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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 2/24/2021

RE: High School High School

DEVERY A HARPER of Naples, FL United States asks...

I was at a high school boys regional final the other day as a spectator. I witnessed a series of events that made me question the call. I would like to know your opinions on the matter.

On a corner kick the keeper does a great job of controlling his area and intercepts the corner in the air. I saw one of the attackers give him a little jab with the hands (the referee did not see this) and then the keeper retaliated by swinging the shoulders/elbows into the attacking player. The referee stopped the clock. Issued a yellow card to the keeper only. Substituted the offending player. Then the restart was a free kick (I don't remember if it was indirect or not) for the defending team.
It got me thinking. Shouldn't this have been a ...

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High School 2/18/2021

RE: Varsity High School

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

NFHS rules, 5 seconds left in the half, red team clears the ball toward the goal and the red striker runs from midfield to collect and shoot. Blue team defender comes from behind and fouls red striker, clear DOGSO. After the foul, but before the clock is stopped, time expires. Can the referee replace time to the clock to allow for the DFK?...

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Mechanics 2/16/2021

RE: Pro Adult

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

I have another question which is also related to APP (attacking phase of play) in VAR protocol. Does a one-touch back pass by defending team's player start a new attacking phase of play even if the back pass is intercepted by one of the opponents? For example, a long ball is played by player A3, player B4 run behind the ball and gave a one-touch back pass to his goalkeeper but before the ball reaches the goalkeeper, it is intercepted by player A9. In that case, does the back pass by player B4 reset the attacking phase of play? ...

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Law 16 - The Goal Kick 2/15/2021

RE: Competive Under 15

Bill Hunter of Chandler, AZ USA asks...

Law 16 - The ball must be stationary and is kicked from any point within the goal area by a player of the defending team.

What do you do if you are experiencing high winds that keep moving the ball after the keeper places down prior to kicking? ...

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Mechanics 2/7/2021

Mark Deaville of Stoke on trent, Staffordshire asks...

If a foul is committed and a player booked is the booking rescinded if VAR call play back for an earlier incident?...

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Mechanics 2/6/2021

RE: U18 Under 19

Jason C. of Lacrosse, WI USA asks...

An attacking player plays a long through-ball to a teammate and is fouled in the process. I hold the whistle to see if the pass comes off. The keeper on the opposing team comes out of his area and plays the ball with a hand at a moment when it becomes clear the attacking player making the run would not have gotten to the ball (ie the keeper could have cleared the ball with his foot, but bungled it).

Would you say that the advantage materialized for the attacking team (no DOGSO, no likelihood of control, but a handling offense and a free kick in a promising location), or should I bring the play back to the original foul?...

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Law 11 - Offside 2/4/2021

RE: Pro Adult

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

Hello again and thank you very much for your answers. Actually I was more about the APP (attacking phase of play) concept in VAR protocol but I guess, offside rule show some similarity to it. I think, interfering with the defender is the key point in this regard and as far as I understand, the concept of "interfering with the opponent" is something subjective. Am I right? ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/29/2021

RE: Amateur footballer Adult

Richard Lundie of London, Uk asks...

Hi there,

I’m having a debate with people online, about the Tottenham Liverpool game on weds.

There was a controversial moment where the goalkeeper Allison looked to have handled the ball outside of his area when the Son was clean through.

Theoretically… If he had handled the ball outside of the area, would he have received a red card for that seeing as he was the last line of defence?

The way I understand it is if he commits a foul inside the box then it’s just a yellow card and a penalty is deemed punishment enough?

But because he’s outside of the area he’s like any other outfield player and becomes the last man obstructing a goal illegally?...

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Law 11 - Offside 1/26/2021

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Ok - I'll be the one to ask.

Offside or not in the Man City v Aston villa EPL match?

Have heard a lot of debate on this one.

I listened to the match on radio and after the incident happened the commentator kept coming back to asking 'why was it allowed, when clearly Rodri was in an offside position?'.

Without seeing it, I ran all the possible reason why, and I kept coming back to the thinking that he must not have challenged for the ball or be involved in play.

Once I had seen it later in the day - and maybe influenced by my prior thinking - I had no hesitation to say fair goal, as I did not think he challenge, and was simply lucky that the chested ball fell to the defenders right side,...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/25/2021

RE: Competitive Adult

Peter Banbage of Hjorring , Denmark asks...

That thorny question of the ball striking an attacker leading to a goal or goal scoring opportunity. Is this only if it leads directly there? Maybe an extreme case but the ball hits an attacker several yards outside the box on his arm. Unlikely a free kick would be awarded. The ball is then worked into the box via 2 or 3 more players and a goal is scored. My point being how far back in this scenario do we go back and decide if that lead to a goal or is it only if it happened directly?...

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