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Question Number: 33495

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/30/2019

RE: rec, select Under 19

gary of Nashua, NH usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33490

I just observed a panel member state that penalizing gk 6+ can be a disservice if time can be added. Why should a referee who doesn't want to add on too much time or is on a strict tourney schedule not be within complete reason to call this? I have done it twice but with, as stated, ample warning that the goalie was slowing things down.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
I played the game when it was much simpler. The six second rule was not part of the game nor the misnomer of the back pass was not a feature either.
Neither sit well with me and I have on all my years never called the 6 second offence. I have gone to goalkeepers to ask them to speed up putting the ball back into play. Couple that with opponents shouting about the time taken by the GK it has never got to the need to penalize the offence.
Think about it. In a full game 0f 80/90 minutes do we need to be calling delays of perhaps 10/12 seconds in putting the ball back into play?
It is also like the complaint about 3/4 yards on a throw in. Teams look for a cheap IDFK or a turnover of a throw in which I do not concede to easily.
Flip it over and the opponents do the exact same thing themselves. No one remembers the GKs being tardy on the release of the ball in games while everyone remembers the IDFK. In the scheme of things once it gets to 7 seconds it should be called! We know that never happens so is anothe 6/10 seconds relevant. How long is a piece of string to quote a phrase is key here. Until all the referee community agree to enforce this uniformly I see little point in one referee being the outlier. Would anyone have questioned Referee Pedersen had she not made that call in the USA v Canada game? It was a defining moment in her career for what was an IDFK!!

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gary,
Did you watch that USA Canada game?
I believe if you watched this incredible game the last thing you thought you would see was a referee awarding a goal scoring opportunity out of essentially nothing. A simple request or hand gesture and count out warning will have most keepers scrambling to get the ball in play.

Are you going to make every foul throw be retaken exactly from the touchline correctly because YOU have that power?

Are you going to retake every PK due to encroachment because YOU have the power?

Using your opinion, when you should exercise your authority is more than calling fouls, its managing a competitive fair match by not crushing the spirit of either team with constant interference and subjective values.

The things you can do & should do are tempered by what the match needs or requires. Sometimes I will call a very soft push or pull, often overlooked as trifling or doubtful if I feel the match is being tested beyond tolerance at midfield where the same would not be called inside the PA. Its not that we must be afraid of calling a true foul in the PA but we do not need a match management foul awarding a scoring opportunity on a slender premise.

If you are purposefully looking to get the keeper for dissent because they are brushing your well intentioned public warnings off, then go ahead and award the INDFK if you are satisfied of the need to penalize the offence. I certainly can agree sometimes matches have restricted protocols that perhaps require a firmer approach to wasting time. It is just that as my colleague Ref McHugh & I make it abundantly apparent for the keeper to move it or lose it allows for no cheap INDFK opportunity for the opposition to be tossed an unearned bone.

Just remember if you punish one keeper for a 6 second violation better be darn sure you make it fair if the other keeper was to also violate 6 seconds and do not expect the team getting the INDFK to stop lobbying for more or the team punished not scream at you the moment the other keeper is the least bit tardy. .
Because if you want to see coaches standing around with stop watches or listen to players counting out time you could have set that in motion.

There could be the occasional obtuse keeper who might need that INDFK awarded against them to remind them you are serious when you request them to speed up play. You are not wrong under the LOTG to award an INDFK for a 6 second violation. Our suggestions are meant to imply we can almost always find other ways to allow the game to continue by how we approach it.

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