In the April 16 question about failure to respect the distance, my question is how do we call this at the lower levels when it is not called at the higher levels? I don’t think I’ve ever seen failure to respect the distance enforced in a professional match in spite of it occurring on nearly every foul called.

USSF answer (April 27, 2010):
The argument given by those who are reluctant to enforce the distance at a free kick is that the players do not expect the rule to be enforced and are willing to put up with it. It is clear that this is not true and the Federation has launched a campaign on this problem. Ask your State Director of Referee Instruction to let you know when there will be a clinic on the “Managing the Free Kick” module.

In addition, please note that this is an important consideration at the professional level and is certainly called at every level of the professional game. However, we acknowledge that referees at all levels are sometimes a bit lax and need to be more forceful in enforcing the law.

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