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 FREE KICKS — GENERALLY
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
(e) a Player has contravened the provisions of Law 11.3.5
(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.