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Question Number: 31470

Law 18 - Common Sense 4/20/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

Situation: near the end of the first half, the (no AR) referee notices the keeper 'likely' infringing on the 18 yard line, reaching the hands over the line to drop the ball for a punt. The ref is not close enough to be sure, so lets it go.

When the half ends, the ref walks over to the keeper to have a private, pre-emptive chat about not handling the ball over the line.

Rather than politely listening, the keeper (whose team had lost a 2-0 lead) says, 'I don't want to talk about it,' and walks away, to join his team.

The ref could have drawn the yellow card at that moment but instead talks to the team captain, saying the keeper needs to come back for a chat before the half starts, or there will be a caution.

Later, the keeper walks up to the ref and quietly says, 'Give me the yellow. I'm a ref and I know the rules. It only matters where the feet are.'

The ref tries to reply that 'No, it's where the. . . ' but the keeper again turns his back and walks away.

The ref raises the yellow card and records it as dissent before whistling for the second half kick off.

During the second half, the keeper carefully plants his foot a good step away from the line before any of his punts.

Any issues with what the ref did here? I'll pass on your thoughts.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Barry,
I have no particular issues with the actions of the referee here. Especially since he was not sure whether an offence had truly occurred, a quiet word about it is probably all that is required in the first instance.

The behaviour and words of the keeper at the half time interval were for me, well deserving of a yellow card so again, I have no problem with the fact that one was issued.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

H Barry
Two schools of thought here.
The referee can chose to just call the handling offence when he sees it and is certain of the offence. No need to engage with the goalkeeper other than perhaps try to get close to the GK on the next punt or say during play to ask him to mind the line. No need for a conversation just a statement if fact to mind the line. * Goalkeeper please watch the penalty area line*
Alternatively if it is not obvious and not highlighted during the game the matter can be deemed trifling and doubtful without the need to intervene. Without ARs it is just nigh impossible to determine as the referee has to be close to the drop zone not close to the penalty area line on the punt.
I recall watching an EPL game involving Arsenal and an AR flagged for this offence. Action replay and freeze frame showed that the AR had in fact got it wrong.
Here is a video that I refer to in these instances.
Has the goalkeeper touched the ball with the hand here outside the penalty area line on the punt? At pace the step outside could end up as two / three steps.

The second way is to engage as described during a stoppage in play or at half time although it would not be a chat more of an instruction to mind the line. From what was described it is certainly deserving of a caution for dissent. The fact that the goalkeeper changed his action showed that it did work although the bigger test might have been whether the referee would have dismissed the GK for perhaps something like time wasting later in the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
the saddest part of your story is the keeper dealing the CR that he too was referee sigh. While rules are ok for USA high school it is still taught as laws in Canada . Wrong thinking and attitude creates needless confrontation not only in soccer but in most anything one would care to do or think about.

AS a single referee the keeper challenging the 18 yard PA boundary line on a punt out UNLESS he is well outside to the point the opposition is commenting I rarely get too fussy as it generally is of trifling impact.

I have seen keepers toss the ball out ahead of them so they were kicking a ball by the outer edge of the arc so where the feet are has NOTHING to do with where the hands were upon release but more to do with how near were the opponents to make it possible!

If the keeper decides to rub the referee's nose for making a general comment to be careful just seems stupid but then there is no law or rule that stops it! It matters not if the CR was perhaps making it an issue when it was not really necessary. Approaching any player is a foul mood is fraught with its own burden

The caution for the rudeness, ignorance and the dismissiveness by the keeper is certainly a reasonable yellow card for dissent . Churlish antics what ever their route cause rarely end well if they test the patience of a referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Proper answer to the keeper: 'Well if you're a referee, you know what dissent is. Please don't.'

I agree with my colleagues, this player has shown a complete lack of respect for the referee and by his actions has committed dissent. The caution is appropriate.

Now that said, on an outbound punting situation, especially if not viewed from the side looking down the PA line, it's very difficult to see if the keeper has released the ball before or after his hands go outside the line. Many times the kick happens well outside the area, which is perfectly legal as long as the ball was released from the hands before it fully crossed the line. When in doubt, don't make the call. And when the ref gets the opportunity, be sure to be closer to the PA to be able to see it.

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