Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 27242

Law 5 - The Referee 3/13/2013

RE: Competitve Adult

Jonathan of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire England asks...

Players 1A and 2A are attackers in the opponents penalty box. 1D and 2D are defenders, and 3D is a goal keeper.

1A is fouled hard in the box - an easy call for a penalty kick. However, the ball squirts out to 2A, who is about 10 yards from the goal and about to shoot. It's not a guaranteed goal, because he's still a little bit away from the goal and there's pressure coming from 2D. Do you blow for the PK, or allow the shot?

If you allow the shot, and it is missed, would you either announce that the advantage never materialized and call the PK, or consider the advantage to have materialized, not call the PK, and just card the defender at the next stoppage? I would call a PK, but I can see that being an issue because I would have just given the attacking team two chances to score from one foul. I keep tossing it around in my head, but I can't come up with a definitive answer. Your help would be much appreciated.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jonathan
Interesting question and one that does exercise the decision making skills of referees in these situations.
First off the safest decision is the award of the penalty kick. There has been a clear foul and if it is given there may be little complaint. Many times though a delayed whistle is the 'best' option and it gives the referee a little thinking time plus he gets to see what happens. The referee can then evaluate if advantage did in fact materialise or not. A goal is not required for advantage to be realised.
I had one of these early in the season and I went with 'advantage' without the signal and low and behold 2A missed the most obvious of goal chances by kicking the ball into the side netting. I went with a goal kick as I would have not pulled it back elsewhere on the field of play. Interestingly the attacking team accepted the 'outcome' of a goal kick.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

In the US we are told not to give the advantage signal inside the penalty area but to wait and see what happens in the next few seconds. Ref Lacy gives a detailed response per USSF guidelines.

Read other questions answered by Referee Keith Contarino

View Referee Keith Contarino profile

Answer provided by Referee Nathan Lacy

IMO, decisions in the PA have to be quick, especially at the pro level. You are either going to allow the kick/shot to occur (advantage materialized) OR you are going to blow the whistle for the foul. Agreed that you do NOT use the advantage signal and if the ball gets intercepted then it's easy to make the delayed call for the foul. HOWEVER, if you allow the shot and THEN decide to award the PK for the 'two bites of the apple' as described then you better be ready to catch a face full of 'stuff'. Applying advantage in the PA is very very risky so for my two-cents worth the other attacker better be standing in front of a wide open goal around 2 yards out with absolutely nothing to hinder him/her therefor making it pretty much a sure thing. In that case, if he/she blows the shot the team will be laughing their butts off at him/her and not yelling at you as the ref. The game management issue on this centralizes around their perception of your actions. To summarize, you need to VERY rapidly assess the likelihood of a goal being scored and very quickly make the decision to allow the shot or not. Once that decision is made you are committed and there is no bringing it back regardless of the outcome (unless, as mentioned above for some reason a defender is able to intercept the intitial pass). Once you make that decision you live with the outcome - good or bad. All the best,

Read other questions answered by Referee Nathan Lacy

View Referee Nathan Lacy profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 27242
Read other Q & A regarding Law 5 - The Referee

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.