situation: girls age14/16 rec game.
tight game 2- 1 going into 4 period (extremely hot that day, halves broken into periods). last 30 sec. of game a corner is awarded to the team down by one. goes of defending team, down team awarded another corner. kick is good this time. there are probably 12 to 15 players in front of the goal. in the melee the ball is almost caught by a member of defending team and immediately dropped out of surprise by the action. parents and spectators witnessed the infraction. I was out of position and had no idea that anything had happened. nothing was called by the referee. the game ends.

upon shaking hands with the ref at centered field, he tells me,”i know your parents are going to complain, but with that many players in the box, you are not going to get that call.” I still had no clue what he ws talking about. after talking to parents and other spectators and hearing about what they saw, i put two and two together.

Did the ref see something and not call it because of the situation?
Wouldn’t a valid hand ball be a valid hand ball regardless of the situation?

USSF answer (July 7, 2008):
Girls 14-16 rec game? Hot day? The referee probably saw the possible infringement as an accident.

However, let’s look at the possibilities. If it was seen and:
– if a defender “caught” the ball and then, in surprise/shock/embarrassment, dropped the ball, it should have been a penalty kick (and a red card if, but for the handling, the ball would have gone in the net).
– if the ball was kicked into the crowd of assorted attackers/defenders and struck the hand of a defender who pulled her hand back in surprise/shock/embarrassment, there was no foul or misconduct and the match ended properly.

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