Trick corner kick plays

Discussion in 'Referee' started by blueman2, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. blueman2

    blueman2 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004

    I've been seeing this alot more in the U-12 games I ref... The play goes as such: player A sets up to take the corner and calls over another teammate (player B) to take the kick. As player B runs toward the corner, player A lightly touches the ball as he moves past it and it rolls forward a few inches. Since the ball has been put into play, player B runs over and starts dribbling in toward the net. This generally catches everyone on the other team off guard and they look at me with confusion as if I should whistle the play dead.

    The way I've handled this situation as explained exactly above, is to caution player A for trickery and award an indirect kick to the other team. However, I've let the play go off on other occasions when there is no verbal communication (player B runs over on his own). The trickery, IMO, is the calling over of the other player which makes the other team think they still need to take the kick. Otherwise i think it's a legit play. I've also cautioned a coach for trickery because he will yell at Player A to let Player B take it.

    I've had a coach tell me about their "trick" play ahead of time and was able to explain to him what was "legal" and what was not. As a result, he chose not to use the play.

    Has anybody else encountered this? How would/did you handle this?
  2. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI

    I have seen this discussed before (I think on the USSF Ask a referee, but I could be mistaken). This is perfectly legal and you should IMO not have cautioned anyone nor stopped the play. It is not trickery and it is the defender's fault for not keeping an eye on things. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a trick play, it is a standard play. The only rule about the restart is it must be touched into play. It doesn't say how far it has to go or anything of that nature. I would be interested to hear why you think this is unfair. Because one team did not know what was going on and was not properly prepared?
  3. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would agree with Ref Flunkie's comments. I would also add that this might affect all that team's subsequent free kicks since any touch can be considered putting the ball in play. This approach means the referees need to be paying attention on all free kick restarts!
  4. Stan

    Stan New Member

    Aug 23, 2002
    The area of confusion comes with the verbal aspect..."you take the kick", etc. Verbal deception is considered unsporting behavior in soccer, clearly so during dynamic play. I have no problem with this corner kick play so long as there is no verbal deception involved. However, once either the coach (clearly a no-no) or a player uses verbal deception, I am not sure I would let the play go forward. Fortunately, I have not seen this play done for about 10 years.
  5. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    The coach directing this - NO. Coaches are allowed to give tactical advice to their team, not deceptive comments meant for the other team to hear.

    The players themselves do it - OK, whether words were used or not. However, they've opened up the proverbial can of worms. From that point forward, we know that every little touch of the ball with the foot is the restart, right? So when they get a free kick 10 minutes later and the wall goes crashing in to steal the ball after a player incidentally touches the ball, oh well, that's how your team takes restarts. After an offside call in the next half, their defender moves the ball out of the depression it is resting in using his foot - ball's in play - next touch is a second touch and an IFK for the opponents.

    Maybe you should explain that when the coach tells you about his "trick play" before the start of the game.

    Refer to Jim Allen's "Ask a Referee" website archives, October and December 1999. (Who said it was a "new" trick?)
  6. vabeacher

    vabeacher Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If the player taking the CK was yelling for a player to come over by yelling something like "Come Here, Joe", I would not say anything since it could just be a set short corner kick play. If he was using tickery by yelling "Come on, Joe, you take the corner", then I would warn the players for verbal trickery. That's assuming it would have been said loud enough to me to hear at the far end of the penalty area, otherwise I'd have to rely on my AR who is hopefully just a few yards behind the player taking the kick.
  7. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI

    Yeah that was the one I was thinking of. Even with the verbal from a player, I agree that it is ok. Again, nothing I am too worried about happening.
  8. jacathcart

    jacathcart New Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Tacoma WA
    Strangely enough I saw this twice in a GU-16 Premier-1 league game this last weekend. I was AR and noticed that on a CK the player taking it dribbled out of the arc. I didn't flag it since the CR was on the spot. At half time I asked him and he mentioned that he had seen the player who had placed the ball in the arc "touch it into play" before the other attacker came over.

    "Aha!" I said, and renewed my concentration since this had gone right by me.

    Then in the 2d half there was a CK by the same team out of the other end and the other AR (very experienced who had been party to the half time conversation) and the "kicker" dribbed it out and the AR flagged it. Whistle, IFK the other way. Coach goes purple faced.

    After the game when we gathered on the field the other AR said that the initial player had rolled the ball into position but had not "retouched" it prior to the other attacker dribbling.

    Now this is existential - angels on the head of a pin stuff. The ball is not ready to put into play on a free kick until it has been stopped on the field of play - you can't free kick a moving ball. So can the action to stop the ball also be the "touch to play" or must there be a clear "stop - pause - touch".

    This is rhetorical and I'm not asking for a dialogue on something that won't happen again until Halley's Comet returns but that's the sort of stuff these plays bring up.

    I agree with the previous post - if I am notified by the coach that they run this play I also mention that I am not a mind reader so if the "touch to play" is going to be used on the CK I am going to consider EVERY touch on a stopped ball prior to one of their free kicks to be putting it into play - or creating a second touch - or constituting handling, etc.

    Of course at any age over 13 I have never seen this play accomplish anything other than the loss of a set play opportunity to score.

  9. erictheking

    erictheking Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    This is a old trick, I can't believe you never seen it before. Thank god I play in England where the refs seem to have at least a little clue as to what they are doing.
  10. blueman2

    blueman2 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Hey Eric,

    We have no need for your condesending comments about how everyone in England is so much more clued-in on these plays. I've only been reffing a few years and as much as you'd like to believe, this play is not THAT common. Drop the attitude.
  11. GKbenji

    GKbenji Member+

    Jan 24, 2003
    Fort Collins CO
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I side with those who feel that if a verbal cue is used ("You take it!") it is trickery and shouldn't be allowed. The team has just informed everyone, including the referee, that the ball is not in play, right? Well, we have to be watchful of when the ball is truly in play, ITOOTR, so I will take the team at their word, and the player had better take the kick, rather than dribble it.

    However, you do have a way to put the kibosh on it without a caution, like jacathcart's partner did: consider it a second touch and whistle an IFK going out.

    From ATR 13.6, "Ball in Play" (but presumably applicable to Law 17 as well):

    "The distance to be moved is minimal and the "kick" need only be a touch of the ball with the foot. Under these circumstances, however, the referee must judge carefully whether any particular touch of the ball and subsequent movement was indeed reasonably taken with the intention of putting the ball into play rather than with the intention merely to position the ball for the restart."

    If the team announces the ball is not in play ("You take it!") then IMHO the ball is not in play. If there is no such announcement, then we have more leeway in deciding whether the first player's touch did, in fact, put the ball in play.
  12. ref47

    ref47 Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    n. va
    quote from "ask a referee" column from 10-99:
    The IFAB reinforced its renunciation of defensive tactics by allowing the referee to caution any opposing players who do not maintain the required distance at free kicks as a result of the feinting tactics, which can include members of the kicking team jumping over the ball to confuse and deceive the opponents legally. (See the Questions and Answers on the Laws of the Game, November 1990, Law XIII, Q&A 7 and 8.) The related practice of touching the ball at a free kick or corner kick just enough to put it in play and then attempting to confuse the opponents by telling a teammate to come and take the kick is also legal.

    the ref needs to determine if the ball was intended to be put in play by the touch of the foot or if the ball was being positioned for the restart by that touch with the foot.
  13. refmike

    refmike New Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Cal North
    ref47, Your 1999 quote from Jim Allen is very much out of date.
    In September, 2004, Jim wrote: "Kick" means to impel the ball with the foot and then release it; it does not mean to roll the ball with the foot on top of the ball.

    Times, they are a'changing.
  14. Marquis de Sage

    Marquis de Sage New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Maybe I'm out of the loop, but where in the rules does it say a freekick, indirect or direct, is invalid if before hand a player motions or talks to or otherwise communicates with another one of his teammates?

    Where do you draw the line on this one? Suppose I line up to take a free kick and I'm standing over the ball with a teammate. We look at each other and start talking about the play, even though we both know that I'm going to take it and we're just trying to make the keeper think the set piece is going to take longer than it will. The goalie isn't as rushed in setting up his wall, my conversation ends short, and I score. Is that trickery? Is that against the rules? The only difference between the two is that I was standing next to my teammate as opposed to calling him over.

    The same could be said of pointing on the field. If I'm running at a defender and I point to a space on the field where there's a phantom teammate and the defender bites hard on my stepover, is that against the laws of the game?

    I'll grant you that you might view this differently if you're dealing with kids, but I would say that calling an indirect free kick against the team taking the corner kick is a very liberal interpretation of the rulebook.
  15. Marquis de Sage

    Marquis de Sage New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Maybe you guys could use this one the next time you play Portsmouth then.
  16. blueman2

    blueman2 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    My thought behind this is the verbal trickery. It is unsporting and deceiving to use verbal instructions to fool the opponent into thinking the ball is still dead when it is actually in play. I can understand that this is debatable when it occurs between teammates, but at the youth level, a coach getting involved and telling another one of his players to run over and take the "kick" is completely out of line and definetly cautionable. He is deliberatley using false instructions to fool the other team and is yelling them loud enough for everyone on the field to hear.

    Verbal communication needs to be closely watched and regulated. I'm all in favor for creative ways to deceive your opponent, and the laws do lean in favor of the attacking team, however allowing a play like this to occur at the youth-level can be setting yourself up for some gray areas later on (as brought up before: when is the ball in play if lining up for an indirect kick? as soon as the attacker touches it with his foot?)
  17. galperin

    galperin Member

    Feb 1, 2001
    Maineville, OH
    There is no infraction of the rules here. No caution is warranted. Verbal trickery is part of the game, plain and simple. As long as the ball rolls the distance equal to the circumference of the ball, there is no problem.
  18. galperin

    galperin Member

    Feb 1, 2001
    Maineville, OH
    That is why you always play until the whistle.
  19. Marquis de Sage

    Marquis de Sage New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Arlington, VA
  20. Marquis de Sage

    Marquis de Sage New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Is this true any more? I went through referring clinics when I was a kid about 10 years ago and I specifically remembered this rule. From this discussion, I went to FIFA's website and the version online said nothing about the distance the ball had to travel; it just said it had to move forward.

    Any thoughts?
  21. But Referee

    But Referee New Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Some good points raised during this thread. I'll add my two cents and agree that the verbal deception would at least warrant a warning (verbal). It is very akin to yelling "mine" for a head ball.

    I'm going to take a huge leap here and b*tch about something else;

    I'll be willing to bet that team (U12s) can't even string 5 passes together, and they're being taught tricks plays in practice as opposed to the fundamentals. Classic coaching move.

    Any takers?
  22. maturin

    maturin Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    So a team has an IFK just outside the area, you give them the go-ahead to take it. With two players on the ball, one player touches it, pretending it's in a divot, then resumes talking to his teammate. Suddenly, mid-conversation, the other player blasts a shot into the upper 90, prompting celebration from his team and arguments from the opponent that no second touch occurred. What do you do then? Book both attacking players for deception, or allow the goal and credit the attackers for their cunning?
  23. CG

    CG Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    since when has "trickery" been illegal?
  24. Marquis de Sage

    Marquis de Sage New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I'm assuming by "touch" it you mean that he moves the ball forward with his foot. If not, I don't see how the play starts to begin with.

    I think what's developing here is a sense of what's appropriate given the age group. We've all seen professional defenders lining up in walls 8 yds. away waiting to take away any advantage the free kick gave the opposing team in the first place In this case, I don't feel so bad for the defenders if they get "tricked" by the divot "stategery" to use a malapropism.

    The question I have is then when do we allow these plays to occur? At what age group do you no longer say, "That's no fair" and instead say, "Should have seen it coming."

    I suppose at the U12 age level there's a different spirit involved, and I like the comment that these players probably can't string 5 passes together, cause it's probably true. These plays are endemic of the "win-at-all-costs" attitude that hinders real development of youth in this country. See for example a latest Top Drawer Soccer article bemoaning this fact and proposing ways to move away from it.

    The contentious issue is that you as a referree are trying to correct a problem that goes much further than a trick corner kick play. Unless it's made clear to the coaches in seminars and clinics over a lengthy period of time that these plays may win you a game but lose your players' long-term interest, your stand on the play gets lost on them. They just get pissed and more competitive.

    Having been a coach, a player, and a referee I can see it from all angles. As a coach, there is nothing more frustrating than a referree unnecessarily imposing his will on the game. Take for instance a ref when I was growing up who would call foul throws if you passed the ball off to a teammate coming to take the throw-in in your stead. I would just want, as a referee, the coach to understand why I was making that decision, and make sure that the message sinks in, not to think I was viewed in the same light as that ref I grew up with.

    My $.02.
  25. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    The Laws were changed to "kicked and moved" about 8 years ago now ... part of the Great Rewrite and Condensation.

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