Challenge Question

A new feature of AskASoccerReferee is the “challenge question” — from time to time (no particular schedule — only when the “spirit moves”), I will post a question for you to answer.  There is no form or format for a reply except as follows: your answer must (a) be as brief as possible, (b) be sent to, and (c) have “challenge” plus the question number as the subject (e.g., Challenge #3).  Any response which doesn’t include (c) will be ignored.  After a suitable lapse of time, I will post my answer and indicate how the answers you submitted compared with this.  There will be no flames, and I will ignore any follow-up which appears to not be constructive or thoughtful.

Scroll farther down to see prior Challenges.

Current open Challenge

Challenge #3

At the taking of a penalty kick A15 is identified as the kicker.  Upon the completion of all other requirements for the restart, the Referee whistles for the kick to be taken and A15 taps the ball lightly at an angle to her right.  A27, properly positioned when the Referee whistled, begins a hard run toward the ball while A15 begins walking at a forward angle to her left to leave a clear path for her teammate.

When A27 arrives at the ball, she and the ball are about 10 yards from the goal line while A15 has moved to a position roughly 9 yards from the goal line.  This play had been planned in advance by A15 and A27 to give the latter a chance to score and complete a “hat trick” to crown A27’s last game she would be playing for her team.  A27’s shot on goal, however, was inches too high and it rebounded from the cross bar to A15, who had stopped to watch the success of their plan.  A15, in an attempt to give A27 another chance to score, played the ball back to A27 who, this time, accurately shot the ball into the goal past team B’s confused defending goalkeeper.

What is the restart?  Explain.

Prior Challenges

Challenge #2:

Red #12 is dribbling the ball and Blue #20 is actively challenging, both  running at full speed less than two yards from Blue’s goal line and to the left of the goal.  Red backheels the ball to a teammate and the momentum of both players carries them off the field where they get tangled up and fall to the ground.  At this point, Red #6 has the ball about ten yards up from the goal line with only the Blue goalkeeper standing on his goal line between Red #6 and the goal.

Red #12 is the first to recover.  He springs to his feet and rushes back to the field.  When Red #12 is approximately 1 yard into the field, his teammate passes the ball to him.  Red #12 pivots left and neatly places the ball low into the goal just in front of the left post.

The assistant referee raises his flag for an offside offense, the referee cancels the goal, and Blue takes an indirect free kick where Red #12 received the pass from his teammate.

Were these decisions correct?  Why or why not?

Answer (first correctly provided by C. J. from California): The decision is incorrect and the goal should have been awarded.  If there was no complicating infraction by either Red #12 or Blue #20 while off the field, then Blue #20 is considered to be standing on the goal line where he left the field.  Therefore there are two defensive players (GK and Blue #20) closer to the goal line (actually, they are both on it) than Red #12 when he receives the ball and therefore he was not in an offside position.  Fundamentally, defensive players cannot “put themselves out of the play” OR “put an attacker in an offside position” by leaving the field of play (further, a defender who tries this risks a caution).

Challenge #1:

At the taking of a penalty kick, the Red kicker inadvertently just grazed the ball and it began rolling toward the goal slowly.  As it was moving forward, a large dog ran onto the field, grabbed the ball in his mouth (it was a very large dog!) and began running around the field in a playful manner.

What action(s) should you take?

Answer: The ball was legally put into play (kicked and moved forward) but, on the way to the net, an outside agent interfered with play.  Law and tradition have long stated that every penalty kick (or kick from the mark) must involve a realistic chance to score — which did not happen here as the ball was prevented from continuing in its path forward.  The kick must be retaken.  There is no requirement that the original kicker must perform the retake.  The 2016/2017 version of the Laws describes this scenario and outcome in general terms at the bottom of p. 96.  No response answering this challenge correctly was received.