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Question Number: 28124

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/20/2014

RE: Intermediate Under 12

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28090

I am interested in something that Referee Jason Wright said...that you would call advantage if the foul occurred in a different part of the field. Why wouldn't you yell 'Advantage, play on!' inside the box?

If you don't, and there's an obvious foul, isn't it even more likely that there might be retaliation or protests?

Thanks in advance,

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
USSF has provided advice on this and this is a quote from its directive on the matter:
''Special circumstances govern the application of advantage for offenses committed by defenders inside their own penalty area. Although the basic concept of advantage remains the same, the specific decision by the referee must be governed by both the close proximity to the goal and the likelihood of scoring from the penalty kick restart if play is stopped instead of applying advantage.
The basic elements of the decision are straightforward:
# Advantage is a team concept and thus the referee must be aware not only of the fouled player's ability to continue his or her attack but also of the ability of any of the player's teammates to continue the attack themselves.
# Advantage has been applied when the decision is made, not when the advantage signal is given. The signal itself may often be delayed for 2-3seconds while the referee evaluates the advantage situation to determine if it will continue.
# Where it does not continue, the Laws of the Game provide for the referee to stop play for the original foul.
# If the original foul involved violence, the referee is advised not to apply advantage unless there is an immediate chance of scoring a goal.
Inside the penalty area, the competitive tension is much greater and the referee is called upon to make quicker decisions. The time during which the referee looks for advantage to continue becomes defined by the probability of scoring a goal directly following the foul or from the subsequent play.''

In essence what it is saying is that the referee can and should play advantage but he should delay his signal to do so through 'Wait and See''. If the advantage is not realised then the referee simply calls the foul which will result in a penalty. If there is a potential for retaliation then play should be stopped immediately. It is likely anyway that when that happens advantage will not be possible due to the severity of the foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Phil,

My main intent was to highlight that 'advantage' is actually a fairly common occurrence, but that it tends to occur more in the middle of the field than around the Penalty Area. It was simply to indicate that, while it isn't often seen in the PA, it's the same law that's fairly commonly used elsewhere.

Advantage can be applied anywhere on the field - including the Penalty Area.

Consider that we should only apply Advantage if that's a better outcome for the player than awarding a free kick. As a Penalty Kick is a 1-on-1 shot with the keeper, I think the only time I'd want to apply advantage in the PA is if the team is left with the ball in front of an open goal.

That's a bit different to waiting a few moments to see what happens.

Then, in the situation like that other question where a defender deliberately handles the ball and it goes in the goal anyway you wouldn't worry about signalling advantage - you'd just award the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Nathan Lacy

Given Ref McHugh's comments above consider that with the speed of play and the extremely short time frame within which to make a decision the 'process' of signaling advantage actually becomes a distraction to both you and the players with regards to the immediate outcome. Said another way, within a split second you better be either blowing your whistle or seeing the ball in the net. If it takes more than a 'flash' for a goal to be scored you've waited too long and then selling the PK is going to be VERY problematic. Food for thought. All the best,

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