Situation: I am the CR for a U-12B recreational match. I have just awarded a goal kick and the keeper has placed the ball to take the kick. I then stop play for a substitution, as allowed by local rules (I wasn’t taking away a quick kick opportunity since the substitution was requested by the keeper’s coach). Upon signaling for play to resume, the keeper picks up the ball, and places it in a completely different area of the goal box (still legally placed, though), then takes the kick. After the match, one of my AR’s informs me that the ball cannot be re-placed like that and that I should have made the kicker take the kick from the spot where he originally placed it.

Question: I have read LOTG , GTP, and ATR and have been unable to locate anything on this. I have enjoyed working with this other referee many times and have respect for the advice, but I would still like to know where this is drawn from. Have I missed something? Where is there a reference to this?

Note: I do realize that, in some situations, this type of action may be considered as delaying a restart and, therefore, should be sanctioned as such. But, in this situation, I had already stopped the game for a legal substitution and did not see any harm in allowing this (the keeper did not take an excessive amount of time to re-place the ball).

Your wisdom would be appreciated.

USSF answer December 1, 2008):
At one time the ball had to be put into play at a goal kick from the side on which it left the field. This requirement was dropped some years ago in the interests of reducing time wasting, and play may now be restarted with the goal kick taken from any spot in the goal area. This was of some help in reducing the time wasting, but clearly not enough. The IFAB (the people who make the Laws of the Game) and FIFA (the people who administer the game worldwide) launched a campaign in 2000 that continued into 2002: Its theme was to eliminate excessive delay from the game. U. S. Soccer’s position can be found in the USSF publication “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game,” where it has been since 2001. Advice 12.28.4 indicates that one reason for cautioning a player for delaying the restart is the act of unnecessarily moving a ball which has already been properly placed on the ground for a goal kick. Clearly the referee will not caution where there is no measurable loss of playing time, such as in the situation you experienced.

Not sure what your local rules of competition say, but the Laws of the Game permit substitution at ANY stoppage of play.

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