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Question Number: 33119

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/5/2019

RE: Competitive Under 13

Peter of San Francisco, California United States asks...

During a close & heated BU12 competitive game, I *twice* witnessed the following scenario:

Attacking team was fouled in the final third of the field and earned a direct free kick within range of goal. In each case one of the attacking team's forwards left the field of play over the goal line while the free kick was being set up, and stood beside the goal, off the field, waiting. As soon as the free kick was taken, that forward ran back into the field of play, into the goal area.

My question is: what, if anything, should the CR do in this situation?

Obviously the AR should have (and did) signal an offside, but I'm more interested in what, if anything, the CR should have done, particularly when the player did it a second time (i.e. strongly suggesting that this was a coached tactic, not a random brain fart by the forward).

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
The referee is perfectly entitled and obliged here to request the player NOT to position himself off the field of play. It is not part of a playing motion so he has no right to be there. The referee has to discern between standing on or movement close to the line and actually being off the FOP.
If it was my game I would not allow the restart and tell the player to stand on the FOP. If he failed to heed that or dissented the decision I would caution the player.
Anyway it reads like a poor tactic as he was clearly in an offside position so unable to participate in play for which he was called. I suspect it was coached probably done to avoid close marking and perhaps then getting involved in a second phase of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Peter,
According to the law, a player is not allowed to leave the field without the referee's permission. There are exceptions, such as retrieving a ball that has gone out of play or going off the field as part of a playing movement. Other temporary or accidental instances of crossing of the line might also be permitted but deliberately going off the field and remaining there as part off a tactical ploy is not allowed.

I agree with ref McHugh that the referee should warn the player not to do this and if they either refuse to do so or repeat the action, they should be cautioned.

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Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

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