The following occurred in a U15 boys recreational match.
I was the AR on the side of the field where this occurred. Ball was traveling on the ground towards the goal, outside the penalty area about 23-25 yrds from goal. The keeper got confused, thought he was still in the box and ran out and picked it up. The Center Referee called the handling violation. At this point the keeper was clearly out of position. An offensive player realized the situation and ran up to the ball and was going to attempt to kick it into the open goal.
Another defender ran up 2 yards from the ball to stop the play from occurring. The offensive player gestured to the defensive player, then quickly passed to the right and play continued, not resulting in a goal.
1. At the next stoppage, would it be appropriate for the Referee to issue a yellow card for failing to respect the required distance to the defender?
2. If the offensive player had kicked the ball towards goal, and it had deflected off the defender, and in the opinion of the referee it would have gone into the net, would this be a red card for DOGSO?
USSF answer (April 16, 2010):
1. What the referee should have done was to stop play immediately and caution the defender for failure to respect the required distance.
2. Such foolishness would be unnecessary if the referee followed the advice in 1.