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Question Number: 24323

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/14/2010

RE: Rec Under 13

DougB of Irvine, Ca USA asks...

I was reading the Week in Review, I think it was Week 31, and it was regarding allowing the goalkeeper to place the ball back in play. If the game is younger, U10 or U12 Rec, I probably don't want to award a caution, it's probably not needed.

If you are close enough, a verbal call of 'Give the goalkeeper some space' should be sufficient, I think, and there's nothing wrong with a referee doing this.

If the player does not listen (acts like they don't hear, or they really don't, or they just don't care) can you stop play and award an IDFK without a caution? If so, what would that call be for?

The following is a piece of the Week 31 that I saw.

Thank you.

Should the attacker continue to track the goalkeeper or prevent him from releasing the ball into play from his hands, the referee should then award an indirect free kick to the goalkeepers team. In this case, the referee decides to caution the attacker (unsporting behavior) based upon the referees feel for the game at that moment. However, the referee has the option to chose the most appropriate course of action (warn or caution) after judging that interference has occurred.

Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

You are correct that the referee's presence can mitigate potential problems here. It also seems as your question is answered by the very information you provide.

The 'minor' fouls listed in Law 12 include the following: An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of the referee, a player:
? plays in a dangerous manner
? impedes the progress of an opponent
? prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
? commits any other offense, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

Since it is an infraction for a player to prevent their opponent's goal keeper from releasing the ball from their hands, you could stop play and deal with it without including a misconduct. In the situation from Week 31, the referee did caution the player based on what the game needed at that time. The last sentence of the information you provided in your question basically answers your question....'the referee has the option to chose the most appropriate course of action (warn or caution)....'

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Doug
As the foul is listed in law 12 the referee can stop play for this offence and resart with an indirect free kick. It is a matter of discretion whether the referee cautions the player or not for preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from her hands.
It should not be confused with the situations where the referee stops play to caution for an offence not listed in the Laws and the restart is an indirect free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

There are several ways to deal with players interfering with an opposing keeper's release of the ball without a caution.

The referee may be able to address the issue with voice and presence without stopping play, as you note.

This is a foul for which the restart is an indirect free kick.

If the referee stops play to issue a warning and does not call the foul, the restart is a dropped ball. Sometimes the 'fairest' restart for young players is to use the dropped ball restart. Move toward the keeper, drop the ball at her feet, and remind her that she can pick it up. This restores the situation with the ball in the keeper's hand. (The referee cannot prevent an opponent from participating at the dropped ball, but if one seeks to participate, the referee should not use a dropped ball and instead award the IFK foul. The referee can change her decision so long as play has not restarted.)

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