This week’s Week 23 USSF Week in Review features Brian Hall discussing the concept of advantage in the penalty area (referring to the 8 minute mark of the audio portion).
Mr. Hall states that advantage on a DFK foul by the defending team in its own PA can only occur if a goal is scored almost immediately; if not, the foul should be called an a penalty kick awarded.
Here is my theoretical situation. Let’s say a GK commits a DFK foul on an attacker, who releases the ball and the ball rolls to a teammate who now has a shot from 2 yards away on the 8-foot by 24-foot goal frame. It’s a “can’t miss” opportunity. But amazingly, the attacker somehow manages to mis-kick the ball and chips it wide of the post or over the crossbar (this is not impossible… a search of “Missed goals” on YouTube will turn a few of these up).
Clearly it behooves the referee to play advantage and give the golden scoring chance. But, according to Mr. Hall, once the shot misses the PK should be awarded. This is going to seem like double jeopardy for the defense, and will undoubtedly result in much angst and potential dissent from the defense.
The missed goal is not the fault of the foul or any play by the defending team; it is due to the technical inadequacy of the attacker.
I’m fine with following this directive, but I want to make sure that this is what is truly intended. I can sense situations developing in which we are following this direction and have to deal with subsequent dissent for the interpretation.
USSF answer (September 17, 2010):
For something over a year now, the Federation has espoused precisely the line expressed in the Week in Review. This line distinguishes between the concept of advantage anywhere else in the field and how the concept differs in the penalty area. What it comes down to is this:
As regards procedures, the mechanics of advantage in the penalty area would be to keep your mouth shut and the whistle down, no matter what. No referee should ever be caught on tape giving the non-PA advantage signal for something that occurred inside the penalty area.
As regards the substance of advantage, inside the penalty area advantage is defined solely in terms of scoring a goal “immediately” (i.e., within a play — roughly — a pinball-type carom off one player to another player and then into the goal would be included). If a goal is scored “immediately,” count the goal and card only if the original offense by the defender deserved it outside the context of S4 or S5 (Law 12 reasons for sending-off). If a goal is not scored, regardless of the reason, whistle and call for a penalty kick.