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Soccer Referee Questions on Soccer Rules
Welcome to, a Soccer Law/Rules Question & Answer site!
Operating since October 11, 1999, that is 25 years as an independent, FREE, public service site. Dedicated to personally answering your questions regarding any Professional or Grassroots, FIFA, College, High school, or Youth soccer game situation. To ask a question simply click on Ask the Ref in the menu bar, post your question!

Please understand, we are comprised of strictly volunteers, thus lack the time required to review or alter the hundreds of thousands of previous questions & answers. The LOTG /RULES are constantly being tweaked, reevaluated and rewritten each year, often rendering previous answers as incorrect, partially true and/or portions no longer applicable! Our answers can only coincide within the changing LOTG/RULES time/frame of the date a question was asked! We feel it is essential you review & read the latest version of the always changing Laws/Rules of the Game.

The IFAB 2023 - 2024 LOTG Laws of the Game can be viewed here:

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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 4/15/2024

RE: Amateur Adult

Mühenned Elseyho of Onikisubat, Kahramanmaras Turkey asks...

Does touching the ball in this video deserve a (red or yellow) card and a penalty kick , and why?

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Law 7 - The Duration of the Match 4/14/2024

RE: any Other

Andy Xu of Windsor, CO United States asks...

Do you have to end a game immediately after the time is up?...

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Law 5 - The Referee 4/9/2024

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

Based on your answers I have one more question please.

Example: The team A with the advantage immediately (within three seconds) commits a foul.

So do we ALWAYS restart according to team B's original foul?

Thank you!...

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Law 5 - The Referee 4/7/2024

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


one question please.

Can a player decline advantage after a foul? (for example by stopping movement)

Or is it solely a referee's decision?

Thank you very much!


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High School 4/5/2024

RE: High School Team Varsity High School

Amy L Clabaugh of Clear Lake, Iowa USA asks...

More context I maybe should have added - the comment to his teammate occurred while he was coming off the field and not heard by spectators or even the other teams players.
The teammate he was talking to had just been reinstated for a red card from previous games and known to have unsportsmanlike language (is one of his friends). I understand the rule but to not have a warning first when other language was being used prior by other players seems a bit harsh when he was telling his own teammate to stop and trying to keep him in line as the captain. The ref knew that so to me context and intention should have played into the decision. It drastically impacted the outcome of the game which is unfortunate and will likely impact the next ga...

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High School 4/4/2024

RE: High School Team Varsity High School

Amy Clabaugh of Clear Lake, Iowa USA asks...

During first half of game, player A (captain of team) yells at his teammate to "SHUT THE #$&@ UP" as his teammate was being unsportsmanlike. Player A captain immediately is given red card.
No warning at all. Is this normal or a rule in high school soccer? He shouldn't have used the swear word but he was trying to be a captain to quiet the unruly teammate. ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/4/2024

RE: Competitive Under 15

Marlon Folse of Dallas, Tx USA asks...

If a keeper leaves the box and commits a handball to stop play but there are three defenders behind the keeper in the box making them the last defenders, should the keeper be shown a red for the handball?...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/2/2024

RE: Grassroots Other

Asaph Jagendorf of Arlington, MA US asks...

Hello Panel,

Grassroots referee here (town and club youth games). I understand that the IFAB stipulates that we not penalize defensive handballs if a player makes a deliberate play into his or her own hand. All the examples I have seen have featured defenders. But are we to penalize handball as a result of deliberate play by an attacker? I have seen attackers chest a long pass with subsequent contact with the arm. Is that handball? And what if an attacker heads the ball into his own arm in the box? Should I call handball immediately? ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/31/2024

RE: Rec Under 15

Robert Kolecki of Ambler, PA USA asks...

My 14 yr old daughter was playing midfield when a hard-kicked ball got firmly lodged between her thighs. She was not in any significant pain. She obviously did not want to use her hands to dislodge the ball. None of the other players tried to kick the ball for fears of hurting her. She started to take small wobbly steps forward, with the intent of actually walking into the goal for a score. After moving for about 30 meters, the ball finally dislodged by itself. If she had “scored”, would it have counted? What if the ball never dislodged? Thanks. ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/30/2024

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


three 'back-pass' situations please.

S1: The defender passes to the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper wants to stop the ball with his foot. The ball goes over his leg with a touch and goes into the goal. Therefore, there was no apparent attempt to kick. Can he then touch the ball with his hand? Today there was such a terrible own goal in the Czech league. :-)

S2: The situation is similar to S1. However, the ball does not touch the goalkeeper's leg at all.

S3: The defender passes through the air to the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper tries to handle the ball with his chest. At the same time, the ball hits the goalkeeper's biceps, which is close to the body. Is it allowed? More generally, can we punish a...

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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