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Question Number: 33687

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 10/3/2019

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

I saw a similar thing happen on the weekend, in the Rugby World Cup - then it happened to me in a women's 7-a-side game, Tuesday.

In the midfield, a woman pushed the ball past me and I thought I was stepping out of her path, to let her go through. We both zigged when one of us should have zagged and we collided and fell to the ground, with a bit of a laugh. :)

Though high-paced and good quality soccer, it's played in a 'recreational' spirit. Play was stopped and I awarded a drop ball to the blocked-out player. There was no complaint.

Similar was done in the rugby game, but it only 'felt' like the proper thing to do here. I didn't know if it is supported in the new Laws, like a ref getting hit by a ball is.

Your thoughts?

Thanks again, for your valuable work here.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Barry,
While it's true that the law doesn't allow for a dropped ball just because a player and the referee collide, if both you and the player end up on the ground, I think you would be entitled to say that you were temporarily unable to carry out your duties as a referee (as you were not able to properly see what was going on in the game) and would need to stop play for that reason. Having stopped play, a dropped ball to the team in possession before the stoppage, would then become the correct restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
As described it is not supported in Law. A dropped ball only applies when the ball makes contact with the referee not a player. In your scenario the referee can make a case for being *incapacitated* on the fall to the ground for a few seconds in which case play can be stopped with a DB restart. The team last in possession gets the ball.
I got in the way of a player recently in a small tight field and he swore at me. I stopped play cautioned him and restarted with an IDFK.

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