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You Make the Call

Last modified: February 20, 2013

You Make The Call #44

Red is awarded a corner kick vs. blue.  Red #1 sets ball in arc and then call to teammate #9 “you take it”.  As #9 approaches, #1 nudges the ball so that it moves from the original spot.

 

#1 runs toward goal and #9 heads toward ball.  #9 then stops at ball, kicks it once toward the goal and continues to advance toward the ball.  On her second touch, Red #9 shoots ball into goal.

 

Referee whistles.

 

What is the restart?

 

a) Kick-off for blue

 

b) Indirect free kick for blue

 

c) Direct free kick for blue

 

d) b) but with a caution for Red #1 for unsporting behavior

 

e) Red must retake corner kick.

 

Answer:

a)  Kick-off for blue because the goal for red counts. 

This is not a double touch because the red player #1 put he ball into play.  USSF and AYSO have determined that this is not unsporting behavior – teammates can speak with to each other with instructions even if those instructions mislead the other team.

 

See “Corner Kick Tactic” on the USSF – based askasoccerreferree.com web page.  Specifically: http://www.askasoccerreferee.com/?cat=25

 

 

See http://www.ayso.org/resources/referee_res/whats_the_correct_answer.aspx#090309 (September 3, 2009) for a slight twist.  In this case, it is the coach calling out the misleading instruction to his teammates.  This is acceptable as well:

The Laws of the Game allow a coach to provide tactical instructions to his players as long as he does it from the designated technical area.

 

Therefore, in the scenario described in this question, as long as the coach was within his designated technical area, he was not guilty of acting in an irresponsible manner.

 

Other examples of fair deception are:

 

•When a player does a "dummy run."

 

•An attacking player who intentionally positions himself in an offside position but, does not participate in the play and allows a teammate in good position to go after the ball.

 

And finally – for a penalty kick?  Here, consider that Red has a penalty kick and Red #1 is the designated kicker.  He receives the ball from the referee, and places it on the penalty mark spot.  Upon the referee’s whistle, he casually moves up toward the ball and motions to a teammate – “here, you take it” and he nudges the ball forward.

 

At this point, what does the referee do?

a) whistle the play dead with a free kick for the opponents

b) nothing

c) Allow play to continue but whistle if a red teammate touches the ball before an opponent touches it

d) whistle the play dead and caution Red #1 with a free kick for the opponents

 

Again, this is a legitimate (if not a particularly effective) play.  This is simply another version of the corner kick scenario mentioned above (with the added twist of the differences between the penalty kick and corner kick restarts).

 

 

Understanding The Referee's Decisions

A COACH POSED A VERY POLITE QUESTION TO THE REFEREE COUNCIL (paraphrased below), AND WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE INSTRUCTIVE TO SHARE THE DIALOGUE WITH EVERYONE.

COACH: "In the closing minutes of our U16 match on Saturday, our player received a pass, dribbled in and scored, giving us a 1-goal lead in a closely-contested match. Needless to say, we were ecstatic! The referee signalled 'goal' and the ball was placed in the center circle for the kickoff. But before the other team kicked off, the AR spoke to the Referee, who then signalled Indirect Free Kick, 'No Goal- Offisde', and the ball was brought back and the goal taken away. I've been involved in soccer for many years and I've never seen this happen: once the Ref signals 'Goal', it's a goal, isn't it??  Our entire team was disappointed and we all feel like we had a victory taken a way unfairly. Is there anything that can be done about this?"

REF COUNCIL: "Hi [Coach],

I appreciate you bringing this to my attention, and even though there is nothing we can do about the outcome of that match, I do want you to know that we listen to the input from the coaches and use these experiences to further educate the ref corps....

Obviously, I can't comment on the specifics of that decision, because I wasn't there. But I can speak to the Laws of the Game, and it is definitely within the scope of Laws 5 and 6 for the referee to 1) reconsider and change a decision prior to the restart (in this case, the kickoff), and 2) to solicit input from his assistant referees at any time. Whether the AR signalled properly is irrelevant to the Referee's decision (I've called offside on occasions when the AR missed it- the flag is not a required part of the offside call).

Referees subject themselves to criticism when they appear uncertain or don't seem to communicate well, but the most important consideration is to get it right. It appears that in this case, the Ref Crew made the decision they felt was the right one, even knowing they would make someone unhappy.

Everyone strives for the fairest outcome in every match, for both sides. If it makes you feel any better, please consider this: how would you feel if you were on the other side, and after losing the match, the referee told you, "that goal shouldn't have counted because the girl was offside, but the AR didn't raise his flag."?

We'll keep trying to do the best job we can for the players, as I know you do as a coach. Thanks again, [Coach], see you on the field.

{ADDITIONAL INFO: subsequent to this exchange, the Asst Referee who made the call explained: "I didn't raise the flag because, from my vantage point it appeared that the defense would play it, or the ball would go through for a goal kick for the defending team. But the attacker, who was in an offside position, made a tremendous play to catch up with the ball and make a great shot into the goal. The referee had seen the same thing but depended on my signal, which I didn't make. So, I made a mistake, and rather than live with the 'popular', but wrong decision, I spoke with the Referee and we reversed the call". As stated above, always try your best to Get It Right. }

You Make The Call #43

The ball goes into touch off a green player right at mid-field - it is a throw-in for blue at the half-way (center) line.

 

Blue player #4 takes a few steps back and runs facing the field toward the green goal.  As she approaches the half-way line, she twists her torso and throws the ball toward her own goal, such that her torso and her feet are at almost a 90 degree angle.  The ball was thrown-in with both hands and did start from behind her head and was released over her head.

 

a)         play, no problems

 

b)         The direction of the throw was not the same direction as her feet, so it is a improper throw-in and the result is a throw-in for green.

 

c)         Improper throw-in, but blue retakes the throw

 

d)         Indirect free kick for green at the location where the ball touches a player or the ground, as this is an example of trickery.

 

e)         same as d) with the additional action that the blue player #4 is cautioned.

 

 

Answer:

 

The throw in is legal.  The only requirements for the throw-in are

(i)         faces the field of play

(ii)        has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the touch line

(iii)       holds the ball with both hands

(iv)       delivers the ball from behind and over his (her) head

(v)        delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play

 

Since she threw the ball back toward her keeper, she is clearly facing the field of play.  Her feet, in fact, are also facing the field of play, although at a different direction.

 

 

Now, a twist on the twist…

 

The ball is released as mentioned above but the referee notices that the ball has significant spin.  Any call?

 

No – the ball must be delivered using both hands and over the head, but there is no requirement that the force exerted by each hand is the same.  Therefore, it is perfectly legal for the ball to have spin.

You Make The Call #42: Spare Ball Assist

An attacker on the Blue team is dribbling the ball from the corner toward the Red goal along the goal line.  Attacker shoots the ball and it bounces toward the goal almost parallel with end line. A spare ball is off field but not a full diameter off the field.  The match ball is traveling along the goal line, and the match ball makes contact with the spare ball but the match ball never goes out of play.  The match ball continues toward the goal, but has perhaps gained a bit of spin from the collision. When the ball gets in front of the goal, it hits a bump and/or the spin redirects the ball into the goal.

 

What should the referee do?

 

a)         Goal, match ball never went out of play so point to center circle for restart.

 

b)         Whistle.  Restart with goal kick for Red since match ball made contact with spare ball that should have been far enough out of play.

 

c)         Whistle.  Restart with indirect free kick for blue and caution the goalkeeper for allowing spare ball to interfere with match ball. 

 

d)         Drop Ball restart where the balls made contact.

 

e)         Drop ball restart where the balls made contact unless contact was with the goal area.  If so, drop ball is at goal area line nearest to point of balls making contact.

 

The correct answer is (e).  This is an example of outside interference impacting play.  The restart for this is a drop ball restart.  Remember (i) there is not a mandatory number of players who must participate in a drop ball restart and (ii) a goalkeeper may handle a ball from a drop ball restart in his own penalty area.

 

You Make The Call #41

The ball is kicked by a blue team player and accidentally makes contact with a red team #4’s hand and falls to her feet where she immediately takes advantage of the situation and shoots the ball directly into the blue team’s goal.  What should the referee do?

 

a)         Whistle, handling on Red #4.  Any unfairly gained advantage should be nullified by the referee.  If the ball did not go directly to the Red#4’s feet, perhaps let it go but since Red #4 did gain an advantage for this, whistle for handling.

 

b)         Whistle, handling on Red #4 and caution (yellow card) Red #4 for putting the game in disrepute.  As above, any unfairly gained advantage should be nullified by the referee.  Even If the Red #4 did not score a goal, she tried to take an unfair advantage of this situation and should receive a caution.

 

c)         Award a goal for the red team and restart with a kick-off for the blue team.

 

d)         Award a goal for the red team and restart with a kick-off for the blue team but caution red #4 before the kick-off.  She gets the goal but this is somewhat balanced by also giving her the yellow card.

 

Correct answer is c).  When, in the opinion of the referee, the contact of ball and hand is not deliberate, play should be allowed to continue regardless of whether or not the accidental contact of ball and hand resulted in an advantage for either team.

 

However, does “not deliberate” mean only that the player did not see the ball coming?  Not necessarily.  If a player has her hands up in an ‘un-natural’ position (think of a player facing away from the ball with her hands up like a basketball player guarding an opponent) and the ball makes contact with the player’s hands, this would be considered handling.  From the AYSO website.

 

Part II.  Can a referee play advantage if a handling violation occurs?  Yes.  Consider a scenario where a red player reaches out and knocks the ball down.  If a blue player immediately plays the ball and this leads to an advantageous situation for the blue team (better for the blue team to have the ball rather than stop play and award a free kick), play advantage.

 

You Make The Call #40

Blue team #9, outside her own penalty area, crosses her arms across her chest and carefully positions herself to control the ball which has been kicked very high in the air by a red team player, and the ball strikes the blue player’s crossed arms and hand? What should you, the referee, do?

 

 

a)      No call, continue play.

b)      Whistle, blue is guilty of handling.  A player may not allow the ball to touch their hands or arms when the player has time to reposition her body.  This is a direct free kick foul and, if it happens inside the penalty area, it is a penalty kick for the RED team.

c)      Whistle, blue is guilty of handling.  Players may not allow the ball to touch their hands or arms.  This is a direct free kick foul (handling); however, if inside the penalty area, it does not really deserve to lead to a penalty kick by the red team, so use the “spirit of the game” and award an indirect free kick for the RED team where the ball made contact with the blue player.

d)      Whistle, blue is guilty of dangerous player by leaving her arms up.  Indirect free kick to RED.

 

Answer (b): Since the ball was kicked very high, the blue player had ample time to prepare herself to either avoid being hit by the ball or to control the ball without using her hands or arms. Award a direct free kick for the red team because the blue team player deliberately handled the ball. Positioning the hands or arms to deliberately control the ball rather than for instinctive self protection is not allowed.  From the AYSO website.

You Make The Call #39

Blue team #9, inside her own penalty area, crosses her arms across her chest to protect herself while she is part of a defensive wall defending against a free kick by the red team. The ball is then kicked directly into the blue team's defensive wall and strikes the crossed arms and hand of Blue #9? What is the correct call?  Your options are:

 

a)     No call, continue play.

b)     Whistle, blue is guilty of handling.  Players may not allow the ball to touch their hands or arms even when the ball is kicked hard at them from a relatively short distance.  This is a direct free kick foul (handling) inside the penalty area so it must be a penalty kick for the RED team.

c)      Whistle, blue is guilty of handling.  Players may not allow the ball to touch their hands.  This is a direct free kick foul (handling) inside the penalty area but does not really deserve to lead to a penalty kick by the red team, so use the “spirit of the game” and award an indirect free kick for the RED team where the ball made contact with the blue player.

d)     Whistle, red is guilty of dangerous play by kicking the ball at the blue team players.  Indirect free kick for BLUE.

 

THE CORRECT ANSWER IS a). 

Continue play if the contact of ball and hand was the result of self protection. Female and male players are both allowed to protect sensitive body parts using their hands and/or arms for self protection in instinctive reactions throughout the game or in defensive wall formations during free kicks where the likelihood of being struck by the ball is high. It is the referee’s responsibility to judge whether or not the hands or arms were just used for self protection (no foul) or subsequently used to deliberately control the ball (foul).  From the AYSO website.

You Make The Call #38

Situation:  You are the referee for a match and the weather is threatening.  It has rained on and off all day but the field is still playable.  Then, you see a flash of lightning. What do you do?  Your options are:

 

a)     Count time between seeing lightning and hearing thunder.  If more than 10 seconds, continue to play.

b)     Stop the match.  If every player has played at least part of one quarter, the match is “official” and can be stopped with the score at the time becoming the final result.

c)      Apply the 30-30 rule.  If there is less than 30 seconds between lightning and thunder, suspend the match and seek shelter.  Even if you only hear thunder, suspend the match.  Wait 30 minutes after the latest evidence of lightening / thunder to resume the match.

d)     Continue play.  The metal goal posts at either end of the field provide a “ground” for any nearby lightning strike.  Just make certain the goalkeepers and other players do not touch the posts during this time.

 

THE CORRECT ANSWER IS C).  See the USSF Memorandum dated April 6, 2005 located at http://images.ussoccer.com/Documents/cms/ussf/doc_6_268.pdf which treats several types of inclement weather.

 

When you see lightning or hear thunder:

1. Regardless of how far away it may seem, your responsibility as a referee is to STOP the match immediately and apply the 30-30 rule.

2. Advise players and team personnel to seek shelter.  Inside an enclosed building is best; inside a vehicle is also a good back-up.

3. Tell them they may not return to the field without your approval.

4. Note the time you stopped play. If they refuse to seek shelter, or they return to the field without your approval, submit a detailed Game Report.

 

Note that the referee does not decide the result of the match.  By stopping or suspending the match, it is halted with the possibility that the match will be resumed at some later time (minutes, hours).  Therefore, it is important to record all of the details (score, time match was suspended, if the ball was in or out of play when you stopped play, etc). 

If no further lightning is observed after 30 minutes, the match is restarted where it left off.  For example, if the match was stopped with a goal kick about to be taken, the match is restarted with the same restart – goal kick.  If the referee whistled to halt play, play is restarted with a dropped ball. 

If the lightning continues and the referee decides that the match cannot continue for the day, the match is terminated.  Also, the referee does not decide if or when the match will be replayed if it is terminated for the day, or if it will restart from where it left off or if the entire match will be replayed.  The region (or tournament) decides that.

 

 

Some links for consideration:

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/07/21/Three_hurt_in_soccer_game_lightning_strike/UPI-40001216644085/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25984197/

You Make The Call #37

‘Tis the playoff season.  The play-off match ends in a draw.  The next phase is ‘kicks from the penalty mark’ (KFTPM).  Remember:

Only players who are on the field of play when the match ends (this includes any overtime period) are eligible.

 

There is a new coin toss to determine who goes first (winner of toss decides).

 

All eligible players are to be in the center circle before the first kick.

 

The initial round of kicks starts with five players from each team.  First team A, then team B, and repeat until the ten kicks (five from each team) are taken or a winner is decided.  In fact, all five kicks from each team may not need to be taken.  If, for example, team A scores on its first three attempts and team B misses its first three attempts, a winner has been decided (with only two kicks left, it is not possible for team B to overcome the three goal disadvantage so neither team takes these final two kicks).

If the score is tied after the first five kicks from each team, then the KFTPM goes into a ‘sudden death’ phase with the score determined after each pair of kicks.  For example, on the sixth kick, team A misses but team B scores, so Team B is declared the winner. 

 

I.

Is each team required to inform the referee team the numbers or names of the first five players who will take the kicks?

 

No – the referee and ARs only record who has taken the kicks.  Any player who was on the field when the match ended and has not yet taken a kick is eligible to take the next kick (more below).

 

Note that the 2007 Advice to the Referee States:

19.1  The procedure for kicks from the penalty mark does not require that players kick in any particular order, that an order be established ahead of time, nor that a list of kickers must be provided to the referee.

 

II.A

Player # 5 steps up to take her team’s third KFTPM.  She kicks the ball toward the goal but it is stopped by the goalkeeper. However, the ‘keeper had encroached and stepped off the goal line prior to the kick.  The kick is to be re-taken.  Unfortunately, #5 is shaken and does not want to take the kick.  Can another player replace #5 to take this third kick?

 

Yes, if there was an infraction and the kick is to be re-taken, another eligible player may take the kick.

 

II.B

Following up on the above scenario, the score was tied after the first five kickers from each team completed their kicks.  The score remains tied as each additional kicker completes her kick and #5 is the only eligible player remaining on her team.  Must #5 take the next kick? 

 

Yes she must take the next kick (barring any injury that may have occurred during KFTPM).

 

III.B

In the final pair of kicks, both player #5 and her opponent score.  Since the eligible players have all taken the ‘first round’ of kicks, the second round continues with the ‘sudden death’ format and all eligible players once again can participate.  Having made her previous attempt, #5 wants to be the first of her team to take the second round kick.  Is this allowed or must the same sequence of kickers be followed as in the first round?

 

No, the order of kicks taken in the first round has no bearing on the order taken in the second round.  #5 can take the first kick in the second round for her team.

You Make The Call #36

The referee whistles after time has fully expired. After blowing the whistle, the referee sees the trailing AR waving his flag and a fight happening between two opposing players in the penalty area far away from the ball. After the fight is settled, the AR tells the referee that the defender struck the attacker inside of the defender's penalty area before the final whistle.  Assuming the referee accepts the AR's version of events, how should the referee respond:

 

a) The foul occurred before the whistle blew.  A foul by a defender in his own penalty area results in a penalty kick for the opponent.

 

b) The match has ended since the referee blew.  No further play – final is final!

 

c) The foul indeed occurred prior to the whistle but the ball was not in or near that penalty area.  The referee can caution the defender and start with a free kick at the location of the ball when the foul occurred.

 

d) The referee did not see the foul and cannot use the word of the assistant referee to make a decision.

 

a) is correct.  A foul that occurs before the whistle is blown is still a foul.  The referee may take any advice of the assistant referee when running a match.  The referee does not have to see the infraction or foul – consider an offside call that an AR is positioned to make but the referee is not positioned to make – to make a call.  However, a referee does not have to follow his AR’s calls.  Back to the offside call.  The AR raises the flag to signal offside but the referee sees that there is another defender and the goalkeeper closer to the goal that the defender that the AR is tracking.  If the AR is in error, the referee will not accept the AR’s signal (as the center referee, think about the importance of maintaining good communication and teamwork with your ARs– give a quick wave and point to the other defender and carry on).

You Make The Call #35

Red is awarded a free kick.  Red #10 takes the kick but the ball is poorly struck and only travels a short distance.  Red  #10 realizes that he cannot touch the ball a second time but sees an opponent, Green #10 approaching.  Red #10 is within playing distance of the ball and shields the ball from the opponent until her teammate can play the ball.  You are the referee.  Your reaction should be😕

 

a) The shielding is legal; no whistle.

 

b) If there is a Red teammate within a short distance, allow play to continue.

 

c) The shielding is not legal – this is an impeding foul.

 

d) A red player must be the next one to touch the ball so whistle for a foul on Green #10

 

The correct answer is c).  It is impeding and the restart is an IFK for Green.

 

THIS ALSO APPLIES TO KICK-OFFS AND THROW-INS

 

The ruling on this situation has changed recently. 

 

In the USSoccer.com “ask a referee” section, there is this note:

 

SITUATION REVISITED/REVISED ANSWER (March 23, 2006)
Questions have been raised concerning a narrow and rare situation in which the player performing a restart (for example, a free kick or throw-in) moves to shield the ball despite the fact that this player could not make contact with the ball directly without violating the Law (the "two touch" rule). In the past, the answer has been that the player may legally shield the ball as long as it remains within playing distance. This situation is now interpreted differently. Being within "playing distance" should not be considered sufficient to allow the kicker to shield the ball--the ball in fact must also be playable by that player. In other words, the concept of "playing distance" must include being able to play the ball legally.

If the player can legally play the ball and the ball is within playing distance, the player may shield as a tactic to prevent an opponent from getting to the ball (provided, of course, that the shielding does not involve holding). If the player cannot legally play the ball or if the ball is not within playing distance, such shielding becomes "impeding the progress of an opponent" and should be penalized by an indirect free kick.

You Make The Call #34

You Make the Call #34

 

Red is awarded a free kick in the attacking half of the field.  The red team asks for a ceremonial restart (they want the referee to make certain that the defensive wall (Blue team) is 10 yds from the ball).  You, as the center referee, set the wall correctly and blow the whistle to allow play to restart.  AFTER you whistle, red attacker #10 picks up the ball and places it back down at the same spot.  What do you do to address this event:

 

a)         nothing, the attacking player may legally pick up the ball.

b)         whistle, restart with a direct free kick for Blue because a Red player handled the ball after your whistle to restart play.

c)         (b) plus caution (yellow card) red #10 for handling the ball in a potentially goal scoring situation.

d)         (b) plus caution (yellow card) red #10 for delaying the restart.

 

The answer is (a).  Play does not start when you blow the whistle so a player can pick up the ball without it being considered handling.  Since (b) is not correct, then neither (c) nor (d) can be correct. 

 

Bonus question.

            Let’s say Red #10 picks up the ball and moves it an unacceptable distance from where it was originally set or just holds the ball for a while in a clear attempt to waste time.

           

            What do you do?

            (a)        nothing

            (b)        Caution Red #10 and restart with an indirect free kick for blue

            (c)        Caution Red #10 and restart with the free kick for red.

 

            (c) is correct.  Since play is ‘dead’, the restart doesn’t change from the original.

You Make The Call #33

You Make the Call #33

 

As referee, you whistle to stop play for an indirect free kick (IDFK) for the Red team.  You raise your arm indicating the IDFK.

 

Red #3 positions the ball at the spot of the infraction, steps back and then touches the ball with the sole of her foot.  The referee observes the touch but the ball does not move from its position on the ground.  Red #4 subsequently shoots the ball directly into the Blue goal. 

 

What is the restart?

a)         Kick off for blue (goal for Red).

b)         stop play, restart with an indirect free kick for Red.

c)         stop play, restart with an indirect free kick for Blue.

d)         Goal kick for Blue.

 

 

The answer is (d).

            The mechanics involved for an IDFK have – let us say – evolved over the last few years.  Old timers (you know who you are) remember that, in years past, the first touch of the ball required the ball to move a full circumference for the ball to be considered “in play”.  More recently, it was deemed sufficient for the ball to be touched.  In the latest and greatest amendment (through the Advice to the Referee (ATR)), there is a “Goldilocks” solution that is somewhere between the previous two interpretations:  The ball must “move” from its original position to a new position and contact with ball must be made with a kicking motion (which can include, of course, the heal or sole of the kicking foot).  Here is the ATR text.

 

13.5 BALL IN PLAY

The ball is in play (able to be played by an attacker other than the kicker or by an opponent) when it has been kicked and moved.  The distance to be moved is minimal and the “kick” need only be a touch of the ball with the foot in a kicking motion.  Simply tapping the top of the ball with the foot or stepping on the ball are not sufficient.

 

When the restart of play is based on the ball being kicked and moved, the referee must ensure that the ball is indeed kicked (touched with the foot in a kicking motion) and moved (caused to go from one place to another).  Being “kicked” does not, for example, include an action in which the ball is dragged by continuous contact with the foot.  Being “moved” does not, for example, include the ball simply quivering, trembling, or shaking as a result of light contact…

 

With that information, it is clear that Red #3’s touch with the sole of her foot does not count as the first touch in an IDFK.  Therefore, Red #4’s kick is the first touch.  Since there was not a second touch of the ball, the goal does not count and the play is equivalent to the ball going over the end line outside of the goal.  Therefore, it is a goal kick for Blue.  Note that if Red #4’s kick deflected off another player (Red or Blue) and went into the goal, the goal would count.

 

EXTRA CREDIT –

As referee, you whistle to stop play for an indirect free kick (IDFK) for the Red team.  You do NOT raise your arm to indicate a free kick.

 

Red #3 positions the ball at the spot of the infraction, steps back and then touches the ball with the sole of her foot.  The referee observes the touch but the ball does not move from its position on the ground.  Red #4 subsequently shoots the ball into the Blue goal. 

 

What is the restart?

a)         Kick off for blue (goal for Red).

b)         stop play, restart with an indirect free kick for Red.

c)         stop play, restart with an indirect free kick for Blue.

d)         Goal kick for Blue.

 

d) the answer is the same.

 

Again, to the ATR.

 

13.9  SIGNAL FOR INDIRECT FREE KICK

The failure of the referee either to give the correct signal for an indirect free kick or to hold it for the required period of time does not change the nature of the restart, nor does it alter the requirement for a subsequent touch of the ball for a goal to be scored.

 

Therefore, even if you don’t signal for an IDFK, it is still and IDFK and there must be a second touch before a goal can be scored.

 

However, if the referee mistakenly signals for an IDFK on a direct free kick restart and the ball goes directly into the goal, the goal is disallowed and the free kick is retaken.

 

There is a note on this in the ATR as well.  13.9 continues with:

 

Note: This does not apply to an incorrect signal for a direct free kick. Suppose a DIRECT free kick is awarded just outside the opposing team’s penalty area and the referee raises an arm as if to signal for an INDIRECT free kick. If a defender were to touch the ball on its way to goal, a goal would be scored. To avoid that, the defenders deliberately make no attempt to play the ball, with the expectation that the referee, who is clearly signaling that the free kick is INDIRECT, would cancel the goal. In such a case, the referee CANNOT award the goal, even though it was scored directly from a DIRECT free kick restart. The decision on the restart was correct, but the signal was not. If the referee had indicated a direct free kick first, rather than signaling for an indirect free kick, there would

be no problem, but the referee cannot change his or her mind this time, as he or she has misled the defending team by raising an arm to indicate the indirect free kick. The only fair and correct thing to do here is to retake the kick as a direct free kick.

You Make The Call #32

You Make the Call #32

 

A Green attacking player (#10) is in an offside position. The diagram is provided to help visualize the situation (and because we now have the ability to include figures and pictures here) but the absence of other players and the exact positioning of the players involved does not change the answer.  Consider which call to make given the following scenarios:

 

 

A Green teammate (#11) passes the ball toward Green #10. 

 

1.         The ball strikes and deflects from an Orange defender (#4) and Green #10 collects the ball and dribbles toward the Orange goal. 

 

a)         Offside

b)         No Call

 

 

2.    The Orange defender (#4) attempts to play the ball but misses completely.  Green #10 collects the ball and dribbles toward the Orange goal.

 

a)         Offside

b)         No Call

 

3.  The Orange defender (#4) attempts to play the ball but manages only to make contact and the ball moves away from Orange #4  (Orange #4 mishits, shanks, misjudges, etc.).  Green #10 collects the ball and dribbles toward the Orange goal. 

 

a)         Offside

b)         No Call

 

4.  The Orange defender (#4) attempts to play the ball and manages to stop the ball.  Next, he directs it back toward the Orange GK.  Green #10 collects the ball and dribbles toward the Orange goal.

 

a)         Offside

b)         No Call

c)         Indirect free kick for the attacking team for a “pass-back” to the goalkeeper.

 

Answer:

Law #11 doesn’t comprehensively describe how a player can get back into an onside position when the player was in an offside position.  However, the ATR (Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game) does describe this. 

11.14 Becoming “Onside”

A player who is in an offside position at the moment a ball is played by a teammate can become “onside” in only four ways:

1.         The player is not nearer to the opposing goal than the ball when it is next played by a teammate.

2.         The position of the opponents change so the player is no longer in an offside position when the ball is next played by a teammate.

3.         An opponent intentionally plays or gains possession of the ball.

4.         The ball goes out of play.

The key point for all of these, other than the obvious case (4), is that someone other than the player in the offside position has to play the ball; the player cannot put him- or herself “onside”.

 

The key point for our example is #3 – an opponent intentionally plays or gains possession of the ball.  “Intentionally plays” does not mean “intends to play” or “makes an attempt to play”.  The USSF (which AYSO follows in these cases) includes a question and answer web page to clarify these things and there it is stated that “It IS NOT correct to assume that any touch by a defender effectively changes the possession, because Law 11 clearly requires the ball to be controlled by the defender before a new phase of play can be said to have begun (and offside positions re-evaluated). It IS correct to say that the referee must make the judgment as to whether the opponent established full control over the ball and thus relieved the player in the offside position from being called offside. (August 2003)”

and elsewhere as

“the attacker in an offside position must refrain from becoming involved in active play from the moment his teammate touches or plays the ball until a defender plays the ball (gains clear possession and control)”(October 2005).

 

Therefore, the concept of control is an important one and should be used to answer the questions. 

 

Here goes:

 

1.         a) Offside.  No control (and not even an attempt by the defender to play the ball).

2.         a) Offside. No possession or control.

3.         a) Offside. No “clear possession and control” on a mis-hit or shank.

4.         b) No Call.  Here the defender stopped the ball and directs it back to the goalkeeper, therefore the defender gained control of the ball and played it to the goalkeeper.  Once the defender gains possession, the attacker would no longer be offside if the ball were played to him from the defender.

 

You Make The Call #31

A Red attacking player (#10) is in his attacking half of the field and there are two Blue defenders at the half-way line.  Only the Blue goalkeeper is between Red #10 and the Blue goal.  A Red teammate in Red’s defensive half controls the ball and kicks it forward, but not with enough power to get the ball past the half-way line.  Red #10 comes into the defensive half and plays the ball.  You, as the center referee, do which of the following to address this event:

 

a)         nothing, the attacking player may legally play the ball.

b)         stop play, restart with an indirect free kick for Blue.

c)         stop play, restart with an indirect free kick for Blue.  Caution Red #10 for unsporting behavior (trickery).

d)         nothing unless you hear in your earpiece that the 4th official has seen unsporting behavior on another Red player.  If so, stop play, send-off the guilty party and later make certain that said player receives the tournament MVP award.

 

The answer is (b).  In this instance, Red #10 was in an offside position when the ball touches or is played by a teammate.

 

The key here is "at the moment the ball touches or is played...".  For example, if the attacker in question is in his attacking half of the field and is behind the second to last defender at the moment the ball touches or is played by a teammate, he is in an offside position.  If he is the next to touch the ball (and, more generally,  if nothing else happens to rest the offside position), he is offside, even though he may have back tracked to his defensive half of the field.

 

A player is in an offside position if:

 

            he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent

 

A player is not in an offside position if:

he is in his own half of the field of play or

he is level with the second last opponent or

he is level with the last two opponents

 

so one might look at this and come to the conclusion that there can not be an offside infraction if the attacker gets the ball in the defending half of the field.  By that logic, one would not be offside if the ball was kicked in front of him (even though he was in attacking half and behind second-to-last defender  since by the time he played the ball, he was behind it.  What is important is the “snapshot” of the situation when the ball touches or is played by a teammate.  At that instant of contact, is #10 player in an offside position?  Yes, and that's what matters.

 

You Make The Call #29

A corner kick is taken by player #1 on the Red team.  The ball is kicked directly into the goal post and rebounds into the field of play where Red player #1 touches the ball. What is the call?

 

a)         If the ball hit the outside of the post, part of the ball has crossed the goal line.  A goal kick is awarded to the Blue team. 

b)         Do nothing; the posts are in play.

c)         Stop play, restart with an indirect free kick to Blue.  Caution Red #1 for unsporting behavior (trickery).

d)         Stop play and restart with an indirect free kick to Blue but do not administer a caution.

 

The answer is (d).  In this instance, the fact that the ball did not touch any other player after the corner kick was taken results in a “double touch” by Red player #1.  The restart is an IFK (Law 17) at the location of the second touch (which may be far away from the corner).

 

            An interesting related question:  Are there any circumstances in which it is a violation if a GK picks up a ball in his own penalty area that is NOT kicked or thrown-in to him by a teammate?

            YES, if the GK runs down the field and takes the corner kick and the ball comes into his own penalty area without touching anyone else (perhaps the ball rebounds off the goal post all the way to his penalty area or he simply kicks the ball back toward his own penalty area, no one else touches it, and he races back and picks it up in his penalty area).  IFK to the opponents where he picked it up (unless in his own goal area, etc.).  This particular unlikely instance is indeed described in Law 17.  Note that another case where this is a violation is the somewhat more likely case that the GK kicks the ball upfield, the ball hits the referee and bounces back into the penalty area where the GK picks it up (stay out of the way!). 

 

You Make The Call #30

In a U14 match, the ball goes into touch for a throw-in to the Orange team.  While the ball is being retrieved, you notice that a Green player’s shoelaces are untied.  As CR, you decide that the flapping long laces need to be tied.  What is the call?

 

a)         Do nothing; at U14 the player is responsible for her own safety while at younger ages it is better to step in.

b)         Give Orange an IFK where you observed the untied laces because this person could be considered to be playing in a dangerous manner.

c)         Have the player leave the field to tie her shoe laces.

d)         Delay the Orange throw-in while you allow the Green player to tie her shoelaces on the field.

 

The answer is (c).  Your judgment that a player has unsafe equipment requires that the player leave the field to repair (or exchange) the equipment.  The player may return, with your permission, when the problem has been fixed, when the ball is next out of play.  The match should not be intentionally delayed to allow the player to correct an equipment problem.  Nonetheless, if you decide that the equipment needs to be corrected – at any level – follow the proper procedure.  Also, b) is not correct because the ball is not in play so there can be no dangerous play.

           

            If the referee notices the problem while the ball is in play, the referee can advise the player to correct the problem. If the problem is corrected before the next stoppage, there is no need for the player to leave the field.

 

 

You Make The Call #28

In a U14 match, the ball goes into touch for a throw-in to the Orange team.  While the ball is being retrieved, you notice that a Green player’s shoelaces are untied.  As CR, you decide that the flapping long laces need to be tied.  What is the call?

 

a)         Do nothing; at U14 the player is responsible for her own safety while at younger ages it is better to step in.

b)         Give Orange an IFK where you observed the untied laces because this person could be considered to be playing in a dangerous manner.

c)         Have the player leave the field to tie her shoe laces.

d)         Delay the Orange throw-in while you allow the Green player to tie her shoelaces on the field.

 

The answer is (c).  Your judgment that a player has unsafe equipment requires that the player leave the field to repair (or exchange) the equipment.  The player may return, with your permission, when the problem has been fixed, when the ball is next out of play.  The match should not be intentionally delayed to allow the player to correct an equipment problem.  Nonetheless, if you decide that the equipment needs to be corrected – at any level – follow the proper procedure.  Also, b) is not correct because the ball is not in play so there can be no dangerous play.

           

            If the referee notices the problem while the ball is in play, the referee can advise the player to correct the problem. If the problem is corrected before the next stoppage, there is no need for the player to leave the field.

 

 

Advice For The Referee #14

Itís playoff time.Prior to a match, in addition to the normal procedure, inform the coaches that the players on the field at the end of regulation (and any overtime period) may participate in the tie-breaking kicks from the penalty mark (KFTPM) procedure.

 

As it happens, the Alpha-bites and the Number Crunchers have battled to a tie during regulation time.

 

The KFTPM procedure is a modified form of the penalty kicks, so the procedure is very similar to the ìYou Make the Call #27î.If there is a special goal area set up for the procedure, please use that facility.Otherwise, use the field on which you played.The CR decides which goal will be used for the procedure (though the powers-that-be may provide some very helpful advice about the choice of goal).

 

Once a goal is chosen, please keep the area as free from distractions as possible.It is recommended to keep all spectators no closer to the goal than the extension of the penalty area (18 yd) line.

 

To start, hold a coin toss between the captains.The Alpha-bites win the coin toss and choose whether to go first or second.They choose to have the Number Crunchers go first.

 

Please move all eligible participants (the ones on the field after the end of the match) to the center line except for the goalkeepers.Have one assistant referee stationed at the center line for player management and the other lined up at the intersection of the goal line and the penalty area as for a PK.No one else is to be on the field of play.

 

Call for the first Number Cruncher player.#1 comes to the penalty area.The Alpha-bites G is their goalkeeper who moves from behind the goal line AR to the goal.As CR, record that #1 is taking the kick for the NCs (the player management AR should also record this information).Hand the ball to #1 to put on the penalty kick spot.Tell #1 to wait for you to signal before kicking.Make certain that your goal line AR is ready.Ask G, the keeper, if he is ready.After an affirmative response, signal (a clear, short blast of the whistle is effective here) for the kick to proceed.Unlike a PK in regular match conditions, there is no opportunity for the kicker to play the ball after the PK is taken.

 

When is the kick completed?If the ball crosses the goal line (in the goal or outside of the goal), if the ballís motion stops, or if the keeper controls the ball, the kick is completed.As a reminder, note that continuous forward motion of the ball is not a necessary condition.For example, the ball is kicked, hits the cross-bar and deflects back toward the field of play but hits the goalkeeper or the ground and caroms into the goal.This is a goal even though there was movement of the ball away from (briefly) the goal.

 

After this attempt is completed, the ball is returned to the CR.The CR calls the first Alpha-Bite player and ìAî comes into the penalty area.The NC GK (#7) moves to the goal and the Alpha-bites GK stands behind the goal line AR.The above procedure is repeated.

 

The teams alternate through their first five kickers (1,2,3,4, and 5 for the Number Crunchers, and A,B,C,D, and E for the Alpha-bites).A winner is declared if one team gains an insurmountable lead.In other words, if the first three kickers for the Number Crunchers score and the first three kickers for the Alpha-bites do not score, the match has been decided because the remaining two kickers for the Alpha-bites will not be able to make up a three goal deficit.

 

If the scored is tied after the first five kickers from each team have taken their kicks, the kicks continue in a one-vs-one fashion (referred as ìsudden deathî but remember that a player from each team has an opportunity in each of these rounds).NC #6 kicks and scores.A-b ìFî misses.The match is over; the Number Crunchers have won.

 

If the one-vs-one procedure for the remaining eligible players does not decide the winner, the players who have already kicked will take a second round of kicks continuing with the one-vs-one process (and a third, etc as necessary).Given the limited number of kickers in a U10 match, it would not be surprising for the kickers to be ìrecycledî.The process continues until a winner is decided.

You Make The Call #27

The match has ended in a tie and the winner will be decided by kicks from the mark.What is the proper call in the following situations?

 

I.††††††††† After all the eligible players have kicked and the match is still tied, the eligible players start again.In the initial round for the orange team, #1 kicked first.In this round, #2 sets up as the first kicker.As the center referee, you allow the kick to proceed and a goal is scored.The assistant referee then informs you that the players have kicked out of order.What is the next step?

 

a)†††††††† Retract the goal and bring #1 in to kick

b)†††††††† Retract the goal, caution player #2 (though you may want to skip this step for a U10 match) and allow player #1 to kick

c)†††††††† Retract the goal, caution player #2 (though you may want to skip this step for a U10 match) and proceed with a kick from the next white player; orange has lost its opportunity to score in this round.

d)†††††††† Record the goal and continue with the next player on the white team.

 

The answer is (d).Once all of the players on a team have kicked, the next ìroundî can be conducted in any order.The only constraint is that all players must kick in a given ìroundî before a player may kick again.

 

II.†††††††† A player removes his shinguards while waiting for his opportunity to participate in the KFTPM.Is this player allowed to participate in the KFTPM under these conditions?

 

a)†††††††† yes, the actual match is over and the KFTM is only a procedure to determine a winner (like a coin toss, which si how these matches used to be decided).Therefore, the player is no longer putting himself in danger as there are no defenders in this situation.

 

b)†††††††† no, unless otherwise stated, the relevant Laws of the Game apply when KFTPM are being taken.

 

The answer is (b) and this is taken directly from the LOTG book.The players are to stay in uniform for the KFTPM.

 

III.†††††† Towards the end of the match, a player from the orange team is injured.There are no substitutes for orange and the match ends tied.The injured playerís injury precludes him from participating in the KFTPM.

(a)††††††† white has all of its players available, so when it is the injured orange playerís turn to kick, orange forfeits the opportunity.

(b)††††††† Each teamís players kick so that, if the match is tied after the round in which the last orange player has kicked, the next round includes an orange player who has already kicked and the remaining white player.

(c)††††††† The white teamís eligible player pool is reduced by one player to match the number of eligible orange players.

 

The answer is (c), the white team ìreduces to equateî to match the eligible number of players on the orange team.

 

IV.†††††† Similar situation as III but in this case, the injured player can participate in the KFTPM.For example, the injured player received a bloody nose so had to come off.The match ended before the player returned but the bloody nose was treated by the time the KFTPM started.

(a)††††††† Since the injured player was not substituted, the player is eligible for the KFTPM.

(b)††††††† Since the injured player was not on the field at the end of the match, the player cannot participate in the KFTPM procedure.

 

The correct answer is (a); since the injured player was not substituted, that player is still considered to have participated in that period and is therefore eligible to participate in the KFTPM.

 

V.††††††† The orange goalkeeper stops a kick with his face and is incapacitated.What are the options for the orange team?

(a)††††††† There are several other eligible players on orange.One of these must replace the goalkeeper.

(b)††††††† The orange team can replace the goalkeeper with a player who was not playing in the final period.

(c) †††††† The white team also must remove its goalkeeper from the sequence in a ìreduce to equateî process.

 

The correct answer here is (b).FIFA rules note that a substitute for the GK can be introduced provided that the maximum number of substitutes has not been used.For those matches, three substitutes can be introduced during the match.In AYSO, there is no such limitation on substitutes, so the GK may be replaced by a substitute.Also, one can change goalkeepers during the PKs (even if there is not an injury) with one of the other eligible players.

 

 

You Make The Call #26

A defender sticks up a hand and strikes a ball in the penalty area.You decide this is handling and you signal for a handling infraction.

 

You:

a)      whistle and point to the location of the foul.Itís a direct free kick.

b)      whistle and point to the penalty spot.Itís a penalty kick.

 

The correct answer here is b).It is best to get the ball and hold it for the time being rather than allow the team taking the kick to get possession of the ball.

 

Which of the following are you to do prior to the kick?

c)†† Insure that the AR is in position

d)†† make certain that the penalty area and the arc at the top of the penalty area is clear of all players except the attacking team kicker and the defending goal keeper

e)      hand the kicker the ball for the kicker to place the ball on the spot and instruct the kicker to wait for your whistle

f)††† instruct the goal keeper that she must stand on the goal line prior to the kick

g)      be certain that all other players are behind an imaginary line that extends from sideline to sideline parallel to the goal line through the penalty spot.

 

All of the above are acceptable with the possible exception for f).This is something of a subtle point but it goes to the issue of the extent to which a referee should ìcoachî the players.If you tell the player that she must stand on the line, she may forget (especially at lower levels) that she can move along the line and even jump up and down prior to the kick or the keeper may stay stuck on the line even as the kick is taken because ìthe referee told me to stay hereî.The keeper cannot, however, stand in the goal and rush out, perhaps in an attempt to time her charge with that of the attacker.The other points are all important.

 

The order of points is that e) should be the last one prior to your signal.

c)      The AR should be standing on the goal line to determine two things:

i.         Whether the ball has completely passed the goal line or not

ii.       Whether the goal keeper has encroached on the kick; i.e., leaving the goal line prior to the kick

In the pregame, the CR should instruct the AR where to stand (at the intersection of the goal line and the edge of the penalty area or perhaps at the flag) as well as to provide a discreet signal if the GK has encroached.Note that if the ARs are on the touchlines to the left of the goalkeeper (which is standard for our region), the AR should stay on that side of the field. Two options ñ there is no set rule here ñ include initially holding the flag in the right hand (away from the field) and switching to the left hand (with flag still pointing downward) or stepping onto the field of play with one foot if a GK encroachment is observed.This allows the CR to take that information into consideration without drawing attention to the signal.

d)      field players may not encroach.A list of encroachments and restarts in included below.The referee should whistle if encroachment occurs.

e)      The CR must signal for the PK to take place.A good blast of the whistle, with a prior check of the goalkeeper is a reasonable sequence here.

 

g)†† prior to the kick, all players must be further from the goal line than the ball.

 

Encroachment†† Result†† ††††††††††† Restart

GK off line PK Goal†††††††††††††††† KO (goal stands)

††††††††††††††††††††††† GK blocks†††††† Retake PK

††††††††††††††††††††††† PK mishit†††††††† Goal kick*

* if the encroachment could be truly considered trifling / inconsequential to the mishit, allow play to continue with goal kick (assuming ball went over the goal line).Otherwise, retake PK.

 

Attacker†††††††††† Goal†††††††††††††††† Retake PK

††††††††††††††††††††††† Shot blocked††† IFK for defenders

 

Defender††††††††† Goal†††††††††††††††† KO (goal stands)

††††††††††††††††††††††† Shot blocked††† Retake PK

 

Both teams*†††† Goal†††† ††††††††††† Retake

††††††††††††††††††††††† Shot blocked††† Retake

††††††††††††††††††††††† PK mishit†††††††† Retake

*At lower levels, it may be appropriate to allow play to continue if the encroachment by both players could be considered trifling / inconsequential, although the proper procedure should be explained.

You Make The Call #25

It is toward the end of the second half (less than two minutes) of a spirited match, but the score is 5-1 in favor of the White team. You, the Center Referee, whistle for a foul against a White player near the Orange touchline. As the Orange team sets up for the free kick, the Orange team coach asks to substitute an ìinjuredî player and has the substitute ready at the halfway line. The ìinjuredî player is within several yards of the touchline when the foul is whistled, walks toward the touchline with the intent to come out of the match, and bends over with his hands on his knees. As the center referee, you perceive that he was not limping excessively and does not appear any worse for wear than a half dozen other players.

Do you:

(a) allow a substitution to occur?

(b) allow the injured player to come off but make the orange team play short?

(c) judge that the player is not really hurt and state to the Orange sideline that ìheís not hurtî and signal for play to continue without a substitution?

Answer:

(a) allow the substitution to occur.

The main point here is to consider if there were any conditions where you would not allow the substitution to take place. First, consider how well you are qualified to determine the extent of an injury. Some injuries are obvious, some are not. For example, even if a player is not obviously or excessively limping, you, as CR may not know that player suffered a broken ankle during a tournament match a few months earlier and that player may feel that something is wrong and deservedly wants to come out.

Keep in mind that substituting an injured player may be an opportunity for manipulation of the match. The injured playerís team may benefit from the disruption of play or may feel that they can take some time off the clock with the exchange. This is more subtle and requires the Center Referee to understand the game conditions. In the case above, it is the losing team that wants the substitution and the score is such that there is no likelihood that substituting this player will impact the game significantly. Also in this case, the ìinjuredî player is already near the sideline and the exchange will not take an excessive amount of time.

If a substitute was not immediately available, then (b) would be acceptable. However, there is no reason to choose (c). As CR, it is your duty to recognize the game situation to help insure that the game is safe. With the conditions noted above, there is no reason to suspect any sort of manipulation on the part of the Orange player or coach so there is no reason to state that ìheís not hurtî.

This is a good time to review substitution procedures. In our region (and this is typical for most other regions), there are different substitution patterns that depend on the age group. We will concentrate on the U10-U14 age groups (weíll call Younger), which follow one set of rules, and the U16-U19 age groups (Older), which follow a different procedure. First, however, note that the answer (c) is the same for both age groups.

For the Younger group, substitutions are allowed at the start of the second half, at approximately the halfway point of the first half and the second half, and for injuries. The ëhalfway pointí substitutions (also called quarter-breaks, etc.) are made when a stoppage (goal, goal kick, corner kick, free kick, throw-in, penalty kick, drop ball, injury, etc.) occurs at about that time. The referee signals for substitutes and the assistant referees (ARs) note on the team cards which players have been substituted. A goalkeeper change is common at this point and the ARs should note this as well. The purpose of this bookkeeping is to insure the ìEî in BEPOG ñ everyone plays ñ and there are requirements for the number of quarters played as well as the number of quarters a goalkeeper can play. Keep these breaks short but it may be helpful to keep in mind a couple of things: (i) this is a good time for players to get a well-deserved drink and (ii) some players who are not substituted switch positions and it may be helpful for all involved that the coach be given a bit of time to set up properly. [Any U10 coach knows that half of the team has not previously played in a match with referees, has not played 7-a-side soccer, and that there are a few players whose interest in a specific position has a competing interest in how sticky oneís fingers become after eating orange segments].

A substitution can also be made for an injury at any time. The injured player ñ the one who started the ëquarterî ñ is the one who gets credit for playing that quarter (this applies to the Younger players). However, the substitute must finish that quarter. The team may also elect not to substitute the injured player. In that case, once the injured player has recovered, that player may rejoin play (this applies to both Younger and Older players).

The substitution procedure for the Older players (U16-U19):

Kick-offs and goal kicks: substitutions for both teams.

Throw-ins: substitution opportunity for team taking throw-in. If this team substitutes, the other team may also substitute.

Corner kick: only team taking corner kick may substitute.

Injury: only injured player may be substituted

Caution: At the request of the coach, the cautioned player may be substituted.

Free kicks no substitutions (with the exception of the caution note above).

You Make The Call #24

Water, water, waterÖ. Itís 98 ?F for the mid-day matches and the players clearly desire a drink.

When can a player get a drink? (water, electrolyte solution, etc.)

(a) only at the breaks half-way between the first half and second half (i.e., t the quarter breaks) and at half-time.

(b) whenever and wherever they need

(c) at the sideline or goal line as long as the drink is not tossed onto the field

The answer is (c).

ìAvailability of Water During a Matchî.

The key points are that:

(i) Players may drink water during play or at a stoppage but only by going to a touch line or goal line.

(ii) While drinking water, players may not leave the field nor may they carry water containers onto the field. The players should stand at the touch line or goal line while drinking water.

(iii) Water containers may not be held in readiness where they will interfere with the movement of the assistant referees.

(iv) Under no circumstances may water containers of any sort (regardless of material, size, or construction) be thrown onto the field or to players even during stoppages of play.

You Make The Call #23

Kick-off!:

Blue kicks off. The blue player kicks off with a kick that goes deep into the red zone and into the red goal. No one else touches the ball before it goes into the red goal.

Call:

(a) Goal kick for red

(b) Goal and kick-off for red

(c) Corner kick for blue

(b) A kick off does not have to touch another player before it goes into the opposition goal. Blue player (#1) who initiates the kick, however, may not touch the ball again until another player. One can score a goal directly from a kick-off (the odds of this increase significantly in the SCV when those November Santa Ana winds blow).

Advice To Referees #13

It's a new season and you'll likely be refereeing a few games each weekend day with perhaps watching a few more games as a spectator. As an assistant referee, each of us knows that it is important to track the second-to-last (StL) defender or follow the ball towards the goal if the ball is behind the StL defender. At the end of a long day however, it's easy to get distracted and lose a few steps or simply decide that it's acceptable to trail a play since we 'know' what is going to happen.

As a reminder to keep us on our toes, here are a few images from an English Premier League Match between Manchester United (MU) and Tottenham Hotspur (TH). A TH player near midfield boots the ball towards the MU goal. The MU keeper reaches to catch the ball but doesn't get to it before the ball passes the end line. However, neither the AR nor the CR was in position to see the ball cross the line. No goal was awarded as the MU keeper reached and tossed the ball back into the field-of-play.

CR view. It's difficult to tell from this position. From the photo, it isn't clear, but the GK's feet are in the field of play.
Sideline view. This view from a press photographer clearly shows the ball over the line.

Just a reminder to stay on your toes – these things happen to the highest level referees

And make certain those lines are painted straight. Wouldn't want to deal with the situation below.

Advice To The Referee #12

Inspections_II:

Earrings. Perhaps you have come across this situation:

ìBut ref ñ my childís ears were recently pierced and the ears will close up if the earrings are removed.î ìThey are not hoops, just studs.î ìBut the tape I have covering my earrings will protect me andÖî etc. etc. etc.

These moments are usually played out during the inspection just prior to the match. You are ready to get the match started. What is a referee to do? The advice here is to simply state that ìearrings are considered to be jewelry and jewelry is not allowed according to the Laws of the Gameî.

It probably is not a good idea to attempt to use logic at this point. First, consider the state of the parent / player. Second, consider the law itself. It does not indicate why jewelry is not permitted (does it?), so it is probably not something that should be discussed on the field in lieu of getting on with the match. Third, there are lots of related arguments: ìI see professional players wear jewelryî; ìA player wearing glasses (braces) who gets hit in the face (mouth) is likely to have more damage done than a player with an earring who gets hit in the earlobeî; ìI wore them last week and that referee said it was o.k.î; ìYou let my friend wear her bracelet when she put tape over it (medical bracelet)î. The list goes on Ö

In fact, the player does not need to remove the jewelry. A choice can be made. Either wear the jewelry and sit on the sidelines, or remove it and play.

If the player / parent insists on the issue, have them head over to the referee tent so that you can get on with the match.

Advice To The Referee #11

Inspections:

You know the drill (there will be a basic refresher ìadvice to the refereeî column at the start of the season with an inspections checklist). But every so often, you get a question and perhaps it makes you thinkÖ

The yellow ìLivestrongî rubber bracelets are very popular. They are relatively new and you may see a player wearing one at the inspection. Are these allowed?

Here in the good olí USA, they are NOT allowed. They are considered jewelry here and are therefore not allowed under Law 4.

A second issue that comes up during the inspection concerns the ìruleî of players keeping their shirts tucked in. Where does it state this in the LOTG?

Well, it doesnít state anything about it there, but (from the www.corshamref.net website)Ö (USSF) ATR - 4.1 states that 'The referee shall ensure that each player wears his uniform and equipment properly. Players' jerseys must remain tucked inside their shorts, socks must remain pulled up, and each player must wear shinguards under the socks....'

The USSF first started pushing for tucked in shirts in the mid-1980s. The reason was not, however, in order to cut down on shirt-pulling or for any other match related reason. Many amateur teams in the US at that time were going through what could be described as a grunge phase. It was very common for players to wear sloppy, mismatched uniforms. Shirts hung out, ragged bandanas and headbands were popular, etc. Soccer is still considered a second-class sport in the US, and in the 1980s it was a third-class sport. The USSF expressed concern the game would get a bad (worse?) reputation due to the appearance of many teams. Consequently, USSF began an effort to get players more neatly attired. The first step was decreeing shirts were to be tucked in.

The ATR (Advice to referees) that USSF publishes, includes explicit information about this ñ yes, shirts must be tucked in and while they may assist the CR in observing ìshirt-pullingî that is not the reason for the ATR section.

And what about keeping the shin guards covered?

This is explicitly covered in Law 4:

Shinguards

are covered entirely by the stockings

are made of a suitable material (rubber, plastic, or similar substances)

provide a reasonable degree of protection

You Make The Call #22

As the AYSO season moves into Tournament play, the referee may see different styles of play, different tactics, and even some different 'interpretations' of the Laws.

The following scenario came up last year in Bakersfield and it serves as an interesting 'You Make the Call'...

Orange is on offense, blue is on defense. An orange player kicks the ball into the blue penalty area. A blue defender stops the ball in the penalty area by placing her foot on top of the ball. The blue goalkeeper picks up the ball and quickly punts it up field. Is there a call to make here?

a) no call, let play continue
b) blow whistle, indicate direct kick for orange
c) blow whistle, indicate indirect kick for orange

This call goes to Law 12, where the following is included:

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following offences:

  • takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands, before releasing it from his possession
  • touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player
  • touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
  • touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

The third bullet applies here. If a defender stops the ball by placing her foot on the ball, that is considered a controlled 'kick'. Also note that the pass does not have to be 'backward'. A ball kicked forward - away from the blue goal - or in this instance, stopping the ball with the foot for the goalkeeper to pick up, is included.

The answer is (c) blow whistle, indicate indirect kick for orange.

Also check You Make The Call #10 and #16 for other comments on the issue.

You Make the Call #21

I received the following questions:

Penalty kick is awarded and then time expires. Is the kick taken? Are rebounds allowed? Score is 0-0 and shot is taken from mid field. As ball travels through the air time expires. Is the goal awarded? Can be the same question if player is on a breawaway?

The penalty kick is the only situation where the game is not over even when time has expired. The penalty kick is taken. Note that, unlike American football, this is NOT TRUE for any other foul which results in a direct or indirect free kick. However, the answer to the second part of this first question is more interesting. Assume you awarded a penalty kick, but then before the kick is taken time has expired, for either the first or second half. The play is over as soon as the ball ceases to move forward as a result of the action of the goalkeeper, and/or goalposts/crossbar (or of course if the kicker simply misses). Since this sounds confusing, I will give some examples: the ball is kicked, hits the crossbar, is directed downwards in front of the goal, and as a result of backspin, then spins backwards into the goal, that is a goal. Likewise, if the ball were to hit the crossbar, and then hit the goalkeeper in the back and then go into the goal, that is a goal. On the other hand, if the goalkeeper or the crossbar/goalpost directs the ball away from the goal, and there is NO WAY (barring hurricane force winds) the ball can go into the goal without the kicker playing it again, the play is over. There are no rebounds or putbacks. Although no other players other than the kicker and the goalkeeper participate in the kick, the players still must remain on the field until the kick has been taken.

The answer to the second question is also somewhat subtle. The first and seconds halfs are nominally over when time expires. So, for example, in a U12 game with 30 minute halves, when 30 minutes are up, the half is over. IF you blow your whistle to signal the end of either half, then the ball is dead at that point. The fact that the ball is in the air at the time you blew your whistle makes no difference (unlike basketball, for instance). On the other hand, the half or end of the game is not over at the end of 30 minutes (or whatever), it is over WHEN YOU BLOW YOUR WHISTLE! Remember that FIFA laws require that the referee add time for time lost to injuries or substitutions, or any other unusual events that take time away from the game. In our region, we do not always have the luxury to add time for these events, so we tend to end the game when our watches tell us to. However, because we can add time, and we decide how much time to add, I would be reluctant to end the game during a breakaway. If you watch a professional game, the game never ends on free kicks near the opponents goal, corner kicks, or breakaways. What am I asking you to do? Have integrity! Don't extend the game 5 minutes because you are hoping one of the teams can tie the score - that is unfair to the other team. However, a breakaway or a corner kick usually lasts less than 30 seconds, so personally I would let it happen before I end the game. As a final note to both questions, remember that "quarter breaks" are not officially part of soccer - the game is played in two equal halves. Therefore, neither of the two situations discussed have any relevence to the end of a "quarter".

You Make the Call #20

After reading "Advice to Referees #4" below, see if you can answer the following which actually happened in a boys U12 tournament championship game: An attacker is standing in the penalty area between the goalkeeper and the second to last defender; that is, he is in an offside position. His teammate attempts to pass him the ball, but the ball is deliberately batted down by the defender before it can reach him. The center referee started to award a penalty kick for deliberate handling of the ball in the penalty area, but the Assistant Referee called him over and told him that he had raised his flag to signal offside before the handling infraction had occurred. If you are the center referee, what is the correct action to take?

a) Offside, indirect free kick to the defending team

b)Deliberate handling, penalty kick for the attacking team

c)Since the center and AR disagree, drop ball where the ball was handled by the defender. (answer below)

The correct answer is b) penalty kick for the attacking team. The first and most important issue here was that the AR made a mistake by signalling offside. In "Advice to Referees #4", we saw that an offside infraction can only occur if at the moment the ball is touched or played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:Ô interfering with play, orÔ interfering with an opponent, orÔ gaining an advantage by being in that position." Since the ball was batted down before it ever reached the player in the offside position, they "were not involved in active play". If they were calling for the ball and the AR felt the defender was distracted, then an offside infraction may have occured (intefering with an opponent), but this is unlikely. The second issue is that only the center referee decides whether to accept the offside infraction signalled by the AR; just because the AR has raised their flag does not mean play has ceased. Since the center referee had not recognized the offside infraction (and shouldn't recognize it in this case), he should have gone ahead and awarded the penalty kick for the penal foul committed in the penalty area.

You Make the Call #19

Questions for this week:

The following questions refer to a standard sized field:
1) What are the dimensions of the goal area?
2) What are the dimensions of the goal?
3) What are the dimensions of the penalty area?
4) What is the distance from the goal line to the penalty mark?
5) What should you do if you award a penalty kick and there is no penalty mark?
6) How should you correctly align the goal with the goal line?

(answers below)

There are two methods for answering questions 1, 2, and 3. The first method is to simply memorize the answers, and the second method (my favorite) is to reason them out based upon their common names. Let's look at this method. First, a standard goal is 8 by 8 (eight yards wide, 8 feet high), pretty easy to remember. Next, a common name for the line on the goal area in front of the goal is the "six yard line". Just remember that the goal area starts 6 yards from the inside of each goal post. Since the goal is 8 yards wide, the goal area must be 6 +8 + 6 = 20 yards wide. We know it is 6 yards deep (That is, after all, the location of the "6 yard line". So the dimensions are 6 yards by 20 yards.

You can use exactly the same logic to get the dimensions of the penalty area, realizing that the line parallel to the goal is called the "18 yard line". Again, it is marked 18 yards out from each goal post, to give a width of 18 + 8 + 18 = 44 yards wide, and of course 18 yards deep.

4) The penalty mark is exactly half-way between the goal area and the penalty area, so remembering your math, 18 - 6 = 12, and 1/2 of 12 equals 6, so it is 6 + 6 = 12 yards from the goal line, or 6 yards from both the goal area and the penalty area lines.

5) if there is no penalty mark (an all too frequent occurence), have the player place the ball about halfway between the goal area and the penalty area, midway between the goal posts. You see many referees stepping off 6 yards back from the 6 yard line, but this is considered bad form - go ahead and eyeball it. You definitely don't want to step off 6 yards on a U10 field, because usually the 6 and 18 yard lines are not actually that far away from the goal, and you would end of giving the player a more difficult shot; since the goals are smaller, the players actually shoot closer than 12 yards from the goal.

6)This is very often done incorrectly. The proper way to align a goal with the goal line is to align the back of the goalposts with the back of the goal line. The reason for this is that usually the goalposts are smaller than the goal line, and what you would like is for your AR to be able to tell whether the ball has completely crossed the goal line. If the goal is aligned as suggested, then if your AR, properly standing on the goal line to see where the ball is, can completely see the ball behind the goalpost, then they know it completely crossed the goal line and is a goal. If they can't see ALL of the ball, then it hasn't completely crossed the goal line and hence ISN'T a goal.

Happy Reffing!

You Make the Call #18

1) There are 10 penal fouls, 6 of which must be done in a manner which is "careless, reckless, or using excessive force". What are they?
2) Of the 6 fouls above, 3 of them occur even if they are merely "attempted". Which 3 are they?
3) Which is the only penal foul which does not involve an opponent?
4) What is the most common non-penal foul in U10 play and what is the restart?
(answers below)

1)striking or attempting to strike an opponent; kicking or attempting to kick an opponent; tripping or attempting to trip an opponent; pushing an opponent; unfairly charging an opponent; jumping at an opponent.
2) see the first three answers to 1).
3) deliberate handling of the ball
4) dangerous play (usually a "high kick") sanctioned by an indirect free kick (IFK).

Many girls in U12 and above will put their arms in front of their chests to protect themselves from the ball. When is this permitted, and when is it "deliberate handling of the ball"? If they are part of a wall, or if a ball is kicked hard at them at close range, protecting their chest is no different than protecting their face, and there is no violation. However, some girls will use their arms to guide a ball at chest height to their feet, when they could have easily moved in order to play the ball with their head, knee, feet, etc., or just got out of the way. In this case, they are gaining an advantage by deliberately playing the ball with their hands, and that is a violation. How do you know which is which? Experience!

You Make the Call #16

A couple of items surfaced this past weekend. The first item, which I have already covered indirectly, deserves mentioning again. Apparently in a U12 game, there was a "kickback to the keeper" call, which just as a reminder occurs when a defender deliberately kicks the ball back to their goalkeeper. Although this is allowed, the keeper is not allowed to use their hands, and has to play the ball with their feet (or head, chest, etc.). If the keeper does pick the ball up, the result is an indirect free kick to the attacking team at the point where the keeper handles the ball. It is NOT a penalty kick. Not every foul that occurs in the penalty area results in a penalty kick. Penalty kicks only result from penal fouls commited by defenders; that is, fouls that would have resulted in a direct free kick had they occured outside the defending team's penalty area.

The second item, also covered indirectly earlier, is goalkeeper infractions. Normally when the goalkeeper commits an infraction inside their own penalty area (such as a double touch), the result is an indirect free kick for the opponents. However, a rather common occurence is when the goalkeeper carries the ball outside the penalty area before kicking it. The moment the ball is outside the penalty area and the goalkeeper plays it, he or she ceases to have any of the privileges of the goalkeeper and becomes a regular player. Therefore, if the goalkeeper handles the ball outside the penalty area it is as if any other player handled the ball deliberately anywhere else on the field, and the result is a direct free kick to the opponents at the point the ball was handled outside the penalty area (in this case, just outside the line). It is not an indirect free kick. Remember, however, that if the keeper throws the ball out in front while in the penalty area, and kicks it outside the penalty area there is no infraction. Where was the ball when it was last handled?

A third situation involved a player placing the ball for a goal kick, and changing their mind and moving the ball with their feet to reposition it. A goal kick has not been completed; that is, the ball is not in play until it is kicked and clears the penalty area before it is touched again, so touching it two or more times to reposition it is not an infraction. This illustrates a very important point: it is impossible to commit a foul when the ball is not in play (although misconduct is still possible). Note the difference between this situation and the taking of a corner kick or a free kick. There, if the player places the ball and then repositions it with their feet, technically they have put the ball into play, and touching it again would be a double touch. Would I ever call that? Rarely, only if I thought they were attempting some kind of trickery.

You Make the Call #15

Many referees, coaches, and players are under the impression that a drop ball has to involve two players, one from each team. This is not the case. Sometimes a player will have a minor injury and the referee will choose to wait a few seconds to see the outcome of an attack. However, the attack fails and the goalkeeper picks up the ball. This is a good time to stop play and attend to the injured player. The correct restart at this point is a drop ball, because the ball has not gone out of play. However, it is clearly a disadvantage to the defending team to drop the ball in penalty area between opposing players, when clearly the defense was poised to punt the ball away. You can tell the attackers to back away, and tell the keeper that you are going to drop the ball and they should pick it up and punt it, throw it, etc. This is clearly the fair thing to do.

However, your question this week is, say the ball is in the goal area and (you hate to do this, but...) a dog runs right into the thick of things and you are forced to stop play. Now, in your judgement, it would be unfair to just drop the ball for the goalkeeper, as the attackers would have had a reasonable chance to score. So you decide to drop the ball with both sides represented. Where do you drop the ball?

a) on the "6 yard line" parallel to the goal line closest to where the ball was when you stopped play
b)where the ball was when you stopped play
c) on the corner of the goal area where goal kicks are often taken
(answer below)

the answer is a). This is very similar to an indirect free kick awarded to the attackers for a foul which occured in the goal (not penalty) area. The ball moves out to the "6 yard line".

You Make the Call #14

The following scenario was submitted by Roger Almond: The particular situation, while not that common in the younger divisions, is usually a source of confusion for newer referees. An attacker kicks the ball towards the opponents goal. The goalkeeper comes out of the penalty area, dribbles the ball back into the penalty area with her feet, and then picks the ball up with her hands and punts it away. Is this an infraction (answer below)?

No, this is not an infraction. There is nothing in the laws which states the goalkeeper cannot pick up the ball in the penalty area after she has brought the ball there with her feet. However, if the ball was deliberately passed to the keeper outside the area by a team mate, and she dribbled it into the area and picked it up, that would be an infraction sanctioned by an IFK; basically, same as "pass back" to the keeper.

You Make the Call #13

A red attacker commits a foul in the penalty area of the blue team. The blue team is awarded a direct free kick just outside the goal area. However, the blue defender kicks the ball weakly, and her team mate, fearing the red attacker is going to get to it first, picks the ball up with her hands before it leaves the penalty area. What do you do?

a) penalty kick for the red team for deliberate handling of the ball inside the penalty area
b) indirect free kick for the red team at the point of the infraction
c) the blue team re-takes the kick

The answer is c), retake. Any free kick by the defense from inside their own penalty area must clear the penalty area before the ball is in play, just like a goal kick. When the other defender picked the ball up, she prevented it going into play, so there must be a retake (there cannot be a foul commited when the ball is not in play).

You Make the Call #12

In "You Make the Call #11, we discussed goalkeeper control and loss of control. To take that subject a bit deeper, besides the parry discussed before, the normal notion of goalkeeper control is when the keeper holds the ball with their hand(s). FIFA law states that goalkeeper control is when the keeper is touching the ball with any part of their hand or arm. This seems straightforward, but I have never met a referee who believes that a ball touching the outside part of the keeper's arm contitutes control. One definition I have heard is that one finger on the ball holding it in place is control. What should you do? As in many applications of the law, it depends a lot upon the age and skill of the players. In a U10 game, the ball wouldn't necessarily have to be touching the keeper in order for me to whistle dangerous play on an attacker attempting to play the ball. On the other hand, in a U14 match, if the keeper is still fumbling with the ball, and the attacker is able to kick it without touching the keeper, I am more likely to allow that play to continue. Usually these events happen within a split second, and, as usual, what you do will be based upon "your judgement". Ineveitably, one side or the other will not be happy with your decision, but the ability to make the correct decision can only improve with experience

If you have questions or comments on any of the You Make the Call columns, please send them to referee@ayso678.org. Happy Reffing!

You Make the Call #11

One situation which is definitely a source of confusion to referees, coaches, parents, and players alike is the issue of goalkeeper control and release of control. Once the goalkeeper has "controlled" the ball, for example by securely catching it, he or she may not release control and touch the ball again with his or her hands until it has been touched by another player. What constitutes control besides catching the ball? The goalkeeper deliberately parrying the ball; that is, directing the ball with their hands in a deliberate fashion but without actually catching it, constitutes another form of "control". Therefore, if the keeper parrys the ball and then picks it up, that is a "deliberate handling of the ball", punishable by an indirect free kick to the other team. If the goalkeeper desperately punches or deflects the ball in an uncontrolled manner, that is not a "parry" and hence not control. They can then pick the ball up without penalty. Of course, this is all subject to the judgement of the referee! Likewise, after the keeper catches the ball, they can throw it up and catch it, or dribble it with their hands, and that is still considered control. However, if while doing that they fumble the ball, they've lost control! Now if they attempt to regain control with their hands, it is a penalty. Anyway, your question this week is, the goalkeeper catches the ball in a controlled manner, then drops it, and then picks it up again inside the goal area just in front of the goal. What do you do? Bonus question: On a penalty kick, the ball strikes the keeper on the shoulder, and bounces back towards the kicker, who then puts the ball into the back of the net. Is this a goal? How about if the ball bounced back from the crossbar without touching the keeper, and then the kicker puts it in(answers below)?

Answer: when the keeper catches the ball, drops it (accidently or deliberately) and then picks it up again, that is a "deliberate handling of the ball" sanctioned by an indirect free kick. Where to take the kick? Any non-penal foul by the defense inside their goal area results in an indirect free kick, taken at a point on the 6-yard line (the marked line 6 yards in front of and parallel to the goal line) closest to the occurence of the foul. The defenders are only allowed to be closer than 10 yards to the ball if they line up on the goal line between the goalposts.

Bonus questions: if, during a penalty kick, the ball rebounds from the crossbar or goalposts, without touching the keeper, and the kicker kicks the ball into the goal before anyone else touches it, that is considered a "double touch" sanctioned by an indirect free kick to the defenders. Note that if the kicker's team mate follows the rebounded ball and kicks it into the net, it is a goal (no double touch). However, if the ball rebounds from the keeper, it has been touched by another player, so if the kicker (or anyone else) then puts it into the goal it counts.

You Make the Call #10

A defender attempts to kick the ball out of his own penalty area, but does not connect solidly. His goalkeeper wins a footrace with an attacker and dives on the ball. What is the restart?
a) no restart - ball in play
b) "kick back" to the the keeper - indirect free kick to the attacking team where the keeper touched the ball
c) "kick back" to the keeper, penalty kick awarded to the attacking team
(answer below)

the answer is a), the ball is in play. It is a non-penal foul for the goalkeeper to play the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately been passed to them by their teammate using their feet. The key word is "deliberately". It should also be added that the ball does not have to be passed directly to the keeper, if, in the judgment of the referee, it was still a deliberate attempt to get the ball to them. Likewise, if a defender with their head down fires the ball towards the goal line to clear it out, and the keeper dives on it, it is not a deliberate pass back (again, your judgement), and therefore not a foul.

You Make the Call #9

You whistle "dangerous play" on a defender for a high kick near his own penalty area. Before you can raise your arm, the attacker very quickly kicks the ball directly into his opponents' goal. What is your decision?

a) you weren't ready, re-kick
b) since it was an indirect free kick, goal kick for the opponents
c) since you failed to raise your arm signalling an indirect free kick, goal for the attackers
(answer below)

The answer is b), goal kick for the opponents. There are several issues in play here. First, after the whistle has blown for a foul, players need not wait for any signal from the referee to take a free kick, either direct or indirect. Second, that the referee didn't raise his/her arm for an indirect free kick does not change the fact that it is one (dangerous play is considered a "non-penal" foul, sanctioned by an indirect free kick). Third, a goal cannot be scored directly (that is, not touched by anyone other than the kicker) from an indirect free kick. When the ball is kicked directly into the opponents' goal from an indirect free kick, a goal kick is awarded to the opponents.

You Make the Call #8

A player taking a throw-in near her team's goal decides to throw the ball to her goalkeeper (note: although the goalkeeper is not allowed to pick up the ball when it is thrown directly to her by her teammate, she is allowed to play the ball with her feet without penalty). However, unfortunately the goalkeeper is looking in the other direction and ball goes directly into her goal. What is the restart?

a) goal for the other team, kick off for her team
b) throw-in for the other team
c) corner kick for the other team
(answer below)

The answer is c), a corner kick for the other team. You cannot score a goal against yourself from a throw-in or a free kick (direct or indirect). If, however, the goalkeeper touches the ball before it goes in, it will be a goal for the other team. What do you suppose happens if the throw-in goes directly into the opponents goal? You guessed it - a goal kick for the opponents.

You Make the Call #7

With 10 seconds left in the first half, a penalty is called on the blue defender just outside their own penalty area for tripping. The red team is awarded a direct free kick, and a red attacker kicks the ball towards the blue goal. Time expires and you blow your whistle just before the ball goes into the goal. Does this goal count? (answer below)

No goal. First, besides time extended for injuries or other delays, the only circumstances in which time may be extended to either the end of the half or the end of the game is for the taking of a penalty kick. A free kick doesn't qualify. That is, unlike American football or basketball, the game can end on a penalty. Also, the fact that the ball was "in the air" before your whistle blew makes no difference. Was it completely inside the goal before time expired? If not, then it doesn't count.

You Make the Call #6

A hard shot on goal inadvertently strikes the hand of a defender in the penalty area, preventing what would have been a sure goal. Do you:
a) do nothing
b) award a penalty kick to the attacking team
c) have a drop ball
d) send the defender off for preventing a goal scoring opportunity, and award a PK
(answer below)

The answer is a). The "hand ball" is probably the second most misunderstood referee call after offside. The correct term for this situation is "deliberately handles the ball", which means just what it says. The ball will often strike a players' hand or arm (any part of the hand or arm is considered the "hand" for this foul) inadvertently, and this is NOT a foul. The question the referee asks is "Did the hand play the ball, or did the ball play the hand?" If it is the latter, there is no foul.

You Make the Call #5

A goalkeeper in a U12 boys match (I swear he looks 15!) punts the ball into the opponents half of the field, where it is first touched by his team mate, who was closer to the other goal than all but the other goalkeeper. Is this an offside infraction? (answer below)

Yes, this is an offside infraction. Don't confuse a punt by the goalkeeper, or a throw by the goalkeeper for that matter, with a goal kick. The three times when a player can be in an offside position but not be penalized are for the three restarts - a goak kick, a corner kick, or a throw-in. A punt or a throw (or even if the keeper drops the ball on the ground and kicks it) by the keeper is not a restart; that is, the ball was never "dead".

You Make the Call #4

Early in the season in a U10 match, the goalkeeper crosses over the "18 yard line"; that is, outside the penalty area, before releasing the ball with his/her hands to punt it. What action do you take (answer below)?


Answer: According to FIFA laws, since the keeper has handled the ball outside the penalty area, he/she has become a regular player, so the penalty is a direct free kick just outside the penalty area where the ball was first "deliberately handled". However, remember the SPIRIT of the law! Early in the season in a U10 match, it is better to warn the keeper shortly after the kick that they should kick the ball well before they get to the line. Let's have fun out there!