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Soccer Referee Questions on Soccer Rules
Welcome to all from -- a Soccer Law Question and Answer site. Providing answers to questions regarding soccer laws since October 11, 1999... to ask a question simply click on Ask the Ref in the menu bar and pose your question and the panel will reply. Those who have ideas or articles please feel free to contact the editor Richard Dawson at with suggestions.

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/3/2022

RE: Under 13

Scott of Livermore, CA US asks...

More handling situations:
1. An attacker kicks the ball and it hits the hands of a nearby defender running at them with their arms outstretched or above their head who is attempting to block the kick. My understanding is that this is handling as they deliberately made themselves bigger in their attempt to block the kick. Correct?
2. A player plays the ball legally with their foot/leg/torso/head and the ball then accidentally hits their hand that is outstretched or above their head. While I cannot find anything to officially support this, I am fairly certain I attended a training session where this was described as not handling (as long as they do not attempt to direct the ball with their hand) since the act was not deliberate, nor...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/3/2022

RE: rec Adult

sal of Chicago, illinois usa asks...

I had a player in a game this weekend who persistently kept yelling handball every time the ball hit an opponents torso. Can this be construed as UB for trying to deceive the referee into calling a handball to regain control of the ball through a free kick?

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/1/2022

G. Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

The Vancouver Whitecaps' Lucas Cavallini is a known trouble-maker and referees must groan when they see his name on the roster. He has 21 cautions and 2 red cards in 61 games. Positives: 17 goals scored.

His latest caper, a 'light' head stomp on a prone Nashville player that he had knocked down, cost him four games.

In his first game back, it looked like the opposition wanted to give him some of his own medicine, and the referee seemed to ignore their "welcome back" greetings.

First, the "stomp" which I suspect didn't leave a mark, but was incredibly foolish:

Now for his 'welcome back' after...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/1/2022

G. Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

In the Vancouver Whitecaps match vs. Austin FC on Oct. 1, Ryan Gauld poked the ball into the PA and was chasing it down when a defender cut off Gauld's path, to give his keeper a safe pick-up of the ball.

I contend that the defender had no interest in the ball and went for obstruction with contact... a holding foul.

A PK would have been a fair outcome, say the fans and I.

I'll thank you for your thoughts.

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/1/2022

RE: Adult

Tony Thompson of St. Ives, NSW Australia asks...

Hi all,
My question is regarding hand ball and you you may have answered this question before.

If a player protects their face from the ball at close range is this a hand ball under the laws as they now stand.

The laws clearly state for hand ball regarding this situation and I paraphrase:

1.If the hand moves towards the ball.

2.If you make yourself bigger. Unless the hands are in a natural position.

I note there is no reference to protection which used to be in the laws regarding hand ball which seems to be no longer in place.

1 Moving hands to protect your face at close range is certainly moving your hand towards the ball. So Handball by definition.

2.Moving ...

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Mechanics 9/29/2022

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I have a question regarding the VAR protocol.

For example, when team A is attacking, player A controlled the ball using his/her hands but the referee missed it. Then, player B stopped player A with a foul inside the penalty area of team B but the referee missed this one also. After that, team A maintained possession for a while but then they lost the ball, team B attacked and scored a goal. In that case, what do VAR and the central referee have to do? ...

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High School 9/27/2022

RE: Small School High School

William Stoneman of Fairfield, ca usa asks...

In the old USSF "Advice for Referees" publication. A ball hanging a tree hanging over the field was still in play. If it stayed inbounds after hitting the tree. At a field with a tree over hanging tree. A team member was insisting that it was out of play. In checking the LOTG the is no reference to the situation. It also is not covered in the NFHS rule book. What is the correct call now. PS. Have worked at this field for 10 years. And this is the first time the policy has ben challenged ...

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Character, Attitude and Control 9/26/2022

RE: Rec Under 14

Adrienne kalaw of Yuba city, Ca USA asks...

Firstly Thank you for all your responses I am definitely taking all of your opinions inconsideration. Update
From my goalies parent who was down he was being held down by another opponents cleat to the back of his leg and other players pushing him down to not allow him to get up while he was trying to get up.

Multiple of my players experienced then described a tactic to their parents where two of the opposing players would come up to one of my players on their side then the left player would stick their leg out while the right player would use his shoulder to shove my player over the leg to trip them.

Two of 3 of my players were taken of the field with sever injuries in which the referee did not blow the whistle n...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/26/2022

RE: Youth-Adult rec and comp.

G. Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

This clip, of a keeper standing in his PA but reaching out of the box to catch a dangerous ball, generated a LOT of discussion on Facebook.

An attacker was charging forward for the ball and defenders were not in pursuit. The keeper could have headed or chested the ball... or waited a split second for it to be in the PA.

VAR caught him for the infringement and the ref red carded the keeper, presumably for DOGSO.

Much of the incorrect chatter was about the keeper's foot position. As we should all know, the position of the ball (in the air or on the ground) is paramount.

I agreed with 'knowledgeable' crowd who favoured DOGSO... but after looking at it again and...

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Mechanics 9/25/2022

RE: Other

Jeremy of Portland, OR USA asks...

Is it bad practice to not allow a team to sub its own players when they are trying a fast restart? ...

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