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February 2007 Archive (I of I)


MAY A SUBSTITUTE/SUBSTITUTED PLAYER BE DISMISSED FOR DENYING AN OBVIOUS GOALSCORING OPPORTUNITY?
Your question:
situation 1: an attacker was moving toward the goal with the ball. the goalkeeper was way out of his goal area and a defender tripped and fell, leaving the goal open to the attacker. a substitute who was warming up near the goal ran on to the field without my permission and tripped the attacker who was getting ready to shoot on goal as the defender tripped and fell. i didn't know what to do, so i cautioned the substitute and gave the goalkeeper's team an indirect free kick.

what should i have done? i know the 2006 Law says we can send off substitutes or substituted players for all 7 of the reasons listed in Law 12, but i am not sure. some referees said i did it right, but others say i should have sent him off. can we really send off substitutes who enter the field illegally and prevent goals?

a second question: What should i do if the substitute or substituted player enters the field without my permission and then simply kicks the ball away, rather than tripping the opponent or committing any other foul?

USSF answer (February 23, 2007):
1. The 2006 changes in Law 3 and Law 12 regarding substitutes or substituted players who illegally enter the field were dealt with in the 2006 edition of the USSF publication "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game" (see, for example, the many rewritten entries under Law 3). Unfortunately, the 2006 edition of the Advice does not cover the question about whether a substitute who has entered the field illegally can be sent off if, while on the field and before play is stopped for the illegal entry, he or she handles the ball to prevent a goal or commits any other action which, in the opinion of the referee, interferes with an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

The answer is yes: A substitute or substituted player can be sent off and shown the red card for any action which, if it had been committed by a player, would have resulted in the player being sent off for either the 4th or the 5th send-off reason listed in Law 12. Just as with players, all elements of the decision to send someone off for either of these reasons are governed by Section D of Law 12 in Advice to Referees and apply to substitutes and substituted players as well as to players.

2. In this second question, the solution for simply kicking the ball by the "invading" substitute or substituted player would be two cautions followed by the send-off for the second caution: one caution for unsporting behavior for entering the field without permission and the second for unsporting behavior for kicking the ball away from the opponent. You would then restart the match with an indirect free kick where the ball was when the substitute illegally entered the field (the first misconduct).

SECOND TOUCH OR GOAL?

Question:
During live play, a GK punts the ball straight up in the air. A strong wind blows the ball toward the goal. The GK touches the ball but it ends up in the goal. Is this a second touch violation or is advantage applied and a goal allowed? (I know this is covered in Advice to Referees in regard to goal kicks taken by a goalkeeper but I see no reference to this particular scenario.)

Answer (February 21, 2007):
The correct restart would be a kick-off. In touching the ball again, the goalkeeper has violated Law 12 and the referee may apply the advantage. In the case of the goal kick, the goalkeeper would be violating Law 16, in which case the referee may not apply the advantage.

 


CHANGING 'KEEPERS DURING KICKS FROM THE PENALTY MARK

Question:
I have a question about PK's that were taken at a local sanctioned tournament. The situation was that two teams were tied after preliminary rounds of matches. All tie breakers were the same, so it came down to PK's. The opposing team told the refs that they were going to us two keepers for the PK's. The coach for our team questioned the ref about this and was told that he wasn't sure if it was legal but he didn't have time to find out so he allowed it. My question is this legal? The rotation of the keepers did not change the outcome, but I would like to know for myself.

Answer (February 20, 2007):
As long as both players who will be exchanging turns at goalkeeper for the team were both on the field at the end of the game, this is perfectly legal. The Laws of the Game permit a field player to exchange positions with the goalkeeper, as long as the referee is notified; this would also apply to kicks from the penalty mark.

 


BALL KICKED TO THE GOALKEEPER BY A TEAMMATE

Question:
A defending player (red) kicks the ball away from the goal line past the goalkeeper (red) who has his back to the kicker and could not have seen how the ball was propelled past him. Goalkeeper sees the ball as it travels within 2-3 feet of him and, in the penalty area, picks it up with his hands. Same scenario but the ball initially goes no less than than 7-8 feet from the goalkeeper yet the goalkeeper chases the ball and in the penalty area picks it up with his hands.

In either case should the referee stop play and award an indirect free kick to white? Is the determination of an infraction founded in the referee's opinion of whether or not the kicker was deliberately kicking the ball to the goalkeeper or that the kicker deliberately kicked the ball and it happened to go close enough for the goalkeeper to handle it?

Answer (February 12, 2007):
As stated in the USSF publication "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game," the decision to punish this possible infringement of the Laws is always in the opinion of the referee.

 


CHANGING A DECISION AFTER A RESTART

Question:
I had an adult game this past weekend, in which player in red team came down from the air and tackle player in blue. My decision at that time was to give the player a yellow card. The player that got hurt could not get up on his own and a trainer and a team player had to get him out of the field.By that time the 3 minutes that were left in the game were gone and I ended the game. Both my assistance and the refs that were waiting for the next game to start agree that it should have been a red card. the question is can I Change a yellow card for a red card before the restart of the game?

Answer (February 6, 2007):
Under normal circumstances, the referee may change the administrative punishment ONLY PRIOR to the restart of play. In your situation, there can be no change because you did not make that decision until well after the restart. In fact, you did not make that decision until the match was over. All you can do in such a situation is include full details and facts in the match report.

However, in some cases, the referee may also change the punishment after the game has restarted, but only in accordance with the guidelines provided in the USSF publication "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game, Advice 5.14:
QUOTE
5.14 CHANGING A DECISION ON AN INCORRECT RESTART
If the referee awards a restart for the wrong team and realizes his mistake before the restart is taken, then the restart may be corrected even though the decision was announced after the restart took place. This is based on the established principle that the referee's initial decision takes precedence over subsequent action. The visual and verbal announcement of the decision after the restart has already occurred is well within the Spirit of the Law, provided the decision was made before the restart took place.
END OF QUOTE

Referees must remember that play is stopped when the referee makes a decision, not when the decision is announced, and the referee can call back ANY restart if he/she has already decided to hold up the restart in order to give a red card. The referee must include full details in the match report.

To change the punishment from caution to send-off under any other circumstances would be a violation of the Law. If the referee determines only well after the restart that the player should have been sent off, the full facts of the matter must be included in the match report. In addition, the referee must notify the player or team of the decision.

 


NO CHANGE IN REFEREE UNIFORM; NEW AGREEMENT BETWEEN US SOCCER AND OSI

Question:
In the area I am from, there is talk that there will be a change in the approved Referee Uniform. This due to the fact tha Official Sports will longer be the "Official" supplier for referee gear for USSF. I work with many Youth referees (under 14yrs) and I hate to ask them to purchase all the jerseys colors if they will have to buy them all again in a year or so. Can you give me any insight to this?

Answer (February 6, 2007):
You and your colleagues seem to have heard totally unfounded rumors. The fact is that OSI has just signed another 4 year agreement with US Soccer.

 


U.S. Soccer thanks Jim Allen (National Instructor Staff/National Assessor), assisted by Dan Heldman (National Instructor Staff), for their assistance in providing this service.

Submit your questions via e-mail to askareferee@ussoccer.org.

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