Ref Myths/Clarifications


"GOT THE BALL FIRST" - Challenges are not judged by getting the ball first. Fouls are judged as being careless, reckless, or using excessive force.

  • "Careless" means that the player has shown a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or that he acted without precaution. No further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be careless.
  • "Reckless" means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent. A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned (yellow card).
  • "Using excessive force" means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent. A player who uses excessive force must be sent off (red card).

 

For example, a challenge that gets the ball first, but far exceeds the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent will result in a red card.

PLAYING THE BALL WHILE ON THE GROUND - Often a player will fall down and then kick or attempt to kick the ball. There is nothing in the Laws to make this illegal, unless it happens to involve tripping or kicking an opponent or playing in a dangerous manner.  Playing in a dangerous manner is defined as any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury (including to the player himself).  It is committed with an opponent nearby and prevents the opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury. For example, an indirect free kick would be awarded if a player is covering the ball with their body.

 

"HIGH KICK" - Players are permitted to play the ball if it is airborne, including inverting themselves to perform a "bicycle kick." However, an indirect free kick would be awarded if a player is playing in a dangerous manner.  This is defined as any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury (including to the player himself).  It is committed with an opponent nearby and prevents the opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.  For example, a foot high in the air that prevents an opponent from heading the ball for fear of being injured.


"LEAVE IT" OR "MY BALL" - We often instruct players to 'put a name on it', meaning that they should yell something like "Fred's ball" or "Leave it Susan".  This may be good advice to eliminate any confusion between teammates, but is not a requirement of the laws.  If there is no doubt about who is saying "I've got it!" and to whom they are saying it, then no offense has been committed.  If, in the opinion of the referee, the shouting was a deliberate ploy to distract an opponent, then this would be judged as 'Unsporting Behaviour' and penalized with a caution (yellow card) to the offending player. 

HANDBALL - Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration:

  • the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
  • the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
  • the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement
  • touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing, shin guard, etc.) counts as an infringement
  • hitting the ball with a thrown object (boot, shin guard, etc.) counts as an infringement

 

There are circumstances when a caution (yellow card) for unsporting behaviour is required when a player deliberately handles the ball, e.g. when a player:

  • deliberately handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession
  • attempts to score a goal by deliberately handling the ball

A player is sent off (red card) if he prevents a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball.

THROW-INS - The basic requirements of a throw-in are: the thrower faces the field, uses both hands, throws the ball from behind and over the head and has part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground behind the line.  These requirements are met by the vast majority of throw-ins, although not all of them look perfect. 


INDOOR SPECIFIC:

PLAYERS OUT OF THE PENALTY BOX - The ruling for the relief of the balance of a minor time penalty states: If a team has fewer players on the playing surface than the opponents because one or more players are serving time penalties and that team is scored upon by the opponent, then:
        - if the earliest unexpired minor time penalty is the last or only time penalty being served by a player, that player shall return to the field.
        - if the earliest unexpired minor time penalty is the first of consecutive minor time penalties, the balance of the earliest unexpired minor time penalty shall be relieved and the next time penalty shall begin.
A team could be down by two players due to penalties and depending on which of the penalties was the earliest, all that would happen after the goal was scored is the time for the next penalty would begin. 


SUBSTITUTIONS - Rule 3 states a player is considered to have left the field if he is inside the restart line between the ends of his team's bench area and as long as he is not interfering with play.

BOARDING - The rules give a very clear definition of boarding:  any contact by a player that forces an opponent to hit the perimeter wall that, in the opinion of the referee, is careless, reckless or using excessive force, will result in the offending player being sent off for boarding. 

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