Law 15.2 - Free kicks in relation to possession of the football (Part 2)

We continue with the final parts of Law 15.2 this week as this should and often does, create many a discussion amongst players, coaches and supporters.  As you can see, there is quite a lot within this part of the Law alone, and you can imagine what must be going through a field umpire’s mind determining things like prior or no prior opportunity, legal or no legal tackles, etc.  Some of you may say it’s simple and agreed – it is in many circumstances – but not in others!

 

15.2.3 Holding the Football — Prior Opportunity/No Prior Opportunity

 

Where the field Umpire is satisfied that a Player in possession of the football:

 

(a) has had a prior opportunity to dispose of the football, the field Umpire shall award a Free Kick against that Player if the Player does not Kick or Handball the football immediately when he or she is Correctly Tackled; or

(b) has not had a prior opportunity to dispose of the football, the field Umpire shall award a Free Kick against that Player if, upon being Correctly Tackled, the Player does not Correctly Dispose or attempt to Correctly Dispose of the football after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so.

(c) Except in the instance of a poor bounce or throw, a Player who takes possession of the football while contesting a bounce or throw by a field Umpire or a boundary throw in, shall be regarded as having had prior opportunity.

 

15.2.4 Application — Specific Instances where Play shall Continue

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the field Umpire shall allow play to

continue when:

 

(a) a Player is bumped and the football falls from the Player’s hands;

(b) a Player’s arm is knocked which causes the Player to lose possession of the football;

(c) a Player’s arms are pinned to his or her side by an opponent which causes the Player to drop the football, unless the Player has had a prior opportunity to Correctly Dispose of the football, in which case Law 15.2.3 (a) shall apply;

(d) a Player, whilst in the act of Kicking or Handballing, is swung off-balance and does not make contact with the football by either foot or hand, unless the Player has had a prior opportunity to Correctly Dispose of the football, in which case Law 15.2.3(a) shall apply; or

(e) a Player is pulled or swung by one arm which causes the football to fall from the Player’s hands, unless the Player has had a prior opportunity to Correctly Dispose of the football, in which case Law 15.2.3 (a) shall apply.

 

15.2.5 Diving on Top of the Football

 

Where a Player is in possession of the football by reason of diving on top of or dragging the football underneath his or her body, the field Umpire shall award a Free Kick against that Player if he or she does not immediately knock the football clear or Correctly Dispose of the football when Correctly Tackled.

 

15.2.6 Football Held to the Body of a Player

 

The field Umpire shall bounce the football when a Player, in the act of applying a Correct Tackle, holds the football to the body of the Player being Tackled or the football is otherwise pinned to the ground, unless the Player being Tackled has had a prior opportunity to Correctly Dispose of the football, in which case Law 15.2.3 (a) shall apply.

 




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