicism in it then it needs to be dealt with). So, there's a benefit to that.

But referees, especially at the top levels, have some expectation to not interfere in the game, as much as possible. There's the notion that the spectator enjoyment has taken precedence over the laws. Which is why dissent, for instance, almost never gets punished at the top levels- and offensive/insulting and/or abusive language and/or gestures (which is a red card) virtually never, even though players are certainly guilty of these offences.

Personally I tend to be critical of this approach - but it is where the game currently is.

1) Penalty encroachment has become a farce, no doubt. It's no longer unusual to see players run past the referee, even be level with the kicker by the time they kick the ball. step or two inside is one thing, but it is getting ridiculous and I've been quite critical of how it's ignored at the top levels. And then that filters down to grassroots. It's difficult to pull up because a retake is a very significant decision - and it's not like anybody is asking for it, so the argument is if nobody wants to see it, why make that significant decision? Again, not saying I agree with that approach - I think it causes more problems. Other sports manage to set a clear expectation on encroachment - if it was enforced consistently, there wouldn't be a problem - but soccer has such an anti-referee culture (it's always the referee's fault for taking action, never the player's for doing the wrong thing) that it's extremely difficult to do this

2) I strongly disagree with your claim here - the LOTG actually provide very little guidance on the throw, and what people often claim are foul throws, aren't. The procedure, according to the LOTG, is:
 stand facing the field of play
  have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the
 throw the ball with both hands from behind and over the head from
the point where it left the field of play
That's it. Short, isn't it? So throws that are kind of short that people think are foul throws? They're fine. Throws that go downwards? Also fine. The LOTG are actually a lot more flexible on how a throw is taken than people realise

3)Yep, this is a problem - and I think the sport would benefit greatly from placing more responsibility on the defender to retreat. We see players get away with running up to the ball and standing in front of it all the time. But again, that's become such a part of the culture of the game now that it can only be stamped it in a league if all referees are dealing with it consistently. Which is easily achieved - it just takes the will of the association, and that tends to be lacking in these manners.

4) Agree, this is another law that's become farcical. You say ten seconds - in televised games up to 20 seconds is actually quite normal, and sometimes it can even go over 30 seconds. Again, this is a very simple law - but because nobody is asking for the FK here, it makes referees reluctant to give it - they don't want to make a match-changing decision that nobody is ask for and put themselves in the firing line. I don't think it's right, but it's the reality of the game at the moment. And again, it's now part of the culture.
It's interesting that in Futsal, the keeper has 4 seconds to release - but because it's applied strictly and consistently, there's no problem (of course there's still some argument when you do penalise it, but not too much).

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi David ,
In looking over your assumptions I see partial relevancy in some of your observations.
Penalty kicks:
Although I have seen the odd unfair goal scored on a rebound or save from an encroaching attacker, generally it is the keeper off his line that creates MOST of the issues .
FIFA & IFAB complicated this by demanding that IF a keeper did so he MUST be cautioned & shown the yellow card. We could conceivably be throwing out the keeper for being a bit too eager! On a clear miss be it well wide or sky high there is some forgiveness for a keeper off the line if the referee is OK with the facts in that it simply did not affect the shooter

The above video is a GOOD example of a keeper affecting outcome by early movement. Under today's LOTG he would be sent of for a double caution !

This one goes on for a while and you can see the visible frustration be it the 4th official with the coaches, the CR and Ar interaction and the players themselves
1 both teams well inside the PA at time of shot CR made call so retake even though the goal was scored
2 keeper marginally off the line but was in fact about 1 yard out AR raised flag yet a GOAL was scored, there is NO reason to retake, in my opinion, the encroachment by the white defending players was minimal at best
3 This was again keeper marginally off the line but again a goal was scored? Red #3 cautioned MUST be for dissent? He was not even inside the D at the shot although one other red player was inside the D so technically too close! The Ds only purpose is to delineate ten yards from the pk spot.
4 keeper came out off the line about 2 yards made a save thus its a retake.
5 Keeper was marginally off his line but made a save then the PK taker scored a goal on the header. No player encroached. Should be a kick off!
6 Keeper was further out then just about all previous attempts lol but at least the AR kept the flag down BECAUSE a goal was scored!

Throw -ins:
No you are way off on this. If it is an incorrect throw in the other team receives the ball to have their turn. If there is an issue it has more to do with creeping. Where a player tends to move forward but away from the correct spot deliberately but I agree wholeheartedly with my colleagues let them play.

Respect the ten yards!:
On this particular issue you and I are more in agreement The whole spray can of whip cream occurred due to ineffectually setting the boundaries. The problem is we send off players for two yellow cards. Almost everyone takes a technical foul for the team nowadays. Then there is the myth a team must ask for ten yards. As an old school bastard in black I am pretty anal about it and frequently warn the teams in the pregame to be wary as I will not be happy if I notice it above the norm

Keeper ball possession
6 seconds once a keeper has complete ball control is enough . But give them some set up get up time to recover before whistling. . What I do not like is the bouncing. I believe once the ball strikes the ground it should be game on. An out loud count by a CR can punish this annoyance.
You might recall the controversial,WC USA Canada match in 2012 where this INDFK handling call on their keeper led to a DFK DH against then then a pk?;_ylt=AwrVk.EnyThcnRcAPjEXFwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTB0NjZjZzZhBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=Canada+Vs+usa+semi+final+l+Game+Soccer-+London+2012&type=c1pr_8002_CHW_CA_tid100s9&hspart=iba&hsimp=yhs-1&ei=UTF-8&fr=yhs-iba-1#id=55&vid=953492e049be68cd200d234caa335ddf&action=view


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