I watched this one from the side line and wanted to know the correct application of the rules.

During a U13 girls match, the referee awarded a penalty kick. After the referee gave the signal but before the girl kicked it, the coach of the kicking team yelled out for the team to “watch #2”. The entire team turned to the coach and yelled, “got it, watch #2”. As they yelled, the girl took the penalty kick and scored while the referee and everyone on the defending team was confused and distracted by the yelling. The referee allowed the goal.

I thought the correct call should have been to stop the play, award a yellow card to the team captain (caution the coach as well) for unsportsmanlike conduct, and make the girl retake the penalty kick. I spoke with other refs and they disagree and would have awarded the yellow card to the coach, taken away the kick and awarded a IFK to the defending team. What’s the correct call? I see too much gamesmanship starting to creep into these youth games

USSF answer (May 9, 2008):
Some aspects of gamesmanship are perfectly legitimate, such as players from the team with the ball feinting at free kicks or giving misleading information to deceive or distract their opponents during the attack. Giving misleading information would be when a player calls for the ball, knowing full well that the teammate will not pass it. (Although it does not apply in this situation, the defending team is NOT allowed to do the same thing. That would be unsporting behavior.) The referee must learn to differentiate between those tactics which are legal and those which are not.

This orchestrated shouting, clearly an unfair tactic and counter to the Spirit of the Game, was a violation of the penalty kick procedure by a teammate of the player taking the kick. The referee should have disallowed the goal, certainly warned and possibly cautioned at least one of the kicking team players, and at least warned if not expelled the kicking team’s coach for behaving irresponsibly. Because the ball entered the goal, the kick would be retaken. (If the ball had not entered the goal, the referee would still have warned or cautioned the kicking team player, warned or expelled the coach, and would then have awarded an indirect free kick to the defending team from the place where the infringement occurred; in this case at the place just outside the penalty area where the player had been.)

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