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Question Number: 33088

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/22/2019

RE: Competitive Under 19

Tod Helton of Denver, Colorado USA asks...

Regarding players leaving the FOP while in the act of playing the ball, or attempting to play the ball. Is it legal for a player to leave FOP to counter the time wasting tactic of an opponent trying to hold the ball next to the corner flag?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tod
Yes there is no issue about a player leaving the field of play to challenge for the ball in the corner area. Many times I am surprised by players not doing this instead of challenging from the rear only which can end up as a foul. I know that players have been coached to approach opponents from the goal side yet when there is two players it makes sense for one to go around the player and challenge from the front side. In my opinion there is more of a chance of the defender fouling in those instances.
In a recent ECL game I saw a defender go around the attacker in this manner to challenge from the front of the opponent which made absolute sense and smarter play. It did work as I recall the ball was played immediately. Even if the attacker moved away infield it achieved the goal of getting the ball available again in open play, out of the corner.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Tod,
For me this would be considered part of a playing movement and since the law says, ''A player who crosses a boundary line as part of a playing movement, does not commit an offence,'' this would be legal.

I agree with ref McHugh that it is actually a little surprising that players don't do this more often.

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