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Question Number: 32095

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 12/13/2017

RE: Other

Larry of Danville, CA USA asks...

I just had a new referee tell me that the trick corner kick, where one player gives the ball a slight kick and another player then comes in and dribbles it away, is no longer legal. The new ref said he was told by his instructor that this is a form of trickery and became illegal this year. If he is right, I have apparently missed that memo. Any truth to it? Any difference in High School ball?

Also, on a corner kick can two players stand outside the field of play? I had this happen in a game where one player would kick the ball a couple of yards away from the arc and the second player would then cross it into the PA, or dribble it it. I let it go, but it made me wonder if it was allowed. We obviously give one player permission to leave the field of play to take a corner,without specifically saying anything, but there is no reason for two players to do so. And since the second player is actually affecting play coming from a position off the field, something just doesn't seem right about it.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Larry
The only change to the Laws is that Law 17 now states ** The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves**. The addition of CLEARLY to moves makes for the ruse not working as planned when the ball has to be seen to clearly move as a kick. In 2016 with the major rewrite of the Laws the explanation given on the changes was to prevent players just touching the ball and then pretending that the ball was not taken.
As regards two players standing outside the field of play at a restart the Law is moot on this point. I have seen this many times and there is no issue in my opinion in doing this. The opponents will have no issue with it as it takes an extra player out of the mix. Indeed if the defending team are tuned in they could move any defenders off the goal line which could then perhaps place one of the attackers in a possible offside position depending on how the play unfolds on the second touch when offside applies.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Larry,
I have not heard any new adaptation other than the referee MUST recognize the ball is in play it still reads the same? The ball is IN play when it is KICKED and clearly moves! Smart defenders can use the two man short to set up offside trap ONCE the ball is in play and received as a new touch. There is NO offside possible on the corner kick so a kick to a guy entering off the goal line means squat .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Larry,
There has been no change to the law that would render this trick play illegal and no instruction or recommendation from the IFAB that would make it so. On the other hand, many referees do not like this ploy and do consider it as unsporting so it is always possible that some local refereeing or competition authority might have issued a recommendation that this should not be allowed. However it is not illegal as per the laws themselves, although there is a possibility of a 'verbal distraction' offence if there are shouted or spoken instructions involved that have an effect on the opponents.

In fact, you could argue that the way the law is worded is almost as if the ploy is being allowed, since it says explicitly that the ball ''does not need to leave the corner area'' to be in play. On the other hand, the explanation given by the IFAB for the use of the phrase ''clearly moves'' seems to lean in the other direction, saying as it does, that it ''is especially important for corner kicks to stop a player just touching the ball then unsportingly pretending that the corner has not been taken.''

As regards two players being off the field at the taking of the corner kick, there is once again, nothing explicit in the laws that would make this illegal. As ref McHugh says, it is relatively common and I have never seen a referee calling an offence on this. To be honest, I would be surprised if I ever did see it penalised.

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