Dropped-ball

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Dropped-ball in football. Manuel Schuttengruber, Fussballschiedsrichter (08).jpg
Dropped-ball in football.

A dropped-ball (or drop-ball) is a method of restarting play in a game of association football. It is designed to offer no advantage to either side, generally being awarded when play has been stopped due to reasons other than normal gameplay, fouls, or misconduct. The rules concerning the dropped-ball are part of Law 8 of the Laws of the Game. [1]

The Start and Restart of Play (association football) 8th of the Laws of the Game of association football

The Start and Restart of Play is the 8th of the Laws of the Game of association football. It concerns the methods of starting or restarting play in a game via the kick-off and dropped ball. Other methods of restarting play are addressed in other laws.

The Laws of the Game (LOTG) are the codified rules that help define association football. They are the only rules of association football subscribed to by FIFA. The laws mention the number of players a team should have, the game length, the size of the field and ball, the type and nature of fouls that referees may penalise, the frequently misinterpreted offside law, and many other laws that define the sport. During a match, it is the task of the referee to interpret and enforce the Laws of the Game.

Contents

Award

A drop-ball is not awarded to either team; rather it is used to restart play when the referee has stopped play for any reason not listed for another form of restart. [1] Examples include when play has been stopped due to serious injury to a player, interference by an external party, or a ball becoming defective.

In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the course of a match. He or she is the final decision-making authority on all facts connected with play, and is the only official on the pitch with the authority to start and stop play and impose disciplinary action against players during a match. At most levels of play the referee is assisted by two assistant referees, who are empowered to advise the referee in certain situations such as the ball leaving play or infringements of the Laws of the Game occurring out of the view of the referee; however, the assistant referees' decisions are not binding and the referee has authority to overrule an assistant referee. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by a fourth official who supervises the teams' technical areas and assists the referee with administrative tasks, and, at the very highest levels, additional assistant referees and/or video assistant referees.

In games which use video assistant referees (VAR), if a VAR review determines that play should not have been stopped, such as when a decision to award a penalty is reversed, play is restarted with a dropped ball at the point of the incorrect call. [2]

Video assistant referee

The video assistant referee (VAR) is a football assistant referee who reviews decisions made by the head referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication. In 2018, VARs were written into the Laws of the Game by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) following trials in a number of major competitions.

Procedure

Howard Webb performing a dropped-ball in a Premier League match in 2007. Howard Webb4.JPG
Howard Webb performing a dropped-ball in a Premier League match in 2007.

The ball is dropped by the referee at the point where the ball was when play was stopped, unless this is within a goal area in which case it is dropped on the goal area line parallel to the goal line. The ball becomes in play as soon as it touches the ground. Players must not touch the ball until it has touched the ground. If the ball leaves the field of play before it has been touched by a player (including if the ball enters either goal), the drop-ball is retaken. [1]

Football pitch playing surface for the game of association football

A football pitch is the playing surface for the game of association football. Its dimensions and markings are defined by Law 1 of the Laws of the Game, "The Field of Play". The surface can either be natural or artificial. Artificial surfaces must be green in colour. The pitch is typically made of turf (grass) or artificial turf, although amateur and recreational teams often play on dirt fields.

There is no restriction in the Laws of the Game as to how many players, if any, may take part in a drop-ball or where they may be positioned. [3] A team can choose not to commit any players and thus give the ball freely to the opposition.

Infringements

If a player touches the ball before it touches the ground, the drop-ball is retaken. [1] If a player persistently touches the ball before it touches the ground, and the referee believes that the player is deliberately doing so, this may be considered misconduct and the referee may caution the player with a yellow card for delaying the restart of play.

In 2012 the Laws of the Game were amended [4] such that if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the opponents' goal, a goal kick is awarded (as is the case for an indirect free kick), or if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the team's own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team (which is the case for all restarts of play). A dropped ball is the only restart which allows the first player who touches the ball to touch it a second time without penalty. Like all indirect free kicks at least 2 players must touch the ball before a goal may be awarded. [5]

Use in the modern game

This method of restarting play is rarely used in modern adult football as many players sportingly elect to kick the ball out of play when an event requiring the stoppage of play – most often an injury – occurs. After the situation has been resolved, the opposing team typically, but not always, concedes possession to the other team after returning the ball into play via the throw-in, as a gesture of good sportsmanship. [6] [7] If the referee does stop play and a dropped ball occurs, a similar return of possession is almost always made from the restart, with the ball being kicked back to the original possessors' defence. [8] [9] Contested drop balls have become exceedingly rare in the modern game. [9]

History

In 1888, a new law was added to the rules of association football allowing the referee to restart the game after a temporary suspension of play by "throwing up the ball at the spot where play was suspended". The ball could not be played until it had touched the ground. [10] In 1905, the referee was instructed to "throw the ball down" rather than up., [11] and in 1914, to "drop the ball". [12]

In 1984, a special case was added for a dropped ball within the goal area; instead of being dropped at the point where play was suspended, the ball would be dropped at the closest point on the six-yard line. This change was made in order to avoid "crowding" and "jostling". [13]

In 2012, scoring a goal directly from a dropped ball was forbidden (if the dropped ball was kicked directly into the goal, a goal-kick or corner-kick was awarded instead). The justification given by the Football Association for this change was that "[t]here have been a number of occasions where goals have been scored from 'uncontested' dropped balls ... We then have the unseemly situation where the opposition allows the team to score from the kick-off without any players trying to stop them in order to rebalance the game." [14]

Summary

DateAction of refereeBall may be played before
touching the ground
Attacking goal
may be scored
Own goal
may be scored
Place of restart
1888Throw the ball upNoYesYesAt the place where play was suspended
1905Throw the ball down
1914Drop the ball
1984At the place where play was suspended,
but on the six-yard line if within the goal area
2012NoNo

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Law 8 – The start and restart of play". FIFA.com. FIFA . Retrieved 2014-02-04.
  2. Floyd, Thomas. "How does VAR work? A guide to video review in MLS". goal.com. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  3. "Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees: Law 8 - The start and restart of play - FIFA" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2012. (88 KB)
  4. FIFA Circular No 1302
  5. http://www.thefa.com/football-rules.../lawsandrules/laws/.../law-8---the-start-and-restart-of-play
  6. "Let's kick the uncontested drop ball into touch". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  7. Taken from FIFA.com – Laws of the Game
  8. "Soccer Rules Q&A Search AskTheref.com". asktheref.com. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  9. 1 2 Sawdon-Smith, Dick (2013-10-16). "From the middle: When did you last see a contested drop ball after a stoppage for injury?". getreading. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  10. Laws of the Game (1888)  via Wikisource. In the event of any temporary suspension of play from any cause, the ball not having gone into touch, or behind the goal-line, the game shall be re-started by the referee throwing up the ball at the spot where play was suspended, and the players on either side shall not play the ball until it has touched the ground.
  11. Laws of the Game (1905)  via Wikisource. In the event of any temporary suspension of play from any cause, the ball not having gone into touch or behind the goal-line, the Referee shall throw the ball down where it was when play was suspended, and it shall be in play when it has touched the ground. If the ball goes into touch or behind the goal-line before it is played by a player, the Referee shall again throw it down. The players on either side shall not play the ball until it has touched the ground.
  12. "International Football Association Board: 1914 Minutes of the Annual General Meeting" (PDF). p. 2. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  13. "International Football Association Board: 1984 Minutes of the Annual General Meeting" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  14. "FIFA Circular no. 1302: Amendments to the laws of the Game - 2012/2013" (PDF). p. 3. Retrieved 2018-10-16.