State Referee Administrators
State Directors of Instruction
State Directors of Assessment
State Directors of Coaching
Manager of Referee Development and Education
Advantage in the Penalty Area
| April 11, 2008
circumstances govern the application of advantage for offenses committed
by defenders inside their own penalty area. Although the basic
concept of advantage remains the same, the specific decision by the referee
must be governed by both the close proximity to the goal and the likelihood
of scoring from the penalty kick restart if play is stopped instead of
basic elements of the decision are straightforward:
- Advantage is a team concept and thus the referee must be aware not
only of the fouled player's ability to continue his or her attack but
also of the ability of any of the player's teammates to continue the
- Advantage has been applied when the decision is made,
not when the advantage signal is given. The signal itself may
often be delayed for 2-3 seconds while the referee evaluates the
advantage situation to determine if it will continue.
- Where it does not continue, the Laws of the Game provide for the
referee to stop play for the original foul.
- If the original foul involved violence, the referee is advised not
to apply advantage unless there is an immediate chance of scoring a
Inside the penalty area, the competitive tension is much
greater and the referee is called upon to make quicker decisions. The
time during which the referee looks for advantage to continue becomes
defined by the probability of scoring a goal directly following the
foul or from the subsequent play.
In the attached clip (click
here) of an incident occurring
in the 27th minute of a match on April 9 between New England and Kansas
City. NE defender #31 (Nyassi) fouls KC attacker #11 (Morsink) near
the top of the penalty area. Just as Morsink is fouled, however,
he passes the ball to his teammate #19 (Sealy).
The referee properly recognized the advantage but then
whistled for the foul against Morsink after he decided that a goal
would not be scored by Sealy. In fact, Sealy made a shot on goal
just as the whistle sounded and the ball failed to enter the net.
- In the absence of a whistle stopping play and if the ball had entered
the net, the advantage would clearly have continued and the goal
would be counted.
- If, in this case, the ball had entered the goal after the whistle
had sounded, the goal could not be counted.
- Ideally, the referee in this incident should have delayed
stopping play for the original foul until he saw more concretely
what Sealy would have been able to do with the ball.
In this incident, the penalty kick for the original foul was successful.