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Question Number: 32081

Law 13 - Free Kicks 12/7/2017

RE: Competitive, over 40’s Adult

Deryck Sayers of Santa Clarita, CA United States asks...

2 questions, simple ones really.

Im a goal keeper and a free kick was awarded in my favor, inside the 18 yard box. I took the kick short to one of my defenders who received the ball inside the 18 yard box. The referee insisted that any kick, goal kick or free kick has to clear the 18 yard box. Is this correct?

Starting and restarting the game from a kick off, I thought the rules had changed and that the ball can not be played forward by the player touching the ball first. Is this correct?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

1. The ref was correct. All outbound kicks (not just goal kicks) taken from within the penalty area must clear the area to be in play. It is really surprising how few people know this, since the wording in the Laws is almost identical for free kicks and goal kicks.

2. The rule change was that the ball is not required to be played forward at the kickoff any more. It doesn't mean that it can't be.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Deryck
1. Surprising how many get this wrong. All kicked restarts by the defending team have to leave the penalty area to be in play. So the referee was 100% correct. Why would a free kick inside the penalty area be any different from a goal kick whenever the principle behind the law is to move most players out and away from the penalty area.
2. The kick off law has changed to allow the kick to be taken in ANY direction including backwards. Most now chose to go backwards yet the option to go forward is still the main part of the law. I had a player try to score directly from the kick off two weekends ago and that would have been allowed had he managed it.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Deryck,
1. The referee got this right. Similarly to my colleagues, I am also surprised at how often people get this wrong, especially since it's been that way since 1937 (one year after the corresponding provision for goal kicks was introduced)

2. This is not correct. The law was changed in 2016 - previously the ball had to go forward at a kick off but since the change, it can go in any direction.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Deryck,

Good for the referee, he was spot on, any OUTGOING defending free kick taken fro inside the PA, the ball must first completely exit the PA to be in play & before any player from either team can touch/play it!

The LOTG change allowed the ball to be kicked & moved in ANY direction. You could legally score a goal DIRECT from kick off if you get an inattentive keeper and a observant strong opposing center with a good kick!

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