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Soccer Referee Questions on Soccer Rules
Welcome to -- a Soccer Law Question and Answer site. Providing answers to questions regarding soccer laws since October 11, 1999... to ask a question simply click on Ask the Ref in the menu bar and pose your question and the panel will reply. Those who have ideas or articles please feel free to contact the editor Richard Dawson at with suggestions.

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High School 10/25/2021

RE: Competitive High School

Matthew Holten of Miamisburg, OH United States asks...

Player #1(red team), attempting to play a ball forward/clear it (out of her 1/2 of the field), kicks it hard causing it to hit "opposing" player #2 (green team) in the knee, who is standing just in front of her. The ball "ricochets/deflects" back behind player #1 to player #3 (green team) who is an offside position. Should this be called offside?

As an AR I did not raise my flag, as I interpreted that this ball was initiated by the red teams intentional errant pass and non-intentionally played by the green team, so NO offside.

Was I correct? TIA...

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Mechanics 10/24/2021

Shaun of Bromley, Kent England asks...

In the recent Arsenal v Aston Villa match the ref viewed the VAR monitor 55seconds after contact was made and awarded a penalty deep into injury time. The penalty was saved but the rebound was slotted home, the Villa manager questioned why the whistle wasn’t blown after the penalty was saved for half time, but am I correct in believing that the clock would have been reset to the time when the penalty challenge occurred and thus an additional min of 55 seconds should exist after the penalty save....

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/23/2021

RE: Rec Under 19

David Bober of Waynesville, NC United States asks...

During a U19 game My ref issued a red card to the Goalie for excessive force...he slid cleats up into 2 of which was his own player..after the ejection which happened inside the plenty box he gave the attacking team a PK. Is this the correct call as far as the PK goes? We had a discussion with parents sfter the game and they disagreed with the PK....

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Law 14 - The Penalty kick 10/22/2021

RE: Adult

Kevin Green of Skipton, England asks...

VAR ask the ref to check a penalty decision after the half or full time whistle and a penalty is awarded.
The penalty is saved, but the ball remains in play, is that the end of the half/game or can a goal still be scored?...

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High School 10/20/2021

RE: Rec - Middle School Under 14

Trent Futrell of Knoxville, TN United States asks...

Dual Ref tandem game - U14 Girls.Red team is defending on their half of the field.  Red team ends up with a handball near the center line.  Other ref blows the whistle for the hand ball.  The girls all slow down on the whistle, but then the same ref says "no, play on."  Blue team is able to get the ball and take off on a breakaway and score on red.  Red parents and coaches are livid because the whistle was blown and their girls stopped playing and then weren't able to catch up on the breakaway.
My question is should play have stopped on the whistle or play continue since the ref said "no play on."
Preciate the help as always. ...

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Law 11 - Offside 10/16/2021

RE: Rec Under 10

Jay LaFountain of Coldwater, MI USA asks...

Offside question. I don't usually have questions, but I had a situation come up where every other referee I asked said the call should have been offside and I have no idea how it could be possible. I was a coach at the time, and I (badly) shouted something about it but shut up right away because it was silly to argue in a 10U game.

Anyway, here's the situation:

Green corner kick. Green player 10 kicks the ball. It goes directly to a red player, who kicks the ball back to green player 10 (in an offside position). Green player 10 gets the ball, flag goes up, whistle blows, and I yell "From a red player?"

When talking about it calmly later, as these things should be handled (we're all friends and I'd alrea...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/16/2021

RE: Rec and competitive, youth to adult.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

Highlights from Jordyn Huitema's hat-trick. ("HIGH-te-ma" is the correct pronunciation.)

Despite her being a home-town player, I feel she makes a foul before her first goal, contacting the defender's shoulder blade. After contact, the player stumbles forward, rather than sideways.

Did she also make contact before the ball was in playing distance? No way could she have reached the ball when the barging contact was made.

Second goal is a great example of clearly being onside when the first shot was made... then LOOKING like she was offside when she headed the ball in.

Your thoughts?

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Law 3 - The Players 10/15/2021

RE: international Professional

Daniel Hewett of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON Canada asks...

in the recent Canada Panama game at BMO field, a corner was about to be taken.

as the corner kick taker started to back up to take the kick, he started to walk backwards into the Canadian sub that was kneeling off the field.

this started a pushing match involving all players including both benches.

is there an infringement by the sub here? what if the sub is sufficiently off the field but the attacker is excessively backing up to cause the melee? ...

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Mechanics 10/14/2021

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

I wish to ask a question about a possible scenario. For example, the ball goes out of the pitch near the corner flag and at first, the central referee points out for a corner kick and the attacking team quickly takes the corner kick. However, the assistant referee warns the central referee that it should have been a throw in instead of a corner kick since the ball went out of the pitch over the sideline. At this point, does the central referee has no choice but to allow play to go on since the laws indicate once the play has restarted, the referee cannot change the decision? Or, does the central referee still have the opportunity to stop the play and restart the game with a throw in? ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/13/2021

RE: Previous referee Adult

Peter Byrne of Sale, Cheshire England asks...

In the England match last night against Hungary why was a penalty given against England when dangerous play is an indirect free kick. There was no attempt by Shaw to deliberately foul the Hungary player. In the rules this should have been an indirect free kick....

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