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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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You Call It!

After two years and many request - You Call It is back! Now it's your turn to test your knowledge in a scenario created by our panel of referees. If your answer is spot on we will publish it on our site! Good luck click here!

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/19/2021

RE: Competitive Adult

Peter Babbage of Hjorring, Denmark asks...

There was an instance at the weekend where half a players body was in the area and half not. So a penalty was given. So I’m a little confused here. On that basis say a player like Peter Crouch was leaning right forward for a header but was fouled with say only his head in the box , is this still a penalty then?...

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High School 1/12/2021

RE: High School

David Lovett of Royal Palm Beach, FL United States asks...

I was watching a game and saw an offside call that made me want to ask this question. I try to keep up with the laws of the game to make it more enjoyable to watch. There was a player in an offside position. His teammate passes the ball in his direction. The referee applied the wait and see so he could see if either another teammate not in an offside position gets to the ball or a defender deliberately plays the ball and resets the offside. Neither of those happened and the original player that was in the offside position ends up playing the ball. My question is where is the restart? Is it where the player touched the ball therefore being involved in the play or is it from where the player was originally in the offside position since he gai...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/5/2021

RE: High school/competitive High School

Devery H. of Naples, Florida United States asks...

Situation 1:
I had a game tonight where looking back I wondered if I did the right thing. A defender and an attacker were shoulder to shoulder, top of the area, running toward the goal line. The defender kicked the ball and a millisecond later the attacker fouled her. Enough to make her fall. The ball rolled past the goal line for a corner. So that’s what I called. She was fouled. I told her as much. But I also told her she kicked the ball out first and then was fouled. In that situation, unless the foul was reckless or excessive, was it correct to give the corner kick? Or should I have given the foul?

Situation 2: a couple of weeks ago I had a similar situation. This time an attacker was in the penalty area. He made a sh...

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Law 17 - The Corner Kick 1/4/2021

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydeny, Australia asks...

I have never seen this before.

In the recent Chelsea v Man City EPL match, Timo Werner took a corner kick in the dying minutes of the match.
He seemed to clip his own foot against the corner flag - I think after he kicked the ball in to play (a short pass for a team mate only a few meters away).
Werner went down injured, and Ref Taylor appropriately stopped play.

Would have thought the restart would be a drop ball to Chelsea, however, the restart was a retake of the corner kick.

Very odd.

There was no replay of the incident shown to be able to confirm if he kicked the corner post before or after the ball was put into play. (Initially, I thought after, but logic suggest it was before - an...

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Law 5 - The Referee 1/4/2021

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydeny, Australia asks...

The things you hear with no crowds.

Firstly, Happy New Year all - hope you are safe and well where ever you are.

Just watching the Chelsea v Man City replay and could hear what I thought was the incorrect use of wording from Ref Anthony Taylor.

In the 15th minute, a city player was clipped late as he attempted to gather a pass from a team mate, however, the ball fell favourably to another teammate, who played the ball with a 'first time' pass forward to yet another team mate, who was then challenged and lost the ball - where upon Ref Taylor call the play back for the original clipped foul.

After the initial clip to the city player, and seeing the ball bounce favourably to the next City player, Ref...

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Mechanics 12/17/2020

RE: All Other

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

In reviewing the LotG, I find the signals in Law 6 are coded for a left diagonal. Does this mean that the right diagonal is "phased out?" I don't know a referee who does that anymore (though I have heard stories), but I feel it could be an option, for example, to monitor an unruly coach that was opposite the AR in the first half....

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Law 18 - Common Sense 12/17/2020

RE: All Other

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

As an AR, can I require spectators/coaches to stay 6ft away from the touchline? I always see them creep up as close as possible, and with COVID-19 I would like to "socially distance" them from me....

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/16/2020

RE: Pro Professional

Steve Debus of Crofton, MD USA asks...

Regarding the Brighton/Southampton match I have two questions about the PK call in the 77th minute.

First Law 12 clearly states that if a hold is started outside the PA but continues into the PA, a PK should be called. It is silent, however, about a push or charge that starts outside the area but where the contact continues into the area. My thought is the same result should apply and "appears" to be what was used by VAR to reverse the DFK called on the field to PK as contact does appear to start outside the area. Is that the correct interpretation?

Second, why was a YC issued after the VAR but not before? If it was reckless or SPA outside the area ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/16/2020

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


'New' advantage rule:

Part 1: If the referee plays the advantage for an offence for which a caution/ sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/ sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play.

Part 2: However, if the offence was denying the opposing team an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, the player is cautioned for unsporting behaviour if the offence was interfering with or stopping a promising attack, the player is not cautioned.

My question is about HOLDING offence. Is it possible to apply Part 1 in some cases? Or is HOLDING generally cautionable only when it is SPA?


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Law 11 - Offside 12/15/2020

RE: Adult

Tony Woods of Surbiton , Surrey UK asks...

NCO are playing STP,the ball was taken up the pitch by NCO player and he was tackled but was sent to the ground, he was still laying down in front of the goalkeeper but behind the last STP player when the NCO kicked for goal, does that mean the NCO player laying down was off side.


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