MISCONDUCT AFTER WHISTLE FOR PENALTY KICK
In the final few minutes of a tied match the referee correctly awards a normal PK to the blue team.
The whistle signal to begin the PK occurs first.
Then, out of sight of the referee, outside the penalty area, a red defender deliberately kicks the ankle of a blue attacker. The PK is taken but initially saved by the keeper; however, the rebound is fought for. In a bit of scruffy ping-pong play the ball eventually winds up inside the red goal. Referee was good to go with the goal and a kick off but when he looks over to the lead AR to confirm, he sees the AR has raised his flag pointing across to the trail AR. By now a blue attacker is retaliating against the red defender punching him, so the referee is briefly unaware that the raised flag was to mirror the TRAIL AR who witnessed the kicking offense! After the MESS is discussed and the dust settles the referee disallows the goal, retakes the PK and only cautions the defender who kicked and the attacker who punched!
The retaken PK is saved and the game ends tied.
If you were referee what would you have done differently, if anything at all?
Answer (March 21, 2009):
The defender's action had no part to play in the penalty kick, so there has been no violation of the procedure for taking a penalty kick -- and, even if did, the violation would fall under the "violation by defender but the ball went into the net so it counts" rule. The defender's action occurred during a stoppage of play (remember, the whistle had been blown but it appears the ball had not yet been put into play) -- thus, it is not a foul and therefore advantage cannot be applied to it. The referee has until the next stoppage to take care of it, but in this case the next stoppage is for the goal scored from the penalty kick and the subsequent play.
(1) goal counts
(2) "deliberately kicks the ankle" sounds like violent conduct, so send off the defender
(3) although poorly constructed,the following "By now a blue attacker is retaliating against the red defender punching him" seems to mean that that the blue attacker was punching the red defender in retaliation (because the red defender didn't punch him, he kicked him in the ankle) so the blue attacker should be sent off for violent conduct because this occurred during a stoppage of play. If we have read the sentence incorrectly, then the blue attacker might not get a red card for VC but he surely gets some card for retaliating.
(4) Restart with a kick-off
GOALKEEPER HANDLING VS. ADVANTAGE
If a goalkeeper is in possession of the ball with his hands and is fouled by means of "pushing" and the push sends him out of the penalty area (still holding the ball), but the keeper very quickly throws the ball up to midfield to a wide open attacker who can move towards goal, can advantage be applied and play be allowed to continue under these circumstances?
Law 5 states: the referee is to allow play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage.
Since there is no way you would ever call the deliberate handling infraction, wouldn't requiring the goal keeper to put the ball to the ground for a free kick take away the advantage? And since Handling must be deliberate it could be argued that the keeper never INTENTIONALLY handled the ball as he was forced from the penalty area against his will.
Answer (March 21, 2009):
No, no matter how much the situation may invite it, the referee cannot invoke the advantage clause in this case. The original foul must be called and the opponent at least admonished for the infringement. Of course, if the force of the push was excessive -- and if it actually resulted in the goalkeeper being moved a yard or so outside the penalty area, that would seem to be the only conclusion possible -- the opponent would also be sent off for using excessive force. The reason for not invoking the advantage clause is that the referee would have to use it twice, first for the foul by the opponent and then again for the infringement by the goalkeeper, no matter that it was caused by the original foul. Call the original foul (and likely serious misconduct) and send off the opponent. Restart with a direct free kick for the goalkeeper's team from within the penalty area.
DOUBLE CAUTION FOR EXCESSIVE CELEBRATION?
This question is based (at least loosely) on events in a recent professional match in Italy (Serie A). Late in a scoreless game, a player scores a goal. In his celebration, he removes his shirt -- normally cause for a caution. He then runs to the nearest corner flag, lifts the flag, and waves it in the air -- normally a cause for a caution. Should a referee consider these acts to be part of one extended, excessive celebration and therefore caution the exuberant player once? Or should a referee consider this two separate acts, each worthy of a caution? Or something else?
[In the actual game, I'm not sure whether the player who pulled out the corner flag was the goal scorer who had removed his shirt. He was certainly part of a celebratory mob at the corner.)
Answer (March 21, 2009):
Unless there is some truly overwhelming reason to send off this person in the hypothetical situation of demonstrating his jubilation at the scoring of a goal, a caution for unsporting behavior should be sufficient.
PROVIDING INFORMATION TO COACHES
Are coaches allowed to ask for clarification of a referees call that they did not understand?
Is it appropriate for a coach or player (besides a team captain) to approach a referee at say half-time or after conclusion of the game to ask a question for clarification of a call made by the referee during the game.
This goes to "are referees approachable" if so, when ?
Answer (March 18, 2009):
Under the Laws of the Game, no coach or player may "question" the referee's decision, nor must the referee provide any information other than what he or she puts in the match report. That said, the referee could certainly respond to a reasonable approach by a coach after the game is over. The response should be succinct and polite. If the coach or any other person is not acting responsibly the referee should leave immediately and include pertinent details in the match report.
MISCONDUCT OFF THE FIELD OF PLAY
An attacker goes down the wing, cuts in very close to the end line, enters the box, evades a defender and then the keeper comes to challenge along the end line. The attacker slips the ball between the keeper's legs and runs around him off the pitch with the intention of collecting the ball on the other side and tapping it into the net.
However, the keeper grabs him by the ankles and brings him down (off the pitch). Is it a penalty (and a red card) or since the offence took place off the pitch is it a hop ball and a caution for the keeper for ungentlemanly conduct? Anyone know?
Answer (March 18, 2009):
Coach, if a player leaves the field to commit misconduct, the minimum punishment is a caution for unsporting behavior. We responded to this problem back on 24 February and what follows is an slightly modified version of that response, designed to answer your question. One caveat: It is not clear to us where the 'keeper grabbed the attacker by the ankles. If it was while the player and the 'keeper were on the field, but the player fell off the field, then the restart would be a penalty kick.
Regarding misconduct off the field of play: In its guidelines for 2008/2009, the International Board in effect created two scenarios for when the referee stops play for misconduct committed off the field by a player. In the first case, the referee must decide if the player left the field in the normal course of play and, while off the field committed the offense. In this case, after dealing with the misconduct, the referee will restart play with a dropped ball where the ball was when play was stopped (except for the special circumstances involving restarts in the goal area). However, if the referee decides that the player left the field for the purpose of committing the offense and after dealing with the misconduct, play is restarted with an indirect free kick for the opposing team where the ball was when play was stopped (except for the special circumstances involving restarts in the goal area).
In the first case, a dropped ball is the correct restart, based on the fact that misconduct was committed off the field. In the second case, an indirect free kick is the correct restart because the player has illegally left the field before committing the restart.
One must remember that the indirect free kick restart is not for the misconduct committed off the field, but for the illegal exit from the field.
That, of course, opens up an interesting discussion of whether, since misconduct was committed in the departure as well as in the conduct off the field, then it would follow that the referee could also give a second yellow and then a red. But that decision would be up to the referee on that game, at that moment, with those players, and in that specific situation.
Not dealt with here is the matter of whether or not this act of misconduct involved the use of excessive force, which would result in a sending off of the goalkeeper.
We hope this answers your question.
SIGNALING A GOAL
I was a AR at a recent game and a situation occurred where the ball was floating around the goal line and the keeper was trying to grab it before it rolled across.
I saw it roll across the goal and then he grabbed it and brought it back onto the field of play.
It was my impression that to signal a goal a AR should sprint back toward midfield as a signal of a goal but since it was not obvious as the ball was floating around there seemed to be some confusion.
The center referee while watching me run back was motioning to me asking if it was a goal or not.
Half way up the line I just stopped and screamed out it was a goal.
Was there some other signal I should have given him other then the sprint up the line or was this correct?
Answer (March 181, 2009):
We suggest that you follow the instructions in the USSF publication "Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials, designed specifically for the assistant referee to use in this situation:
If the ball briefly but fully enters the goal and is continuing to be played, raises the flag vertically to get the referee's attention and then, after the referee stops play, puts flag straight down and follows the remaining procedures for a goal.
REFEREE WEARING KNEE BRACE
About five years ago while playing soccer I tore my ACL. I have yet to have surgery on it and recently became more accustomed to wearing my brace after having a bad incident while playing. My question relates to the uniform of the referee as the brace is rather large and cannot fit under the socks.
Should I referee with the sock pulled up and have the 3 white stripes hidden from view or should I have the 3 white stripes viewed from about halfway up the shin?
I would assume that hiding the 3 white stripes would be acceptable in this case as having the stripes in non-uniform positions would look awkward.
Answer (March 18, 2009):
The common sense answer would be to wear the socks at their normal level and wear the brace over the socks if this is possible.
I recently observed a tournament game where the keeper on the defending team was on the ground holding the ball between his legs. The referee stopped play, ruled it a dropped ball, told the keeper "I am going to drop the ball and you pick it up." Everything I have read and on the couple of incidents I have refereed and have had to call a dropped ball situation, the call was correct, in that is should have been a dropped ball situation, but the way in which the referee allowed it to play out was not correct. He did not have any member of the attacking team involved with the drop ball and should not have told the keeper he was going to drop it and for him to just pick it up. Both teams should have been involved. The keeper could legally be involved with the drop ball but the attacking team should have had an opportunity to play the ball after the drop.
Answer (March 18 2009):
You have not given us enough information for a single answer. There are at least two reasons that the goalkeeper might be on the ground with the ball between his legs: Either he is (a) injured and thus unable to rise or is (b) committing dangerous play and withholding the ball from play by others.
If the referee has had to stop the game because the goalkeeper was injured, then the correct restart is a dropped ball. If the referee has had to stop play because the goalkeeper was playing dangerously, then the correct restart would be an indirect free for the opposing team, from the place where the infringement occurred.
As to the manner of the dropped ball restart in the game you observed, you may have confused the Laws of the Game with the rules of high school soccer, which differ greatly regarding the dropped ball.
There is nothing in the Laws of the Game to specify that a dropped ball must be dropped between two opposing players.
Here is the text of Law 8 regarding the procedure for dropping the ball:
The referee drops the ball at the place where it was located when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped.
Play restarts when the ball touches the ground.
You will note that no number of players is specified. While it is usual for the ball to be dropped between two opposing players, there is no requirement that this be the case at every dropped ball.
This differs from high school rules (National Federation of State High School Associations), which specify that the dropped ball must be taken with one -- and only one -- player from each team participating.
CEREMONIAL RESTART ISSUE
During a recent amateur men's league match where I was the referee, I called a foul against the defense and awarded a free kick about 25 yards from the goal line near the corner of the penalty area. The offense asked me to move the wall 10 yards and I informed the kicker to wait for my whistle. The kicker, a little over anxious, takes about 5 steps before kicking the ball. I blew the whistle to restart at about his 3rd step. The goalkeeper sprints out and punches the ball away which goes directly over the touch line on the opposite side of the field. At the time, I thought the kicker proceeding before the whistle and then my blowing the whistle may have been confusing to some players, so I ordered a retake. I took a little heat for it from the defense at the time.
In thinking about the decision, I though about Advice to Referees - 2007. In section 13.3, it states that the free kick must be retaken if the play is restarted prior to the signal. While the ball was not kicked yet, I had reasoned that play had begun because he had taken steps and was obviously going to kick it. Prior to the game, I had also looked at the 2009 Game Management model for MLS. In there it states that if the ball goes directly to the goalkeeper and he retains possession, let play continue. My scenario was slightly different. If I think about what was fair, I would have given a throw-in where the ball went out of touch after the keeper punched it. What advice can you give me? Thanks very much.
Answer (March 18, 2009):
The defending team has only one right at a free kick. That right has nothing to to with a wall, nor to loiter in front of the kicker; it is to be allowed to play without distraction by the referee. That has certainly not occurred here. On the other hand, as we have often stated here, the kicking team does have the right to attempt to deceive their opponents at a free kick. We hereby reinforce the statement that "must wait for referee signal to take free kick" means exactly and only that -- the ball cannot be kicked until the whistle sounds. Award the throw-in.
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. Direction is provided by Alfred Kleinaitis, Manager of Referee Development and Education, with further assistance from Paul Tamberino, Director of Referee Development; David McKee, National Director of Assessment (assessment matters); and Ulrich Strom, National Instructor and National Assessor (matters in general).
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