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Question Number: 33652

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/16/2019

RE: U15 competitive Under 19

Jason C of La Crosse, WI USA asks...

Three questions arose at a recent game for me.

1) Center forward lingers around the edge of the penalty area and the keeper slams a punt off of him. I didn't actually see it, but turned around once I heard it. IDFK and a card for the CF. The CF's mild mannered coach gets quite worked up about the card, to which I say I am required to show once I call for the IDFK. This appears to be wrong, so I'm wondering when do you go with a card here? CF was not previously warned and the coach claims the keeper kicked the ball off him on purpose when he easily could have avoided doing so. Let me know if this last point matters.

2)Failure to respect distance on kicks as a tactic to prevent a quick restart - how many times do I ask a defensive player two yards away from the ball to please respect the distance before carding?

3)Direct free kick just outside the area, the attacking team does the move where one player runs over the ball without touching it, then another player takes the kick. The wall storms in thinking the first player will take it and is maybe five yards away when the ball actually moves. I immediately blow the whistle for a retake, but the kick is taken and it goes off the post! Yikes! If that kick had gone in, could I have waived off the whistle, or would they have had to retake it? Obviously I need to wait on the whistle next time.

Thanks for everything guys, this is the most useful reffing resource that I have found.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Jason,
Echoing my colleagues, sounds like you've been able to learn something here that you can take into all your games in the future.
You need to be able to keep your eye on the keeper when they're holding the ball - while trying to look upfield to the drop zone as well. Simply glancing upfield while watching the keeper will usually manage this, though if you move to a wider position you can usually keep more in your field of vision. I've seen plenty of incidents occur at this time - keeper and attacker start pushing and shoving here isn't all that unusual.
The other lesson is that you can only give what you see. I was at a CK once, no AR, and I took my preferred no-AR position just off the goal line, edge of the GA. I looked over to see if the player was positioning the ball, hear a shout, and behind me a player was on the ground, with people saying the player next to him punched him. I have every confidence that's what happened - but I can't give that red card without seeing it.
So in your case, without seeing it, you actually don't know if an offence has occurred.
In order to be guilty of preventing the keeper from releasing the ball, the attacker needs to actively be doing something. Jumping or sticking a foot out in front of the kick, for instance - or running around in front of the keeper blocking their path. Players are entitled to stand in their position - so if he was simply doing that and the keeper kicked it into him, then no offence has been committed.
Also, preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball is not an offence that requires a card - though I know quite a number of referees think it does. The laws simply require an IFK. So, we need to consider other aspects - danger to the keeper, impact on the game, that sort of thing. If the attacker is sticking a boot close to the keeper that's dangerous, so a likely card. If the keeper is trying to make a quick release for a fast counter and this gets blocked, that should be carded for the tactical nature of the foul. But a run-of-the-mill one doesn't require a card. Consider that a keeper's punt is usually just a 50-50 ball in the middle of the field so the impact by the attacker is fairly low - though a punt is preferable to a kick from the ground, so if it starts repeating you'll want to card that too.

2) This is a tricky one and a high tolerance has crept into the game - and referees at the top levels are doing us no favours by setting the wrong example here. If a defender is running up to the ball as the attacking team is about to kick it and that forces them to change their mind, there's no warning here. It's a card. If the defender is running up and the attacking team isn't yet moving to kick and it's had no impact, then there's scope for a warning - the defenders need to understand that they are obligated to respect 10 yards; the attacking team DOES NOT have to ask for it, and the defence is not dependant upon you moving them back 10 yards. Any reasonable effort I'll accept. If you've warned a player and they do it again, you have no choice but to caution - otherwise you're showing all the players that your warnings carry no weight.

3) There's no need to intervene before the kick is taken here - it's a legitimate tactic by the attacking team and it's on the defence to restrain themselves until the ball is kicked. In this instance you need to let the kick play out - and if it is blocked by an encroaching player, caution that player and retake the kick (though if they've run in 5 yards, I'd argue that warrants a caution and a retake even if the kick misses them completely......perhaps unless the play ends up being a short pass that gets around the wall, in that case you could continue and warn them). If that had gone in, it cannot count. If you've blown the whistle before a ball enters the goal, it can never count. It doesn't matter if it's open play and you blow the whistle when the ball is 1 foot from an open goal with no defenders anywhere near and enters immediately after - you've blown the whistle, so play is dead.
I once had a situation like this where defenders started to encroach, but even the attacking team seemed to get confused by their own play and they all sort of stopped too. At this point, given there was confusion by both teams and nothing was really happening, it probably would have been best for me to intervene and 'reset' the kick - but in most cases where it's all happening pretty quickly, the kick needs to be allowed to unfold.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
The first point is that a referee should never turn his back on the ball while it is play. The trick here is to run backwards towards half way so the ball is in view all the time yet moving to the preferred next position.
Now a card is not mandatory so if the goalkeeper drew the offence by kicking the ball at the player who is trying to impede the release then for me an IDFK may be sufficient.
In addition the referee has to consider the context. If the offence is tactical then it is card for unsporting behaviour. If it is aimless kicking by a goalkeeper to get a referee to intervene with an opponent then I would let it slide with a warning and a free kick.
On the second point I would say that you are not getting your point across to the player. He has decided based on your first warning that he believes that it is not serious and not going to be dealt with on a repeat. I would be somewhat sharp with the player on his first attempt to stop the restart so he gets the message along with the other players. If he has actually stopped the kick going to an opponent turn it is a card immediately. If the kick dies not happen and many times it does not anyway a repeat draws a card.
On the third scenario the advice is to await the outcome of the kick. A whistle cannot be waved off once sounded so the only possible restart is a retake. In addition it reads to me that the encroachment may have had little to no effect on the kick when the ball hit a post. I would have probably allowed play to continue.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jason,
1st question WHY did you not see it?
Shoulder checks into areas of contention?
Referees need to run backwards, sideways as well as forward to keep play in sight ?
No ARs for another angle of view?

Yes it matters!

If you did not SEE the event how can you decide what call to make?
It appear you went with the stated part of the LOTG where an attacker is NOT allowed to obstruct the keeper from releasing the ball, that said, he does not have to get out of the keepers' way if already there?
The keeper can indeed be guilty of trying to draw a foul by punting or throwing the ball into the attacker.
Even if the attacker was in the way and was a tad slow reacting the card is NOT mandatory even if the INDFK is awarded for the interference.

(2) I do it in the pregame and the first guy who tries to get cute with delaying restarts or defying the distance protocols finds ten yards mean ten yards but if you choose to offer a verbal warning, If you warn the blue team then red gets one too !

(3) You answered your own question. If the opposing team cheats, you wait & see an outcome/advantage before deciding IF it requires a retake. If you believe the encroachment had no impact you CAN let ply continue!
However, you are right in thinking it could be a bad outcome, the goal CAN NOT count if you blow BEFORE the ball has COMPLETELY crossed the goal line, under the crossbar between the posts.
That said I have seen a referee in MLS award a goal after blowing the whistle for a handling DOGSO where the ball was rebounded back into the goal almost at the same time, but just after the whistle sounded . TECHNICALLY wrong yet the teams lived with the result as one team scored the other had all players on deck as the player was not sent off only cautioned. Referee sold it as a decision good for the game but the assessor ripped him a new one!
We are glad to assist you in your refereeing journey
Good luck

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