Have you ever been hit with the ball? Have you gotten in the way of players and heard any complaints from them? Oftentimes we know just a second or two in advance when we are about to be hit with the ball or when we are about to get in the way. But we still get hit or get in the way. Why is that?
Sometimes it is because we just try to backpedal to escape. But in many cases, the best escape route is go toward the ball. It may sound counterintuitive. But if the ball is coming toward you, go toward the ball. Within a second, you have gone past the ball and all you have to do is make a 180-degree turn. Now you have given space to players. You are close enough to the play but not too close.
Watch the video below. The referee gets very close to the ball. But it was avoidable if he had realized that the best escape route was in front of him, not behind him.