RefSix

Poor Wording

JH

RefChat Addict
#1
An indirect free kick is awarded if a goalkeeper, inside their penalty area,
commits any of the following offences:

touches the ball with the hand/arm, unless the goalkeeper has clearly kicked
or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play, after:
it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate
•receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

I understand the intention of the law, but as it is written, a goalkeeper can 'kick' the ball 'to release it' from a backpass and pick it up every single time (obviously you wouldn't let that happen). Not to mention 'to release it into play' implies that the goalkeeper has the ball in their hands already - they need better proofreaders...

The laws shouldn't be written in a way that you have to do mental gymnastics to figure out what they actually mean.
 
#2
Whilst I agree that it could have been better worded, the intent of this law change is clear to all of us (and supported by the Powerpoint that is doing the rounds to bring the changes to life). Basically 'to release it into play' is intended to cover a typical boot upfield or pass to a team mate that just goes horribly wrong. If we are in any doubt about the motive of the GK then we just stick with the IFK as previously
 

JH

RefChat Addict
#3
Whilst I agree that it could have been better worded, the intent of this law change is clear to all of us (and supported by the Powerpoint that is doing the rounds to bring the changes to life). Basically 'to release it into play' is intended to cover a typical boot upfield or pass to a team mate that just goes horribly wrong. If we are in any doubt about the motive of the GK then we just stick with the IFK as previously
The key principle of the change isn't even mentioned in the text. To a new referee this just sounds like if they kick it they can pick it up. Nothing is mentioned of a failed/sliced/misplaced kick...
 
#4
The key principle of the change isn't even mentioned in the text. To a new referee this just sounds like if they kick it they can pick it up. Nothing is mentioned of a failed/sliced/misplaced kick...
The key principle is indeed mentioned, just badly worded (as I agreed in my first post!). It's mentioned as 'to release it into play' ... that's what differentiates from simply 'if they kick it'. Don't get me wrong, I see the potential for confusion ... but (compared to other changes like handball and dropped balls) I think this is the least of our worries this season! :)
 

JH

RefChat Addict
#5
The key principle is indeed mentioned, just badly worded (as I agreed in my first post!). It's mentioned as 'to release it into play' ... that's what differentiates from simply 'if they kick it'. Don't get me wrong, I see the potential for confusion ... but (compared to other changes like handball and dropped balls) I think this is the least of our worries this season! :)
Took me a while to understand the new handball text - I reckon the average user on here could produce a more coherent definition of handball. I'm guessing the problem is making it translatable.
 
#6
Took me a while to understand the new handball text - I reckon the average user on here could produce a more coherent definition of handball. I'm guessing the problem is making it translatable.
While that may be part of the problem, I think they are also not as good at writing as they think they are. Indeed, I'm hard pressed to see how something that is unclear in the primary text magically gets clear after translation.
 

Mintyref

RefChat Addict
#7
While that may be part of the problem, I think they are also not as good at writing as they think they are. Indeed, I'm hard pressed to see how something that is unclear in the primary text magically gets clear after translation.
It doesn't. The fact you have to explain it is de facto evidence it was written badly in the first place...........as an example take the new handball law....................what do you say @Sheffields Finest ?
 
#9
The new handball law is too much of a illogic tree.
Fixed it for you . . .

More seriously, I don't know if this link is geoblocked, but if it isn't, it's an interesting discussion of the new handling law (and a bit of VAR).
Apparently, when the new handling law was being discussed, all of the European folks thought the arm below the body on a slide should not be handling, while all of the south american folk thought once you slide you're out of position and are responsible for your arms such that any contact with any arm should be handling. So the new law essentially imposes the European view on the world--though we saw the referee in the Copa America final essentially refuse to apply that new standard even when his VAR recommended he review the play--which was virtually identical to the example that FIFA gave as to what was not a handball offense by a sliding player.
 
#11
I understand the intention of the law, but as it is written, a goalkeeper can 'kick' the ball 'to release it' from a backpass and pick it up every single time (obviously you wouldn't let that happen). Not to mention 'to release it into play' implies that the goalkeeper has the ball in their hands already - they need better proofreaders...
I disagree that 'to release it into play' implies that the goalkeeper has the ball in their hands. Just because a phrase is used one way in one particular part of the law, doesn't mean it has to be interpreted that way everywhere else. Also, in the other scenario where it talks about the goalkeeper releasing the ball, it actually says, "releasing the ball from the hands."

So I don't think there's any confusion on that score. I think the key to this is in the meaning of the phrase 'clearly kicked the ball [...] to release it into play.' It's talking about cases where it is clear what the goalkeeper intended to do. As @Russell Jones says, there are some good examples in the PowerPoint presentation. I do think it's better worded in the "Outline Summary of Law Changes" where it says:
If, after a throw-in or deliberate kick from a team-mate, the goalkeeper unsuccessfully kicks or tries to kick the ball to release it into play, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball.
 
Last edited:

Goldfish

Well-Known Member
#12
Hi
The clarification given by IFAB is that
" When the GK clearly kicks or tries to kick the ball into play, this shows no intention to handle the ball so, if the ‘clearance’ attempt is unsuccessful, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball without committing an offence"
As always the sentence has to be taken in full so the GK has to kick the ball to release it into play. It is not a kick to control the ball so the referee is left to decide has the kick or attempted kick released the ball into play. If it has then obviously it is available for challenge and to be picked up. If not it is an IDFK.
There is no way that the wording can be interpreted that the ball can be picked up on any kick.
The other key word in the section is unless.
 

JH

RefChat Addict
#14
I disagree that 'to release it into play' implies that the goalkeeper has the ball in their hands. Just because a phrase is used one way in one particular part of the law, doesn't mean it has to be interpreted that way everywhere else. Also, in the other scenario where it talks about the goalkeeper releasing the ball, it actually says, "releasing the ball from the hands."

So I don't think there's any confusion on that score. I think the key to this is in the meaning of the phrase 'clearly kicked the ball [...] to release it into play.' It's talking about cases where it is clear what the goalkeeper intended to do. As @Russell Jones says, there are some good examples in the PowePoint presentation. I do think it's better worded in the "Outline Summary of Law Changes" where it says:
Sums it up though doesn't it, the wording in an obscure powerpoint is much clearer, different authors?
 
#15
Sums it up though doesn't it, the wording in an obscure powerpoint is much clearer, different authors?
That wording is not from the PowerPoint presentation, it's from the Laws of the Game document (page 150, LotG 2019/20 edition, pdf version). In any event the explanation text as given by @Goldfish is even clearer - and can also be found in the laws document (page 164, ibid).
 

one

RefChat Addict
#16
Although I don't think the wording is as bad as JH sounds it I can see his point. It's easy to understand now because we know the intent of it and there are plenty of recent documentation around explaining why it was introduced. However there are plenty of laws that had to be clarified years after they were introduced because the intent of them were lost and people were misinterpreting them. The 16/17 changes had lot of those.
 
#17
Hi
The clarification given by IFAB is that
" When the GK clearly kicks or tries to kick the ball into play, this shows no intention to handle the ball so, if the ‘clearance’ attempt is unsuccessful, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball without committing an offence"
As always the sentence has to be taken in full so the GK has to kick the ball to release it into play. It is not a kick to control the ball so the referee is left to decide has the kick or attempted kick released the ball into play. If it has then obviously it is available for challenge and to be picked up. If not it is an IDFK.
There is no way that the wording can be interpreted that the ball can be picked up on any kick.
The other key word in the section is unless.
Reads like the GK can accidentally kick the ball short, then go and pick it up. That’s my beef...
 
#20
I mean, that's correct. But the key word is accidentally. If you think he's done it deliberately to get round the law, then you penalise him the same way you would have under the old law.
Are you saying that a goalkeeper can cleanly kick the ball and then go and pick it up if the ball doesn’t go as far as intended to a teammate?

Surely, that’s not the intention of the law - or is it - genuinely confused?
 
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