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Cheat Sheet

All the penal and non-penal fouls and the Red and Yellow Card offenses summarized in a single table and a checklist of matters to be covered in pre-game instructions by Referees to Assistant Referees.

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Penal (Direct Free Kick)

  • Kicking or trying to kick opponent
  • Tripping or trying to kick opponent
  • Jumping at opponent
  • Charging opponent
  • Holding opponent
  • Striking or trying to strike opponent
  • Pushing opponent
  • Above require offense to be commited in a manner considered to be “careless, reckless, or using excessive force”
  • Tackle an opponent to gain possesion, making contact with opponent first
  • Holding an opponent
  • Spitting at opponent
  • Handling ball deliberately (includes goal keeper outside box)

Non-Penal (Indirect Free Kick)

  • Offside (no offside for throw in, corner kick or goal kick)
  • Goalie takes longer than 6 seconds or touches ball with hand after release or after deliberate kick or throw from teammate
  • Dangerous play (not “high kicking”)
  • Impeding progress of an opponent (obstruction)
  • Prevent goal keeper from release ball from hands
  • Wasting time
  • Touching the ball a second time after the ball is in play following a throw-in, goal kick, corner kick, penalty, or free kick

Caution – Yellow

  • Unsporting behavior
  • Dissent by word or action
  • Persistent infringement
  • Delays restart of play
  • Fails to retreat required distance on free kicks or corner kicks
  • Enters or re-enters withour referee’s permission

Send Off – Red

  • Serious foul play
  • Violent conduct
  • Spits at opponent or other person
  • Denies a goal or obvious goal scoring
  • Opportunity by deliberately handling ball
  • Denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity by an offense punishable by free kick or penalty kick
  • Offensive, insulting, or abusive language or gesture
  • Second caution
  • Tackle from behind
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