Awarding free kicks against runners and Waterpersons during a game

Queries are raised on a number of occasions about whether umpires are allowed to award free kicks against runners and waterpersons during a game.  The answer is yes and our field umpires are instructed to do so, especially in light of the highlighted portion of the law.  The last part of that particular segment of the law (b), general play alludes to the number of times we instruct runners and waterperson to leave the playing surface and they ignore those instructions.  If that is the case and they continue to ignore our instructions, then a free kick will be applied and where it is taken is highlighted in the second part of the law.


This might then stop some teams filling in holes or gaps, when a defending team is kicking the ball back into play and will certainly stop some of these people ‘spectating’ on the ground!




15.9.1 When Awarded


A Free Kick shall be awarded against a Player or a Team where

the field Umpire is of the opinion that:


(a) the Player is engaging in Time Wasting;


(b) an Official of the Team or such other person of the Team

who may from time to time be permitted onto the Playing

Surface, intentionally, recklessly or negligently interferes

with the football, a Player of the opposition Team, an

Umpire or general play;


 (c) a Player has lifted a Player or climbed on the shoulders

of a Player from the same Team. This Free Kick shall

be taken by a Player from the opposing Team where

the infringement occurred or where the football is at

the time of the infringement, whichever is the greater

penalty against the offending Team;


(d) a Free Kick to be awarded against a Player who uses

abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene language

and/or gesture;


(e) a Player has contravened the provisions of Law 11.3.5

(a); or


(f) a Player has engaged in misconduct.


15.9.2 Taking a Free Kick Given Against an Official

Where a Free Kick is awarded against a Team because of the

conduct of an Official of the Team, the Free Kick shall be taken

by the Player of the opposition Team who is closest to where

the infringement occurred or where the football is located,

whichever is the greater penalty against the offending Team.


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