Check out the new section that has been added to the website so that players and parents can develop a better understanding of the FIFA Laws of the Game and also interpretations by the United States Soccer Federation. Located on the left side of the website. Periodic postings will be added on various topics that are regularly presented by the National Referee Development Program. Hopefully, this will contribute to make playing and watching the game more enjoyable. Should this inspire you to be a referee or assistant, click on the new links to area referee associations.
I was the AR on a recent U17B game. After the game ended, but before he left the field, a player on the visiting team made a lewd gesture to the fans. This was observed by the AR on that side of the field, who reported it to the center referee. The ref wrote the details on his report. Some refs believe that he should have given the player a red card. Can you actually give a red card after a game is over and the players have left the field?
Yes, if the referee is still in the vicinity of the field, he or she may show cards after the game is over. The referee you worked with did just the right thing by putting the details in the match report. And the player should be told that this will happen, so that there are no surprises later.
A goalkeeper runs to the edge of the penalty box to kick the ball. When is a goalkeeper kick considered a hand ball? Is it where the ball is located when in contact with the hand or foot, where the player ends up after the kick or some other consideration? If the penalty relies on the position of the ball, does the ball have to be completely out of the box or in the box?
If the goalkeeper's hand and the ball are together, outside the penalty area line, then the goalkeeper has deliberately handled the ball outside the penalty area. Deliberately handling the ball outside the penalty area is an infringement by the goalkeeper that would normally be punished by a direct free kick. However, if the ball is only just over the line when kicked and the goalkeeper is clearly trying to distribute the ball for others to play, this is probably a trivial infringement, one that could be dealt with verbally-"watch your line, 'keeper"-at least on the first occasion.
I overheard a referee speaking with another referee about a recent FIFA rule change allowing an opponent to head a ball being held by the goal keeper. Has there been such a rule change?
No, the opposing player may not play the ball from the open palm of the goalkeeper.
If a player deliberately kicks the ball to his goalie, who is outside the penalty area, may the goalie dribble the ball back into the penalty area and pick it up with the hands?
No, because the goalkeeper cannot use the hands to play a ball last kicked by a teammate.
Is there any exception to this?
Yes, if the ball bounces off an opponent on the way to the 'keeper, the 'keeper may dribble it into the penalty area and pick it up.
How about if the ball is kicked to the 'keeper by a member of the other team?
Then it is fine for the goalkeeper to pick it up, but only inside the penalty area.