Video Instruction – Ceremonial Free Kick

Free kicks near the attacking penalty area can lead to, or actually be, a goal scoring opportunity. Referees must be alert to ensure the free kicks are taken fairly while minimally interfering with the taking of the free kick. In the case below, the free kick is taken during overtime resulting in a game winning situation.

If you think this should be a ceremonial free kick, select “no goal” below as your decision. Otherwise, select “goal” below.


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4 Responses to “Video Instruction – Ceremonial Free Kick”

  1. Please clarify the question. The answer that was unlocked didn’t answer the question. So, I would think the question should be whether this kick should be ceremonial or not, rather than goal or no goal.

  2. How is it that “This should be a ceremonial free kick restart” meaning that by default the Goal should not stand which ultimately affected the outcome of the game, but at the same time say “We do not consider this a misapplication of a rule of conduct but rather a matter of referee judgement.”

    The Laws state as mentioned, “The attacking team takes the kick as soon as the ball is properly placed, with no separate signal needed by the referee” and that “A free kick may be taken quickly – without the referee’s whistle – provided that: no disciplinary sanction is to be taken the free kick is taken quickly after play is stopped” however you qualify this by adding “i.e. few seconds”. Yet the kick can not be taken quickly until “the ball is place properly” so how do you reconcile this?

    • Thanks David for your comment. This is a difficult situation and reflects the complexity of intercollegiate refereeing. It is an advanced learning point for most of our members, but a critical one that reflects the nuances of managing the match.

      This incident reflect the concept of “refereeing the game at hand” – that is understanding from a soccer sense what the GAME expects and what the players expect. A ceremonial restart is not meant to reward an opponent for inattentiveness, but rather reflects that the stoppage of the game and the proper positioning of the ball for the restart has transitioned outside the normal flow of the match. If this restart had occurred quickly without delay, no one would be suggesting that it should be ceremonial. In an intercollegiate game which REQUIRES multiple ball be avialable, it is reasonable for both the defenders and the referee to be unclear where the ball will come from to restart. That in and of itself should give the referee pause to consider that the teams should be properly notified that the restart is about to occur. The advantage of “surprise” doesn’t arise from the attacking teams tactics, but rather from externalities outside of either team’s control.

      A referees intervention to delay a restart when the ball is properly placed and the attacking team finds it advantageous to play quickly is equally inappropriate. In that case, the intercollegiate player should EXPECT a quick restart even though he may not be prepared for it.

      To build on this thought, when a referee signals for a kick or throw-in to go in the wrong direction, it is both customary and good refereeing practice to restart with a whistle AFTER the defending team is ready, even if the referee’s actions were momentary and quickly corrected. Any indication that the attacking team gained an advantage by this minor misstep should lead to a ceremonial restart.

      As was stated in the posting, this is not a misapplication of the rules. The learning point / proposition is that this situation could have been handled differently for the game situation and having a better feel for the game.