Please give me a read on the following scenario. As always, thanks in advance for your response.
Free kick for the attacking team just outside the 18 yard box (ceremonial restart, wall is placed appropriately, etc).
In this scenario, the defending team decides to place a defender on each post, a la a corner kick, so there is no immediate potential for offside.
Seeing this, an attacking player takes up a position one yard in front of the GK, with the intent (in the opinion of the referee, who I realize does not judge intent…) of obscuring his line of sight. So far, so good. If the kick is taken at this moment, and the attacking player maintains his position and does not attempt to impede the movement of the GK, then all is good. What if, prior to the kick being taken, the player who has taken up the position in front of the GK, starts jumping up and down: 1) with arms at his side; 2) with arms raised over his head and waving back and forth (potentially further obscuring GK’s vision)? Unsporting behavior in either instance?
I think I can answer my own question about # 2; warn the attacker, prior to the kick being taken, to cease and desist. Or if the kick is taken before a warning can be issued, whistle for impeding, or maybe misconduct? But I had some doubts about # 1. Any action required by the referee prior to the kick being taken in scenario # 1 (once the kick is taken, the attacker has the right to jump and attempt to head the ball)?
As I thought about this, I started to come up with variations on the theme. What about the attacker who takes up position adjacent to the defensive wall; what if he starts jumping up and down prior to the restart (hands at side). Any issue? Or for that matter, what if the defenders in the wall are jumping up and down (hands at side), prior to restart?
USSF answer (March 4, 2008):
We agree that the attacker in question is likely engaged in misconduct. There might be some room for argument if the attacker merely stands his ground, but misconduct is absolutely clear cut if he jumps around and/or waves his arms. This would be the functional equivalent of shouting to distract and we have no problem declaring this misconduct. As to the “merely standing” — this would be acceptable behavior unless (a) the attacker moves as the goalkeeper moves (which makes it similar to such behavior at a corner kick) or (b) is so close physically to the goalkeeper that it could be interpreted as an aggressive occupying of “personal space.”
If it can be done in time, yes, warn the player. If not, call the misconduct — not impeding.
Players in the wall are allowed to jump up and down, whether members of the defending team or the attacking team. But the attacker in this scenario was not in the wall and was clearly committing unsporting behavior.