A defender is physically off the field of play, (feet, legs, and torso), but reaches ONTO the field of play to either 1) hold or push an opponent, or 2) strike an opponent. The question is the determination with regard to “on the field of play” and therefore foul versus misconduct?
With striking, the guidance is pretty clear that the offense is committed where the contact is made or would have been made if the attempt is unsuccessful. A punch thrown by a defender who is inside the PA at an opponent who is outside the PA results in a DK, not a PK, but a defender who is outside the the PA and strikes an attacker who is inside the PA results in a PK because the striking offense is where the contact occurs, not where it was initiated. What is confusing in this situation is determining what happens when the offender is physically off the field of play but strikes a player who is on the field of play? Is the person doing the striking considered to be off the field of play even though his “fist”, and the offense, are ON the field of play?
Holding, Pushing, etc.
Same situation(s). Most of the person committing the offense is physically off the field of play, but they reach onto the field of play to hold or push an opponent. Is the person committing the offenses considered to be off the field of play, therefore guilty of misconduct, or on the field of play, therefore foul?
Methinks it is misconduct, but I’ve been wrong before.
USSF answer (September 28, 2008):
If the player has left the field during the course of play and that player reaches a hand or a foot (or any other body part) back onto the field of play to interfere with an opponent, that is considered to be a foul. The restart would be in accordance with which particular foul was committed.
However, if the player has left the field with the permission of the referee and reaches a hand or a foot (or any other body part) back onto the field of play to foul or interfere with an opponent, that is considered to be both a foul and an act of misconduct — entering the field without the permission of the referee. The player is cautioned for re-entering the field of play. If the foul itself is deserving of a caution the player will be sent off for receiving a second caution in the same match. Play is restarted in accordance with the nature of the foul.