Question:
Reffing a High School match a few weeks ago I was the CR with my assigning secretary one of my AR’s. Our state has adopted FIFA Laws as our Laws of competition this season. During the game I blew my whistle signaling a direct free kick to a team. The foul occurred near the touchline where this player set up to take the free kick. As he backed up to make his approach to put the ball in play he stepped outside the field of play for maybe a couple of seconds. My AR (assigning secretary) began to viciously wave his flag signaling me over because this player needed a yellow card for leaving the field of play without the permission of the referee.

While I know this is a cautionable offense I don’t believe it violates any of the global thumb rules for assessing a caution. I also think it is more the fault of the referee if he ever gives a card for this offense. The player didn’t cheat, didn’t endanger anyone and didn’t take away from the fun of the game. I also told this AR that this player inherently has my permission when making his approach to approach from outside the field of play given the location where the foul occurred. Approaches take place from outside the field of play all the time i.e. a corner kick. Is my interpretation correct?

In hindsight I maybe should have just given the caution because I was chewed out after the game by my assigning secretary and it has cost me future assignments to officiate. I just want to know if I made the right call pertaining to the match so I can be at peace. Thanks for your help.

Answer (November 13, 2013):
Players are normally expected to remain on the field while the ball is in play, leaving only to retrieve a ball and take a restart, or when ordered off by the referee. If a player accidentally passes over one of the boundary lines of the field of play or if a player in possession of or contesting for the ball passes over the touch line or the goal line without the ball to beat an opponent (or any other obstacle), he or she is not considered to have left the field of play without the permission of the referee. This player does not need the referee’s permission to return to the field. Repeat: No referee permission is required for this temporary departure to play the ball, avoid an obstacle, or take a restart.

Please note the phrase: “take a restart.”

So to sum it up: (1) Your assigning secretary was wrong and should be ashamed of him-/herself. (2) The job of the assistant referee, no matter what his/her other duties, is to ASSIST, not INSIST.

Categories: Law 6 - Asst. Referee

NOTE: My sincere apology to the person who asked this question: I forgot to post it. The best part is that it is relted to the one I anssered this morning, q.v.
Question:
Team A wins a corner on the bench side. I’m positioned at the intersection of near side penalty arc and penalty area (solo ref).

Team A player goes to retrieve the ball. While Team A player retrieves the ball, his teammate exits the field from the near side goal line, jogs around the goal, then re-enters the field from the far side goal-line. I made eye contact with the attacker and let him back on play. Team A then took the corner kick and play resumed as normal.

It seemed as if the attacker did not want to go through the congested goal area. Could this be considered “trickery”?

Should I have cautioned the attacker for leaving the field without permission? And if I was going for a State 5/6 level, would this be an automatic fail in itself?

Answer (September 3, 2013):
A good question and one answered within the Laws themselves. This answer will be considered “wrong” by many purists, but it is founded in fact. What you describe is surely an unusual play, and the correctness of the decision to allow play to restart hinges entirely on the matter of congestion and the referee’s interpretation of the word “accidental.” If the area was indeed so congested as to present a barrier to the player’s becoming involved in the upcoming play, then what he did was fine — and no assessor can say otherwise. See “Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees” (in the back of the Law book):
If a player accidentally crosses one of the boundary lines of the field of play, he is not deemed to have committed an infringement. Going off the field of play may be considered to be part of a playing movement .

This matter was also covered to some extent in the old Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game (2012/2013), though this concerns the ball being in play, rather than a stoppage in play:
3.9 LEAVING THE FIELD IN THE COURSE OF PLAY
Players are normally expected to remain on the field while the ball is in play, leaving only to retrieve a ball or when ordered off by the referee. If a player accidentally passes over one of the boundary lines of the field of play or if a player in possession of or contesting for the ball passes over the touch line or the goal line without the ball to beat an opponent, he or she is not considered to have left the field of play without the permission of the referee. This player does not need the referee’s permission to return to the field.

Categories: Law 18 - Common Sense

PLEASE: NO MORE QUESTIONS ON HIGH SCHOOL RULES!!!
Question:

I watched a HS game last night in Wisconsin and Team A won in overtime and a number of the boys celebrated on the field by chasing the goal scorer as he ran towards his fans. A couple of them had removed their jerseys in celebration and the referee singled out one of them and yellow carded him for “unsportsmanlike”. This was his second yellow of the game so he also produced a red card. The ref literally chased him off the field to card him (after the game was over). Does the team have any recourse in terms of an appeal so that this player can play in the next game? What is the rule regarding carding a player after the game is over and the players are no longer on the field of play?

Answer (October 18, 2013):
As I consistently state in my answers (and the “About” section of the site), I do not answer questions regarding high school rules or referees. The rules are from another planet and some high school referees seem to have joined the migration.

Under the Laws of the Game, the rules the world plays by, the referee has no authority to punish players for purely technical offenses such as removing their shirts that occur AFTER the final whistle. (Look at all the international and professional games where this occurs on a regular basis.) Violent behavior or related actions, yes, but not removing the shirt. Please note, however, that if time had not actually run out when the disrobing and chasing occurred, then the referee was correct. On the other hand, if the game was truly over, then you should take this matter to the AD of the school for him or her to resolve.

Categories: Rules of Competition

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As stated in the About section of this site, we do NOT answer questions on high school rules, which are from another planet. Please do not ask any more questions on games played under HS rules.

Categories: Law 5 - Referee

Question:
In a U12 game in which the halves are supposed to be 30 minutes long, what is a referee to do if she discovers that after the first half has ended, the first half was played for 35 minutes instead of 30? Advice to Referees discusses what to do if a half is too short, but I don’t see anything about what to do if it’s too long. (Let’s assume there is no need for added time as allowed for by Law 7.)

Matches are supposed to have two equal halves, but does this apply if the first half was incorrectly too long? Should the second half be 30 minutes or 35 minutes?

Answer (September 10, 2013):
There is little in the Laws covering this unfortunate event. However, these words from the Laws (back in the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees, under Law 7) may be helpful: “The referee must not compensate for a timekeeping error during the first half by increasing or reducing the length of the second half.”

The intelligent referee, i.e., one who is smart and quick on his mental feet, will simply describe the extra time as “taking into account time lost” — not true, of course, but an overly long half is easier to “explain” than a half which is short by any amount.

Categories: Law 7 - Duration

Question:
Team A wins a corner on the bench side. I’m positioned at the intersection of near side penalty arc and penalty area (solo ref).

Team A player goes to retrieve the ball. While Team A player retrieves the ball, his teammate exits the field from the near side goal line, jogs around the goal, the re-enters the field from the far side goal-line. I made eye contact with the attacker and let him back on play. Team A then took the corner kick and play resumed as normal.

It seemed as if the attacker did not want to go through the congested goal area. Could this be considered “trickery”?

Should I have cautioned the attacker for leaving the field without permission? And if I was going for a State 5/6 level, would this be an automatic fail in itself?

Answer (September 3, 2013):
A good question and one answered within the Laws themselves. This answer will be considered “wrong” by many purists, but it is founded in fact. What you describe is surely an unusual play, and the correctness of the decision to allow play to restart hinges entirely on the matter of congestion and the referee’s interpretation of the word “accidental.” If the area was indeed so congested as to present a barrier to the player’s becoming involved in the upcoming play, then what he did was fine — and no assessor can say otherwise. See “Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees” (in the back of the Law book):

If a player accidentally crosses one of the boundary lines of the field of play, he is not deemed to have committed an infringement. Going off the field of play may be considered to be part of a playing movement.

This matter was also covered to some extent in the old Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game (2012/2013), though this concerns the ball being in play, rather than a stoppage in play:

3.9 LEAVING THE FIELD IN THE COURSE OF PLAY
Players are normally expected to remain on the field while the ball is in play, leaving only to retrieve a ball or when ordered off by the referee. If a player accidentally passes over one of the boundary lines of the field of play or if a player in possession of or contesting for the ball passes over the touch line or the goal line without the ball to beat an opponent, he or she is not considered to have left the field of play without the permission of the referee. This player does not need the referee’s permission to return to the field.

Categories: Law 18 - Common Sense

Question:
I teach classes for beginner referees. I seem to recall, from the murky past, specific instructions for referee signals when indicating free kick versus throw-in direction. Specifically, should the referee face the touchline when signalling (for throw in) as opposed to facing the goal line (for free kick)?

I’ve looked thru the Guidance and ATR and can’t seem to find anything.

This is probably trifling, but I’d like the proper citation nonetheless.

Answer (August 23, 2013):
All signals without exception are given while standing square to the field. As for assistance in instruction, you should look through the various online materials in the referee Resource Center at ussoccer.com — including a detailed “show and tell” video on AR signals.

Categories: Procedure-Ref

Question:
What is legal verbal deception? While a forward was breaking to goal 30 yards out unchallenged, a defending midfielder called, “Here. Back to me.”, and the attacker stopped and passed the ball back to the opponent. Checking with our SDI and USSF I am told this is legal deception today: the attacker is totally responsible for his actions. Evidently this is not ATR 12.28.1 UNSPORTING BEHAVIOR “If a member of the defending team verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart”; this addresses shouting or startling the attacker. But how about verbal deception by an attacker – which is not mentioned in ATR 12.28.1? Is attacker verbal deception okay? Is it unsporting for an attacker to call for the ball from a defender, and successfully receive it?

Answer (August 22, 2013):
Interestingly enough, there is a dichotomy here: The team with the ball is allowed to use deceptive methods and language to further its play, but the defending team does not have that benefit. Your SDI is clearly wrong. I do not know with whom you spoke at USSF, but if anyone there said the defender’s tactic is legal, he or she was clearly overindulging in the use of forbidden substances.

Since at least 2000, the Federation has stated numerous times that such tactics by the defending team or interjections of false instructions by coaches are anathema, i.e., forbidden under pain of punishment for misconduct. The correct action for the referee is to stop play (unless the advantage can be applied), caution the player for unsporting behavior (or eject the coach for any such irresponsible behavior) and restart with an indirect free kick from the place where the ball was when the misconduct occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick; ). If the evildoer was the coach or other team official, the restart is a dropped ball at the place where the ball was located when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped.

While appearing relatively innocuous, using the words “mine” or “Here, to me” can be a deceitful way of calling for the ball. If a player cannot see the player who calls “mine,” there is always the possibility that the calling player is an opponent, seeking to gain an advantage over the player who cannot see him. If there is any opponent nearby, players should say “keeper’s ball” or “Jerry’s ball” or something more specific, just to avoid such problems.

The offense, if there is any, can be determined only in the opinion of the referee. Any player trying to cheat in this way should be penalized. The offense is unsporting behavior, punishable by a caution/yellow card and an indirect free kick for the other team (see above). The player who makes an innocent mistake of calling ‘mine’ can be corrected without cards.

For your (and your SDI’s) further education, here is an update of a paper I wrote in 2002 that was published in the former USSF referee newsmagazine, Fair Play.

Affecting Play (updated August 16, 2013)
Jim Allen
USSF National Instructor Staff (Ret.)

Using “devious” means to affect the way play runs can be perfectly legal. The referee must recognize and differentiate between the “right” and “wrong” ways of affecting play, so that he or she does not interfere with the players’ right to use legitimate feints or ruses in their game.

The desire to score a goal and win the game often produces tactical maneuvers, ploys, and feints designed to deceive the opponent. These can occur either while the ball is in play or at restarts. Those tactics used in restarts are just as acceptable as they would be in the normal course of play, provided there is no action that qualifies as unsporting behavior or any other form of misconduct. The team with the ball is allowed more latitude than its opponents because this is accepted practice throughout the world, and referees must respect that latitude when managing the game.

Play can be affected in three ways and each will probably occur in any normal game. In descending order of acceptability under the Laws of the Game, they are: influence, gamesmanship, and misconduct.

To “influence” means to affect or alter the way the opponents play by indirect or intangible means. “Gamesmanship” is the art or practice of winning a game through acts of doubtful propriety, such as distracting an opponent without technically violating the Laws of the Game. However, the referee must be very careful, for while the act may be within the Letter of the Law, it may well fall outside the Spirit of the Law. “Misconduct” is blatant cheating or intentional wrongdoing through a deliberate violation of the Laws of the Game.
Many referees confuse perfectly legitimate methods of affecting play through influence with certain aspects of gamesmanship and misconduct.

Influence can cause problems for some referees at restarts. The ball is in play on free kicks and corner kicks as soon as it has been kicked and moves, and on kick-offs and penalty kicks as soon as it is kicked and moves forward. The key for most referees seems to be the requirement that the ball must “move.” The IFAB has directed that referees interpret this requirement liberally, so that only minimal movement is necessary. This minimal movement was defined in the past as the kicker possibly merely touching the ball with the foot. That has changed. All referees must observe carefully the placing of the ball for the kick and distinguish between moving the ball with the foot to put it in the proper location and actually kicking the ball to restart the game. The ball must be kicked and move a perceptible distance. Please note: Feinting at a penalty kick may be considered by the referee to be unsporting behavior, but verbal or physical feinting by the kicking team at free kicks or in dynamic play is not. (See below.)

Influencing play is perfectly acceptable. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) and the F⁄d⁄ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have consistently ruled in favor of the use of guile by the attacking team to influence play and against the use of timewasting tactics and deceitful acts by the defending team. The IFAB and FIFA are so concerned over the failure of referees to deal with timewasting tactics that for some years they published annual reminders that referees must deal with time wasting in all its forms. The IFAB has also consistently ruled that the practice of forming a defensive wall or any other interference by the defending team at free kicks is counter to the Spirit of the Game, and has issued two associated rulings that the kicking team may influence (through the use of feinting tactics) and confuse the opponents when taking free kicks. The IFAB reinforced its renunciation of defensive tactics by allowing the referee to caution any opposing players who do not maintain the required distance at free kicks as a result of the feinting tactics, which can include members of the kicking team jumping over the ball to confuse and deceive the opponents legally. (See the Questions and Answers on the Laws of the Game, November 1990, Law XIII, Q&A 7 and 8; still recognized as part of the Laws.) The related practice of touching the ball at a free kick or corner kick just enough to put it in play and then attempting to confuse the opponents by telling a teammate to come and take the kick is also accepted practice.

Gamesmanship, by its very name, suggests that the player is bending the rules of the game to his benefit. However, while he is not breaking the letter of the laws that cover play, he may be violating the Spirit of the Laws. Indeed, acts of gamesmanship in soccer can range from being entirely within the letter of the Law to quite illegal. Examples of legal gamesmanship include a team constantly kicking the ball out of play or a player constantly placing himself in an offside position deliberately, looking for the ball from his teammates so that the referee must blow the whistle and stop and restart the game. These acts are not against the Letter of the Laws, and players who commit them cannot be cautioned for unsporting behavior and shown the yellow card. Referees can take steps against most aspects of this legal time wasting only by adding time. Remember that only the referee knows how much time has been lost, and he or she is empowered by Law 7 to add as much time as necessary to ensure equality. Acts of illegal gamesmanship fall under misconduct (see below). Examples: a player deliberately taking the ball for a throw-in or free kick to the wrong spot, expecting the referee to redirect him; a coach whose team is leading in the game coming onto the field to “attend” to a downed player; simulating a foul or feigning an injury.

Misconduct is a deliberate and illegal act aimed at preventing the opposing team from accomplishing its goals. Misconduct can be split into two categories of offenses: those which merit a caution (including the illegal forms of time wasting) and those which merit a sending-off. While the attacking team may use verbal feints to confuse the defensive wall or may “call” for the ball without actually wanting it, simply to deceive their opponents, the other team may not use verbal feints to misdirect its opponents and then steal the ball from them; e.g., a defender calling out an opponent’s name to entice him into passing the ball to him. Full details on the categories of misconduct and their punishment can be found in “Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referee” in the back of the Laws of the Game.

Look at these methods of affecting play as escalating in severity from the legal act of influencing to gamesmanship, which can range from legal to illegal, to misconduct, which is entirely illegal. Each of these methods will be used by players in any normal game of soccer to gain an advantage for their team. Referees must know the difference between them, so that they can deal with what should be punished and not interfere in an act that is not truly an infringement of the Laws. Thorough knowledge of the Laws of the Game, the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referee, and position papers and memoranda from the National Referee Development Program can help the referee make the correct decision in every case.

Categories: Law 18 - Common Sense

WHAT IS A CHARGE?

June 12, 2013

Question:
Could you go in a little more detail about the ATR’s explanation of a Charge? I’m still having a tough time understanding the language it is trying to imply.

Answer (June 12. 2013):
Not sure why there is a problem, but let us go beyond the Advice to Referees and bring in what is (or should be) taught in the entry-level refereeing courses.

A legal or fair charge is defined this way:
A fair charge is shoulder-to-shoulder, elbows (on the contact side) against the body, with each player having at least one foot on the ground and both attempting to gain control of the ball. The amount of force allowed is relative to the age and experience of the players, but should never be excessive. This is as detErmined by the referee on the game, not some book definition, adjusted as necessary for the age and experience of the players and what has happened or is happening in this particular game on this particular day at this particular moment. It all boils down to what is best for the referee’s management and the players’ full enjoyment of the game.

Although often overlooked by spectators, it is important to remember that a player’s natural endowments (speed, strength, height, heft, etc.) may be superior to that of the opponent who is competing with that player for the ball. As a completely natural result, the opponent may not only be bested in the challenge but may in fact wind up on the groundÑwith no foul having been committed. The mere fact that a player fails in a challenge and falls or is knocked down is what the game is all about (and why coaches must choose carefully in determining which player marks which opponent). For their part, referees must not handicap players by saddling them with artificial responsibilities to be easy on an opponent simply because they are better physically endowed in some way.

Fair charges include actions which do not strictly meet the “shoulder-to-shoulder” requirement when this is not possible because of disparities in height or body type (a common occurrence in youth matches in the early teenage range where growth spurts differ greatly on an individual level within the age group). Additionally, a fair charge can be directed toward the back of the shoulder if the opponent is shielding the ball, provided it is not done dangerously and never to the spinal area.

The arms may not be used at all, other than for balance, which does not include pushing off or holding the opponent.

To be a fair charge must not be careless, reckless, or use excessive force. These definitions from the Advice may be helpful:
“Careless” indicates that the player has not exercised due caution in making a play.
“Reckless” means that the player has made unnatural movements designed to intimidate an opponent or to gain an unfair advantage.
“Involving excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the use of force necessary to make a fair play for the ball and has placed the opponent in considerable danger of bodily harm.

If the foul was careless, simply a miscalculation of strength or a stretch of judgment by the player who committed it, then it is a normal foul, requiring only a direct free kick (and possibly a stern talking-to). If the foul was reckless, clearly outside the norm for fair play, then the referee must award the direct free kick and also caution the player for unsporting behavior, showing the yellow card. If the foul involved the use of excessive force, totally beyond the bounds of normal play, then the referee must send off the player for serious foul play or violent conduct, show the red card, and award the direct free kick to the opposing team.

The referee (and the players, their coaches and parents, as well as the other spectators) must remember that the occurrence of contact between players does not necessarily mean that a foul was committed. Contact occurs and it is accepted and welcomed, as long as it is accomplished legally — and that includes most accidental contact.

There is no other sort of charge than a “shoulder charge”; no hips, no hands, no holds or pushes. Each player must have at least one foot on the ground and both players must be attempting to gain/retain control of the ball. The arms may not be used at all, other than for balance, which does not include pushing off or holding the opponent.

“Momentum” should not be a factor in the referee’s judgment of a charge. Beyond the definition given above, there are only two criteria for judging the charge: (1) Was it fair or unfair? (2) If unfair, was the charge (a) careless, (b) reckless, or (c) using excessive force? After these two questions have been asked and answered, the referee makes a decision.

If the charging player’s momentum is too great, it is likely that the player is using excessive force; however, please remember that a player can be knocked over by a fair charge and the charging player should not be punished for that. If the charge is either reckless or done with excessive force, the player must be either cautioned for unsporting behavior or sent off for serious foul play.

Categories: Law 18 - Common Sense

Question:
My GU15 team played in a tournament this weekend with 30 minute halves. First off the referee declared he was starting his watch before either team was on the field. My team took the field, and the other team took an additional minute and a half to enter the field in which I assume the referee was still continuing the time. I had started my watch when the referee initially declared he had started time. 28 minutes into the game and my player is fouled just outside the 18-yard box. I call a sub and get another player on the field. My player takes position to have a shot on the free kick and the referee blows for halftime before the kick is taken and before he blows the whistle to allow my player to take the shot, and at 29 minutes. Is this allowed, from what I understand, the ball must be in play to call a game or halftime. The play was dead in result to the free kick. Was the referee right to be able to call for halftime?

Answer (May 30, 2013):
There are a number of possibilities in this situation, but I shall list only the possibility most flattering to the referee:
Because they have scheduled too great a number of games on too few fields–and do not want to engage more referees or more fields, both of which would cost more money–many tournaments instruct the referee to start the game precisely at the time specified in the tournament program and to end the game in time for the field to be cleared immediately for the next game. The referee is allowed no flexibility in the timing. You will likely find this in the small print of the tournament rules.

In addition, no matter what the tournament rules may be, referees should NEVER take away a scoring opportunity from any team. That should be a no-brainer.

Categories: Rules of Competition

Question: I see a lot of players lowering their shoulder and then raising it into the another player as they make contact during a shoulder charge. Some refs call it a foul and others have said it is a legal charge. Is it foul for a player to lower their shoulder into another player during a shoulder charge?

Answer (May 3, 2013):
There is no clear definition in the Laws of the game as to what is fair in a shoulder-to-shoulder charge. The general definition is given in the USSF Advice to Referees:

12.5 CHARGING
The act of charging an opponent can be performed without it being called as a foul. Although the fair charge is commonly defined as “shoulder to shoulder,” this is not a requirement and, at certain age levels where heights may vary greatly, may not even be possible. Furthermore, under many circumstances, a charge may often result in the player against whom it is placed falling to the ground (a consequence, as before, of players differing in weight or strength). The Law does require that the charge be directed toward the area of the shoulder and not toward the center of the opponent’s back (the spinal area): in such a case, the referee should recognize that such a charge is at minimum reckless and potentially even violent.

It may help to include some more information:
We define charging thusly: A fair charge is shoulder to shoulder, elbows (on the contact side) against the body, with each player having at least one foot on the ground and both attempting to gain control of the ball. The amount of force allowed is relative to the age and experience of the players, but should never be excessive. This is as defined by the referee on the game, not some book definition, adjusted as necessary for the age and experience of the players and what has happened or is happening in this particular game on this particular day at this particular moment. It all boils down to what is best for the referee’s management and the players’ full enjoyment of the game.

Although often overlooked by spectators, it is important to remember that a player’s natural endowments (speed, strength, height, heft, etc.) may be superior to that of the opponent who is competing with that player for the ball. As a completely natural result, the opponent may not only be bested in the challenge but may in fact wind up on the ground with no foul having been committed. The mere fact that a player fails in a challenge and falls or is knocked down is what the game is all about (and why coaches must choose carefully in determining which player marks which opponent). Referees do not handicap players by saddling them with artificial responsibilities to be easy on an opponent simply because they are better physically endowed in some way.

Fair charges include actions which do not strictly meet the “shoulder-to-shoulder” requirement when this is not possible because of disparities in height or body type (a common occurrence in youth matches in the early teenage range where growth spurts differ greatly on an individual level within the age group). Additionally, a fair charge can be directed toward the back of the shoulder if the opponent is shielding the ball, provided it is not done dangerously and never to the spinal area.

The arms may not be used at all, other than for balanceÑwhich does not include pushing off or holding the opponent.

Children of the same age differ in their development. They and we have to live with it. No foul if there was no offense other than being larger or faster. As noted above, the decision as to whether the force used is excessive is up to the individual referee.

And let’s also add that if the use of the shoulder appears to the referee to involve the use of excessive force, then it should be punished with the sending-off of the miscreant.

Categories: Safety!

Question:
I’m confused with some of these procedures. I was made to understand from the laws of the game that a dropped ball is a method of restarting game, that any player may challenge for the ball. And that the referee cannot decide who may or may not contest a dropped ball.

Question: (1) Why do referees drop the ball for a player to play it back to the opponent after a temporal stoppages or why do one team play the ball back to the opponent after it has been dropped by the referee. (2) If the player fails to play it back to the opponent, will the referee caution the player? (3) In what situation can players from different teams contest for a dropped ball (4) In thesame line, when a player is down and the ball is been played out through the touch line so that the player down in the field can receive treatmeant. Why do players always start it by throw-in the ball to their opponent ( i cannot find it in the laws of the game).

Answer (May 2, 2013):
Deciding who “may or may not” contest the dropped ball is a concept that has been refined over the years by the Spirit of the Laws and tradition, which is well known to the players, and the referee. Or most of them. The tradition is outside of the Laws, but even special efforts and instructions by national associations, as well as hints from the International Football Association Board, the people who make the Laws, have not affected any real change.

(1) If play was stopped because of injury to a player of one team that was not caused by a foul (and thus there is no free kick), tradition requires that the referee drop the ball for the team whose player was injured. This includes events in the penalty area where the goalkeeper had possession; the ball is dropped for the goalkeeper and other players stay away.

(2) It is not against any Law to not play the ball to the other team. There is no penalty if the player fails to play the ball to the other team, but even his own teammates and team officials will often criticize him. The referee should not caution the player.

(3) If play was stopped for misconduct or a foul committed by players of both teams, the dropped ball is contested.

(4) If play was stopped when a player was injured and the other team kicks it out, tradition requires that the team that takes the throw-in play the ball to the other team. This is usually done by kicking the ball to the goalkeeper.

Categories: Procedure-Ref