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Michigan Referee Program / Blog  / Delay Restart

Delay Restart

Have you given a yellow card for DR (delaying the restart of play)? If you see a possible DR, how do you know if the incident deserves a yellow card?

There are numerous considerations that a referee must take into account. Here, we will just focus on three considerations (there are other considerations but they can be covered in a different post). Today, we think of an instance where a player kicks the ball away after the referee’s whistle.

– How much time does the player have to think?

Did the player kick the ball immediately after the referee blew their whistle? In other words, did the player have the time to think of what they were to do? It does not take more than a second for a player to realize that the referee has blown their whistle. So if you, as the referee, say that the player kicked the ball away after they had some time for them to think, you may consider issuing a caution. On the other hand, if the player was already in the process of kicking the ball and the whistle blew, then you may not want to blame the player.

– Does the opposing team try to restart the game?

If the team that will take the free kick does not act to resume play (e.g. moving toward the ball to retrieve the ball), then the restart was not delayed by the player who kicked the ball. If the team that will take the kick tries to retrieve the ball and the ball is kicked away (notice a small nuance difference between “kicking the ball” and “kicking the ball away”), then the restart is delayed. Of course, this is not to say that the team that will take the kick must act to retrieve the ball for a card to be issued. It is merely one of many considerations.

– How far is the ball kicked?

Similar to the point above, if the ball was kicked away by a yard, was the restart truly delayed? It may deserve a yellow card for a different reason, but maybe not for DR. But if the ball was kicked 10 yards away, it is likely that the restart was delayed.

Below, you will have a video that describes these three considerations from a match in Michigan. 

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