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Question Number: 33597

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 8/26/2019

RE: Rec Under 13

David Gugino of Oak Brook, Illinois United States asks...

According to the 2019 LOTG game changes, if the ball hits the referee in the penalty area and possession changes or a promising attack is created, an uncontested dropped ball is awarded to the goalkeeper. Would this be the case even if the ball struck the referee in the penalty area and a promising attack is DISRUPTED as a consequence? That would seem to disadvantage the attacking team considerably, but I don't see that any other restart is allowed other than the uncontested dropped ball to the keeper.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
If the ball changed possession to create an opportunity for the attacking then you are indeed correct. The only restart is a dropped ball to the goalkeeper. However if the contact of the ball on the referee is incidental with no change of possession and the team was already on the attack then I see no reason to stop play particularly when nothing has changed. For example Red A attempts to pass to a Red B and it touches the referee on the way, with the ball continuing to Red B then there is no need to stop play. However if the ball was say destined to go wide from the kick by A or to an opponent and it deflects to B then different matter entirely.
It is for that reason that a referee should be extremely careful about his positioning inside the penalty area so the question does not arise.
Have a look at this video
It was patently *unfair* that the goal had to be awarded in that situation. The referee had no choice under the previous law. Under the amended Law it is a dropped ball to the goalkeeper. It was likely that if the ball had not hit the referee that Reds would have cleared it away anyway. So in many ways it was not unfair on White
Or these situations.
All to me are patently *unfair* and the game needed to do something which is to give the ball back to the team last in possession or inside the penalty area to the goalkeeper.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi David,
You are right - when the ball hits the referee inside the penalty area and possession changes or a promising attack is created, there is no choice except to drop the ball to the defending team goalkeeper.

This might potentially lead to what would seem an unfair situation (though I think that would be a relatively rare occurrence) however you are correct that under the law as written, the referee has no other option available.

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