September 28, 2011
In a high school varsity game played under USSF rules (as opposed to NHSF) the attacking team plays a ball that rolls into the penalty area and is picked up by the goalie. After the goalie has possession, a defender running with the attacker chasing the ball plays the body and bumps the attacker in a significant manner. The referee (I was the AR) gave the defender a caution for UB, and then allowed the goalie to punt to continue play.
We discussed after the game as to whether, after the caution, he should have awarded the attacking team a penalty kick, an indirect free kick from the spot of the contact, or whether letting the goalie punt was appropriate.
We’d appreciate your feedback.
USSF answer (September 20, 2011):
If there was no injury or immediate exhibition of ill-feeling and the referee invoked the advantage clause and then cautioned the defending player at the next stoppage, that would be legitimate and proper. However, in this case, the referee did not stop play and appears to have cautioned the attacker “on the fly,” not something that is in accordance with the Laws of the Game. This shows either ignorance of the Law or willful disregard of the Law by the referee.
The correct course of action would have been to play the advantage and then, at the next stoppage, to caution the defending player for unsporting behavior.