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Question Number: 35390

Mechanics 3/17/2024

RE: 4 Under 17

Ashton of Orange, NSW Australia asks...

What are the seven steps of procedure of wall management. I have to do this for my course but i dont know what im doing. Th seven steps are: Control the position of the ball, ensure attackers are 1m from the wall, Mannage the 9.15m wall, show the whistle, referee start position, signal, and to be aware of the players positions. Pls someone help as i am seriously lost. thankyou

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ashton
Thanks for the question.
You have listed the 7 Steps in Wall Management and perhaps the question is around putting them in order.
Here is a FIFA presentation on the subject. While not identical it is somewhat the same process. Some espouse a 9 step routine which is the same just that two steps are split.

These seven steps routine is only a tool to help in free kick management where a wall is required. Its a reminder to referees to think out the steps.
All of it is common sense and it is what referees do in free kicks that involve a set up of a defensive wall.
So the 1st step is to go the location of the free kick which is the referee start position
2nd step is control of the position of the ball which is to get the ball spotted on the location of the foul
3rd step is showing the whistle which is an instruction for the kicker to wait for the whistle. Referees will also say it out loud thats its on the whistle which informs the goalkeeper and defenders that nothing will happen until everything is in order
4th step is pacing out the 10 yards out which moves the defending players back the required distance.
5th step is to ensure the attackers are 1 yards from the wall which is now set.
6th step is to be aware of all players positions which is moving to a position to see all player positions
7th step is to signal for the kick with the whistle.

Most referees do this by rote and don’t really think about the steps. The steps are what happens anyway. Referees goes to the location of the offence, gets the ball placed, tells everyone its on the ehistle, paces out ten yards, tells attackers to stay back from the wall, move to the best viewing location to see all players and then blows the whistle.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ashton,
good on you mate for taking up the whistle!

NO defending footballer withdraws to ten yds, at best maybe 6 or 8 yds, clearly knowing full well not it is not ten yds but also very aware it is sufficient to prevent the referee from brandishing a yellow card caution where as bending down to tie a shoe in front of the restart would be a reason . Delaying the restart by defenders is inherent in their DNA. lol

The inching forward to reduce the distance by defenders once a wall was set and the rolling the ball off to the side with the foot to get that little bit of space to curve a ball by the attacker given how adapt the good ball strikers are the professional leagues developed the foam spray to mark ball location and wall location during the ceremonial restarts! I think it was to try and not caution players for being obtuse two cautions = ejection and silly cautions just seemed to hurt the game.

The principle purpose of the free kick is to fairness, the optimum word is free . Free from the defenders who just cheated to create the free kick not to cheat again by interfering. The main two LOTG cautionary concepts of (1) failure to respect distance and (2) delaying the restart of play are a players worry that referee will simply not tolerate defenders cheating or the attackers dragging their feet to get on with play.

Once a referee has ordained the foul for the free kick to be ceremonial in nature he must quickly relay that information in no uncertain terms to both teams . The whistle stops play and if there is no quick kick opportunity or the need to intervene stops it, ie a caution to show warning etc..

The restart location is where you begin, eye contact kicker ensure the ball is set on the blade of grass you are ok with, gesturing to the ball position (that does not move) and pointing to the whistle clearly announce (We are on hold until I blow the whistle to restart) As an old school referee I tend to pace backwards but given you must organize the defenders and attackers from intersection at the wall ,it really matters little, just have your ARs ready to look in behind you for any thing off putting Once satisfied all players and ball are correctly placed, withdraw into an overview of the positions. A thumbs up to the ARs and then signal in the free kick with a whistle!

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