INTERFERENCE BY AN OUTSIDE AGENT
Several of us were discussing recent games and the subject of outside agents came up. Most of us have seen banners, umbrellas, seagulls, and the occasional dog on the field. Normally these situations take care of themselves, with the exception of the dog who wants to grab the ball and run with it.
One situation we encounter is when a ball comes onto the field from a neighboring field. Usually a player just kicks it back at the first opportunity.
We saw a situation in a game where a ball comes into the penalty area. Play is not very close, so the keeper picks up the ball and kicks it back to the neighboring field. However, as she is doing so, play in her game turns around and her opponents take a shot and score.
Is this a goal or interference from an outside agent? And why?
Answer (May 6, 2009):
This is interference by an outside agent. To quote the "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game":
An "outside agent" (under any portion of the Laws of the Game) is anything that enters the field without the permission of the referee and plays or misdirects the ball or otherwise interferes with the game. This means that outside agents can be dogs or coaches or spectators. Interference by any outside agent will result in the referee declaring a stoppage of play, restarting with a dropped ball where the ball was when play was stopped*.
If the referee was not observant enough to do what the Advice recommends, then he or she was negligent. If the nearer assistant referee did not provide assistance in this situation, then he or she was also negligent.
And then we come to the issue of terminal stupidity: We cannot help feeling that, in this case, the 'keeper shares some culpability. In point of fact, it could be argued that the presence of the ball by itself did not interfere with play; it was the goalkeeper's error in deciding that she should divert her attention from her main job to do something that wasn't strictly necessary. We must repeat the old saying that the Laws of the Game are not intended to compensate for the mistakes of players.
DOGSO AND YELLOW CARD? COWARDLY REFEREES
Boys U18 league game. I am the coach (also a referee and referee instructor). My forward beats the 2nd to last defender about 8-10 yds from the penalty area line.. Now 1 v 1 with the GK. GK advances to just beyond the penalty mark. Within the penalty arc heading toward the goal with the ball at his feet is taken down from behind by the defender he just beat. No attempt to play the ball, foul was not hard but enough to trip the attacker and cause the ball to go over the goal line outside the goal.
The center official was following the play aproximately 15 yds behind. Immediately blows his whistle, displays a YELLOW CARD??? and restarts with a DK in our favor.
Obviously in my opinion this really looks like a DGSO and a red card. I address my comments to the AR2 who was following the play, even with ball, expressing my opinion that this is a DGSO and that I hope you address this with the center at half time. His reply? "Well, you know there are a lot of referee's who wouldn't even award a yellow card for that."
Am I missing something here or what? Of course I am partially venting but more importantly in my recert classes the video's provided to me by our state organization seem to clearly show that this is an area that we all should be clear on. Mandatory red card.
Answer (May 6, 2009):
We join you in regretting that there are indeed referees such as the assistant referee describes. No courage equals poor referee. However, in this case, the referee may have exercised his opinion, certainly his right, and decided that there was no obvious goalscoring opportunity. But that would be the only possible excuse for not sending the defender off in this situation.
Nor does the AR escape unscathed. His comment was as unprofessional as the referee's handling of the situation.
ADVANTAGE? PENALTY KICK? SEND-OFF?
2 players from opposing teams running towards goal, side by side enter the penalty area. Only the goalkeeper is between them and the goal. the ball is at waist height in front of the attacking player. The defending player raises his foot across the attacker and gets a slight touch on the ball (just enough to take it away from the attacker). At this stage with the defender's leg outstretched the attacker falls to the ground.
There is no question that the defender is responsible for tripping the attacker in the penalty area... But there is also no doubt about it that the defender definitely played the ball away before making any sort of contact with the attacker.
What should the result be? play on? penalty? red card?
Answer (May 6, 2009):
You do not mention any contact between defender and attacker (opponent). If we assume that there was indeed contact, then we have tripping, just as you suggest, which is punishable by (in this case) a penalty kick. If there was no tripping, then there was a good possibility of playing dangerously, punishable by an indirect free kick. If it was, in the opinion of the referee, playing dangerously, rather than a simple fair play for the ball, then in either case the correct action to be taken is to send off the defender for "denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player's goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or penalty kick." If it was a fair play for the ball, there is no infringement of the Law and nothing should be called.
GOALKEEPER MISHANDLES BALL
Is the goalie aloud to touch the ball wither by hand or foot after they have attempted to drop kick it out of there defensive area. For example: Goalie picks up the ball attempts to drop kick it but misses the ball completely. Can they pick it up again and kick it if they are inside the area aloud by goalies to handle the ball? Same situation however the ball is outside the handleing area and they kick while its on the ground. Is this goalie mishandling infraction?
2nd situation: Goalie goes to drop kick the ball and just nicks the ball with their foot. Can they play the ball again either by picking it up and drop kicking it again or just by running up to it and kicking it?
Im under the understanding that if a goalie makes a drop kicking motion and nicks or misses the ball they can not play it again. If they do its goalie mishandling and its an indirect free kick for the other team.
Answer (May 61, 2009):
If the goalkeeper releases the ball from the hands and kicks it away and it hits the the ground, the ball is in play for everyone and the goalkeeper may not pick it up again until some other player has played it. Correct restart is an indirect for the opposing team from the place where the goalkeeper touched the ball again after releasing it.
On the other hand, the goalkeeper may certainly kick the ball without touching it again with the hands. That has never been an infringement of the Laws.
That said, this sort of thing often occurs among younger and less-skilled players. The referee should use discretion in calling this foul, at least the first time it occurs, during a game with such players. The correct action in that case would be to remind the goalkeeper that he or she may not touch the ball again. We might add at least a brief reminder that, most of the time, this scenario would and should be deemed trifling by the referee and not worth stopping play in order to punish such a violation where no one was impacted.
RULES OF THE COMPETITION
If a player is being sent off during the final is he allowed to be part of the ceremony in the final?
Answer (May 4, 2009):
Well, as unfair as it may seem, we can find no ruling that would prevent a player sent-off during the tournament final from participating in the award ceremonies following the completion of the game. We suggest checking the rules of the competition to ensure that this is permitted.
Picture this! Last minute of play, Team A is losing 2-1 and is awarded a Corner Kick. The keeper from Team A runs up field to participate in the Corner Kick, leaving 1 defender and 1 attacker (Team B) behind. Corner is taken and Team B defense clears the ball all the way to the other half of the field where the lone attacker (B) was next to the defender(A). The AR promptly signals the attacker for Offside as he made a play for the ball. Team B players and Coach of course, were upset with the referee claiming that there should've never been a Offside called because the keeper (A) being up field, put the attacker (B) in play-negating any offside
Answer (May 4, 2009):
Another case of "inventive" coaches and players. We all know that a player on the team attacking the opposing team's goal may be no nearer that goal than either the ball or at least two opposing players to avoid being in an offside position. There is no requirement that the goalkeeper must be one of those two players.
According to your description, there was only a single defender anywhere near the attacking player (Team B), so the attacking player was clearly in an offside position and must be declared offside if he becomes involved by making a play for the ball. Correct decision: Offside for interfering with play.
My U14 was playing in the championship game today. On a corner kick by the opposing team one of our defenders handled the ball in the penalty box. As the whistle was blowing, or maybe slightly before, an opposing player kicked the ball into the net. The referee denied the goal, but awarded the team a direct free kick. They missed.
We went on to win the game 1-0. Should the ref have denied the goal or should he have played the advantage?
Answer (May 4, 2009):
Play stops when the referee DECIDES that a foul has been committed, not at the moment the whistle actually blows. The referee's decision to blow the whistle may have been hasty, but once made, it cannot be retracted. Thus the advantage could not then be invoked. The referee's subsequent decision to deny the goal and award a kick was correct; however, because the foul occurred in the penalty area, the restart should have been a penalty kick, not a direct free kick.
ADVICE TO REFEREES VS. REFEREE PROGRAM DIRECTIVES
References to the Advice to Referees frequently appears in your responses to Ask a Soccer Referee. However, in a recent Northern California referee seminar, a senior US Soccer official called the Advice to Referees "archaic", said he "never reads that stuff," and that the 2009 Referee Program Directives were "the real world" and should always take precedence over the Advice to Referees. Can you clarify what roles the Advice to Referees and the Referee Program Directives each play?
Answer (May 4, 2009):
You may have misunderstood the "senior US Soccer official," whose comment regarding management of free kicks was that the directives are more current for higher-level referees than the Advice.
The directives have the advantage of being issued on an as-needed basis, while the Advice is published but once a year.
The Advice to Referees is written to give all referees a firm foundation in the Laws of the Game and the way they are applied in officiating soccer. The Advice is entirely up to date and is not in any sense "archaic." It is basic information aimed particularly at the lower-level referee; by the time a referee reaches the State level and beyond, he or she should have learned all these things for him-/herself.
The Referee Program Directives (and the usssoccer.com Referee Week in Review) are designed to address the issues facing referees at all levels. They highlight specific areas of focus and current U.S. Soccer initiatives designed to improve performance and aid in the development of officials across the country.
REPLAY OR NO REPLAY, THAT IS THE QUESTION
When is a match complete when terminated? Specifically, if 1/2 the match is played, and weather, darkness, etc. require the match to be terminated, is it complete? Or must the second half be started? Can you cite the Law or Paragraph in ATR? I don't see any. This has been an argument for many years with fellow referees.
Answer (May 1, 2009):
You won't find it in the Laws or in the Advice to Referees for one simple reason: There is nothing there. This situation is governed by the rules of the competition under which the game is played. The FIFA rule for the competitions it sanctions is that the game must be replayed in its entirety. Many competitions required that at least half the game have been played before a game counts as completed. Other competitions have different requirements. Know the rules for every competition in which you officiate.
INTERFERING WITH PLAY? OPPONENT?
A few months ago I was refereeing a game and I disallowed a goal for a player being in the offside position. It didn't have a bearing on the game, thankfully, but reading more and more of the new interpretation and wanting to be as spot on as possible I would like to run the scenario by you.
An attacking player was down on the ground by the goal line and the back post of the goal. The keeper wasn't concerned with the player and just keep his focus on the play. However the ball was crossed from outside to the top of the penalty area and an attacker struck a shot on goal. The keeper dove for it and the attacker lying on the ground (in an offside position at the time the ball was played by his team) did a little scissor kick to try to help the ball into the goal. He also missed the ball and a goal seemed to be scored.
My AR and I agreed that it would have been fine if he would have just stayed there and made no move to play the ball, but since he made an attempt to play it we disallowed the goal.
After reading the interpretations and comments and advice I think I may have made a wrong call. The player never touched the ball, nor did he interfere with the opponents. If I were to remove that player from the field of play magically, the goal would have been scored. So was my original decision correct or my 2nd guessing myself now? If it depends on the level of play the game was a U18 boys game.
Answer (May 1, 2009):
We applaud your effort to stay on top of all the new directives and interpretations, but are uncertain as to why you are having second thoughts in this case. Your initial decision was absolutely correct, although the correct reason was wrong.
The player in the offside position clearly kicked at the ball that the goalkeeper was attempting to play, thus interfering with an opponent and making himself offside.
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