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Question Number: 33728

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 10/22/2019

RE: Under 19

John (Iain) Doleman of Las Vegas, NV United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33726

Response to answer 33726.

However, under the new LOTG once a ball is kicked and clearly moves it is now in play. There for what then is the restart.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi John,
As referees we can apply common sense here - use our judgement in determining whether somebody is simply repositioning the ball. The fact that the ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves doesn't necessarily mean it HAS to be considered in play if a player touches it with his foot. We can use our judgement to see when they're simply repositioning.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,
In your previous question, you posited a scenario where a player 'drags' the ball with the foot to reposition it. You state further that the keeper then picks the ball up and replaces it. I think that from your description, it is clear that the goalie was repositioning the ball, not kicking it into play.

I think that when refereeing, it is extremely important to know the letter of the law, so as to avoid making technical errors but it is equally important to understand the spirit of the law and how to apply it so that the intent of the law makers is adhered to. The intent of the law on the ball being in play when it is kicked and clearly moves, is not to penalise a player who is simply repositioning the ball with the feet and hands. To do so, just because you think you could justify doing this by strictly taking only the letter of the law while ignoring its intent, is what is known as 'gotcha' refereeing and is to be avoided.

If the referee judged that the goalkeeper had indeed kicked the ball in order to put it into play and then ran after it and picked it up, it would be an indirect free kick for a second touch offence but it seems quite obvious from your description, that that is not what happened here.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John ,
if a referee was 100% convinced the ball was KICKED into play the second touch is an INDFK for the opposition! That said only a very obtuse referee or really dense kicker would perform in such a way that this actually could be true.. To give a scoring opportunity out of nothing is bad for the game!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
This raises the question as to whether the ball was put into play in the first place. Positioning the ball or repositioning it with a foot is not a restart so the ball is not in play.
If it is kicked and moved then it is a double touch infringement with the IDFK taken from where the second touch took place or in this case taking into account the restart for an offence inside the goal area.
Now for me a referee should not be creating problems for himself second guessing a possible restart. To give an IDFK on a goal kick where the ball was never *kicked* as understood in Law would create huge problems for the referee and the game. In your scenario the GK has dragged the ball across the goal area, lifted it and set it up for the GK. Whatever about a delay this is not the intended restart and even the opponents will not see this as an infringement whatever about complaining about the time taken.
Have a look at these videos
Is there double touches in there? Giggs never touched the ball with his hands ever and always used his foot to move / position the ball. Should IDFKs be given instead of seeing it as repositioning the ball to take a restart.

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