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Question Number: 33761

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/8/2019

RE: U14 Travel Under 15

Terri D of Oakton, VA USA asks...

Are there any rules on goalie hindrance during corner kicks?
I started noticing in my kid's games and on TV, opposing players will try to block/pen the goalie in during corner kicks to impede their vision and/or movement. Is this allowed?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Terri,
Players are allowed to stand wherever they like on the field of play. However what they are not allowed to do is impede, block, hold or push other players to unfairly restrict these players' movements. As you point out, this is a particular problem at corners where forwards will try to hinder the goalie's freedom of movement. As with impeding, this almost never happens without contact taking place and if there is contact, it can then be viewed either as impeding with contact, or a holding offence.

There is actually a section of the law that refers to this and it goes as follows:

''Referees are reminded to make an early intervention and to deal firmly with holding offences, especially inside the penalty area at corner kicks and free kicks. To deal with these situations:
- the referee must warn any player holding an opponent before the ball is in play
- caution the player if the holding continues before the ball is in play
- award a direct free kick or penalty kick and caution the player if it happens once the ball is in play''

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Terri ,
within reason an attacking player can stand on the pitch where he wishes at the taking of corner kick. They do like to stand in front of the keeper usually causing the keeper to move.

They know it is OK because there is no INITIAL offside.

What they CAN NOT do is shadow the keeper by mirroring his movements, as they are impeding him unfairly

The corner kick once taken creates an INDFK out, if there is a contact it could even be a DFK out.

This assumes it is the attackers fault.

If the attacker takes a position in front of the keeper, the keeper is NOT permitted to simply shove him out of the way.

If the attacker remains stationary or moves away from the keeper in the direction of the ball, this is NOT impeding . The keeper can move around him or away from him . The key part is the attacker can not be looking at the keeper shadowing him, backing up into him or following him about like a lost puppy blocking him because the ball is NOT challangeable

Often several attacker will try to surround the keeper thinking to pen him in ahead of the corner but referees will step in to separate such tactical nonsense as it will only lead to
a lot of pushing and shoving. Should referee deal with it ahead if the corner occurring it is just verbal warnings and or a caution show a yellow card for possible USB or delaying the restart . Once the ball is kicked only THEN is a foul thus free kick possible

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Terri
Each player is entitled to take a position on the field of play. So a team can place a player close to the goalkeeper which can have the effect of blocking line of sight to the ball and / or restricting the movement of the goalkeeper provided that the player does not move to impede or block / hold the movement of the GK or any other player.
So we know that many times the players positioned there do not just stand there and just do nothing so referees have to keep a keen eye for impeding and blocking. When the goalkeeper moves before the kick so does the opponent. Once the kick is taken and the player moves to impede, block, hold etc it should be called as a foul. If the player does nothing then there is no offence.
In addition the defending teams to counteract this tactic usually tries to place defenders in such a way as to impede the attackers movements to assist the goalkeeper. This can get difficult and unruly at times with all sorts of shenanigans happening before the kick. Referees need to be mindful of this and to step in to deal with it should it get out of hand.

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