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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 ASAP.

Over the past 24 years we have amassed hundreds of thousands of questions & answers but the LOTG always change and/or portions no longer apply.

It is essential to reread the latest version of the Laws of the Game as they are constantly being tweaked, reevaluated and rewritten each year!
The IFAB 2022 - 2023 LOTG Laws of the Game can be viewed here

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 3/21/2023

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I would like to ask a question about accidental handball by the attacking team in DOGSO situations.

Assume that an attacker is 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper inside the penalty area but the ball accidentally hits the attackers hand/arm. Then, a defender pulls down the attacker inside the penalty area and causes a penalty kick. In this case, shall the defender be sent-off or cautioned? I ask because even if the attacker scored, the goal would not count as the ball hits his/her arm.

Thank you.

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/21/2023

RE: Adult

Damianos of Athens, Attiki Greece asks...

I was under the impression that a deliberate handball was always a yellow card.

I checked the laws of the game though, and there is no mention for yellow card on handball unless the hand stops a promising attack.

Would a case like the one on the video bellow be a card? It is an obvious deliberate handball but also obviously it is not a promising attack, we are still on the other end.

3:16 Goalkeeper tries to pass to the left back to avoid pressing(it is not a goalkick or something, we are in play) and the opponent on yellow "blocks" the pass

Thanks in advance...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/20/2023

RE: Adult

John Brown of Nashville, Tennessee United States asks...

I was refereeing a men's game and mostly letting them play. Play was sometimes physical but well controlled. Emotions were in check.

In the 69th minute two players chased down a loose ball at a high rate of speed. The Yellow player tackled the ball away with both cleats in the air, making contact with the ball about a foot and a half off the ground. The Blue player ran into the Yellow player's legs, still a foot and a half off the ground, and screamed as he flew through the air and came to a stop about fifteen feet on the other side of the Yellow player.

Before the Blue player had landed several Blue players were screaming for a red card. I thought the play was not a foul and did not blow my whistle, but play stop...

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Law 11 - Offside 3/19/2023

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Offside - what are we missing in this call.

In the recent Nottingham Forest v Newwe all know what that means).

With a new season of local park footy about to start down here, there has been plenty of discussion on this one, and to a person, no one could see the justification for the offside.

Every person asked felt the defender made a deliberate play at the ball and therefore resetting the phase. No one is of the thinking that it was deflection to the PIOP.

Everyone is of the thinking that there was enough distance (and time) between the attackers flat cross and the defender to give the defender ample time make a conscious and deliberate mental and phys...

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High School 3/17/2023

RE: High school High School

DAVID LAZOr of LEESBURG, VA United States asks...

In a high school soccer game my player scored a goal and in his celebration steps off the field, 1 or 3 yards off. The referee gives him a yellow card for not getting permission to leave the field. I have never heard of this rule. ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/15/2023

RE: Adult

Nicholas Broderick of Lewis Lake, Nova Scotia Canada asks...

A defending goalkeeper traps a slow, rolling shot on his/her goal *using only his/her chest* inside the penalty area - the ball does not touch his/her hands. No attacker is close enough to challenge, and, mistakenly believing the goalkeeper has taken possession, they all retreat up-field. The goalkeeper continues to lie on the ball, with the attackers now loudly complaining the goalkeeper has blatantly violated the "six second rule".

Is there anything for the referee to do here?

PIADM is hard to justify if no opponent is nearby. And there's no specific enumeration of "lying on top of the ball" as UB in the Laws anymore. (That may just be an editorial oversight.)

It's probably an ethical breach to openly tell...

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Law 15 - The Throw In 3/11/2023

RE: Travel and Club referee Under 15

Ben of Merrimack, New Hampshire United States asks...

When throwing the ball into play from a throw in can your foot be on the line? I’m not sure if your foot can be on the line and it gets called or if your foot has to be completely onto the field....

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/11/2023

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


What if it is a save by the goalkeeper instead of a rebound from the goal post?

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/10/2023

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I have a question regarding the handball rule.

The rule states it is an offence if a player scores in the opponents’ goal:
- directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper
- immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental

When saying “immediately”, does it mean single touch?
Is it an offence if the ball touches the player’s arm accidentally, the player dribbles the ball for 2-3 steps, takes a shot and scores a goal?...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/9/2023

RE: Rec Adult

Doug Crawford of Folsom, CA US asks...

Hello referees - hypothetical attacker handball:
The ball accidentally strikes a player on the arm. The player shoots on goal and the ball hits the goal post and comes back to the same player who shoots and scores.

LOTG Law 12 says -
“It is an offence if a player: …
- scores in the opponent’s goal:
- directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including the goalkeeper
- immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental”

Question - Is a second shot on goal a new phase of play, and the goal is good? Or if only a 3-4 seconds have passed, is that still “immediately”, resulting in a free kick for the defense?

Thanks as usual! /Doug ...

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