During one of our U-14 games one of our defensive players and opposing team members were shoulder to shoulder heading towards our goal. Our defensive player then reached his foot out to try and kick the ball away towards the side and instead he toe tipped it out in front towards the center of the goal and our goalie picked it up.

This maneuver also landed the opposing teams player on the ground and our kids catching his balance in sprint. The Ref then called an indirect kick for the opposing team on the “pass back rule” I am under the understanding that it only applies if it is intentionally kicked back to our goalie. Obviously two players sprinting shoulder to shoulder and the defense trying to get it out of there can not be taken as intentionally can it? This IDK lead to another messy situation where the Ref then told our players they could not make a wall stating they must be 10 yds from the goal line (ball was 8 yds from goal line) then when our players looked confused and moved away he tried to save himself and say 10 yds from the ball. Yelling at them.

Our Goalie was trying to get our people back on the goal line when the ref proceeded with game play (no whistle, or asking goalie if ready).

Our Goalie was not ready and well tap tap ball in. I want to contest this however I want to make sure I have the right answer before doing so.

USSF answer (October 15, 2010):
Let’s start with the good things the referee did (or may have done):
• The call for the “pass back rule” was correct if your player deliberately kicked the ball to the goalkeeper or to a place where the ‘keeper could play the ball. The emphasis on “deliberately” means that the player did not miskick or deflect the ball, but knew essentially where it was going to go.
• No whistle is necessary at a free kick unless the referee has had to move the opposing back the minimum ten yards from the ball; a whistle is necessary if the opponents had to be moved.

Now we move to the bad things the referee did:
• The defending team has no right to form a wall at free kick. In fact, they have only one right to anything at a free kick, and that right is not to be confused by the referee. By giving them bad directions on where they could be, the referee misled your players. At an indirect free kick near goal, all opponents must be at least 10 yds from the ball until it is in play, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts.
• Referees should never yell at players.

Your game is not protestable. Even though the referee misled your team through his poor mechanics, that does not mean that he “set aside a Law of the Game.”