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LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
Official Publications Related to Law 1
On the Line, In or Out?

LAW 2 – THE BALL
Official Publications Related to Law 2

LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS
Official Publications Related to Law 3
Administrating Injuries

LAW 4 – THE PLAYER’S EQUIPMENT
Official Publications Related to Law 4

LAW 5 – THE REFEREE
Official Publications Related to Law 5
Game Flow and Foul Selection
The “4-P” Principle of Advantage
The Importance of Crew Communication and Pre-Game
Stretchers and Injury Management
Positioning of the Referee
Outside Agent Interference

LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
Official Publications Related to Law 6
AR Involvement – Deciding When to Get Involved
AR Intervention to Prevent Game Disrepute
AR Involvement on Free Kicks
ARs Contributing to Game Flow
AR Work Rate

LAW 7 – THE DURATION OF THE MATCH
Official Publications Related to Law 7
Additional Time

LAW 8 – THE START & RESTART OF PLAY
Official Publications Related to Law 8

LAW 9 – THE BALL IN & OUT OF PLAY
Official Publications Related to Law 9

LAW 10 – THE METHOD OF SCORING
Official Publications Related to Law 10
Goal or No Goal

LAW 11 - OFFSIDE
Official Publications Related to Law 11
Gaining an Advantage
Does the Player Have to Touch the Ball – When Does it Become Interference with Play?
AR Offside Decisions
Offside:  Defender Off the Field
No Offside On Throw-Ins, Goal Kicks, Corner Kicks
Offside: Application of Wait and See

LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Official Publications Related to Law 12
Tackles: Determining Fair and Foul
Preventative Officiating Leads to Game-Flow
Use of Personality In Place of and In Addition to the Whistle
Getting the Most Out of Your Yellow Card
Dissent
Handling (a.k.a. the “hand ball”)
Dealing With Game Disrepute
Mass Confrontations
Simulation
Two Major Classes of Unsporting Behavior (100% Misconducts)
Tackles
Tactical Fouls
Tackles from Behind
Persistent Infringement
Players who repeatedly commit fouls
Players who are repeatedly fouled
Second Caution
Delaying Restarts of Play
Misconduct by Substitutes and Substituted Players
Removing Violence from the Game – The Red Card
Raising Awareness of “FlashPoints”
Violence in the Game – Use of the Elbow and Forearm...
Violent Conduct – Contact Above the Shoulders
Violent Conduct – Initiation and Retaliation
Identification and Prevention
The F-I-R-E Principle for Dealing with Above-the-Shoulder Challenges
Denying Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunities - DOGSO
The 4 D’s of DOGSO
DOGSO – What if the Goal is Scored?
Contact With Game Officials – Where is the Line?
Goal Keeper Possession
The "Passback"

Fan Invasion and Obscene Gestures by Players

LAW 13 – FREE KICKS
Official Publications Related to Law 13
The Quick Free Kick
Free Kick Management

LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
Official Publications Related to Law 14
Deception at the Taking of a PK
Courage to Make the Call
Getting To the Right Place at the Right Time
Encroachment at the Taking of a Penalty Kick
Penalty Kick Management

LAW 15 – THE THROW-IN
Official Publications Related to Law 14
Restart Position of a Throw-In

LAW 16 – THE GOAL KICK
Official Publications Related to Law 16

LAW 17 – THE CORNER KICK
Official Publications Related to Law 17

ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDANCE
Official Publications Related to Administrative Issues
Game Reports
Dismissal of a Non-Player
Post-Game Misconduct
Substitutes Warming Up
Acceptance of Gratitude by Officials
Player Hydration - Water Breaks

PROCEDURES TO DETERMINE THE WINNER OF A MATCH
Official Publications Related to Determining the Winner of the Match

THE FOURTH OFFICIAL
Official Publications Related to The Fourth Official
Dealing With Intrusions to the Fourth Official Area
Use of Substitution Boards/Signs
Managing Benches

THE TECHNICAL AREA
Official Publications Related to The Technical Area
Comments to Players and Coaches
Bench Behavior
Proactive Management of the Technical Areas

Law 1 - The Field of Play

Official Publications Related to Law 1

On the Line, In or Out?

According to Law 1 – The Field of Play, the “lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries.”  While we frequently hear the statement that the ball much “complete cross the touch line” to be considered out of play (throw-in, goal kick, corner kick), the same mantra applies to incidents within the boundaries of the field of play.

2009 (Click to view/hide)
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2008 (Click to view/hide)
In the following situation, we examine a situation that occurs with some frequency at all levels of play – a goal keeper handling the ball near the top of the penalty area:
  • Video Clip: Colorado at Toronto (24:05) - This clip presents a case in which a handling is called that will result in a free kick being taken just over 18 yards from goal in the danger zone.  The goalkeeper attempts to gather a ball but mishandles it and it skirts out to the top of the penalty area.  The referee, in this clip, awards the attacking team with a free kick as he judges that the goalkeeper handled the ball outside the penalty area boundary line.  A caution is also issued to the goalkeeper for unsporting behavior.  The foul call then leads to a dangerous free kick and potential encroachment.

    In reviewing the tape, it is not clear that there is a handling offense.  It is certainly not clear enough to award a free kick approximately 18 yards from goal.  To make such a call, the referee and/or AR must be certain and positioned so as to have a clear view of the offense (position of the ball relative to the penalty area line at the exact time contact is made with the goalkeeper’s hands).  The resulting yellow card would also have been avoided.

    Points for additional consideration:
    • Given the previous statement that “lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries”, the ball will be considered to be inside the penalty area if any part of the ball is crossing the plane of the boundary line.  Consequently, the goalkeeper may legally handle the ball as long as any part of the ball is crossing the penalty area line whether on the ground or in the air.

    • The position of the goalkeeper’s body plays no role in determining the handling offense.  The position of the ball relative to the penalty area markings when it is touched by the goalkeeper’s hands is the determining factor in deciding if a handling offence occurred.  The goalkeeper’s entire body can be outside the penalty area.  A handling offense occurs at the time the goalkeeper’s hand(s) contact the ball while the ball is fully outside the penalty area boundary line.

    • To make the call, the referee is not strategically positioned to have a clear view of where the ball was when it was touched by the goalkeeper’s hand(s).  A wider and closer view would make the decision more convincing.  Watch at 24:10 on the game clock as the referee stops his run to the penalty area (possibly anticipating that the goalkeeper will cleanly control the ball which does not occur) causing him to be further from the decision.

    • The official best positioned to make a determination as to whether the ball was handled outside the penalty area is the AR.  But, like the referee, the AR must be certain of the handling offense before intervening.  If the AR intervenes it should be with a raised flag with a slight wiggle.