Questions about free kicks

Some questions:

  1. Line 761 states that a direct free kick is awarded if a player “walks into another player for 2 seconds”, even if the force transmitted is minimal. With so many robots on the field with limited perception ability, it can be expected that this will happen relatively regularly, meaning that the referee would regularly have to interrupt the game, blocking game progress. We recommend increasing this time to something like 4-5s, because if a minimal force was only exerted for 2s then nothing worthy of a free kick really happened anyway.
  • If a team is about to score a goal, and somewhere on the other half of a field some other robot of that team walks into a player of the opposite team, triggering under normal circumstances a direct free kick, does that mean that the ball is taken away from the robot that is about to score and carried across to the other half of the field (in accordance with line 794) for a free kick by the opponent? In such situations it would make a lot more sense to just award a 30s removal penalty to the offending robot that is far away from the ball.
  • The position of free kick (line 889) is specified in all cases other than for a direct free kick for the attacking team in the penalty area. Normally this is a penalty kick, but these have been suspended without replacement.
  • Line 923 specifies for a free kick that if the ball is not kicked directly out of the penalty area by a defending team then the kick is retaken. What happens if a team cannot kick or doesn’t manage to successfully kick the ball? Can the opponent team just come in for the ball after 10s?
  • Line 900 states that a free kick awarded in the goal area can be taken from any point in that area. Can a team request the position of the ball?
  1. I agree there is some value for not stopping the game too frequently, so I would second this proposal.
  2. I agree, it should be defined that indirect and direct free kicks are only carried out if the offense happens in some radius around the ball, otherwise it is a removal penalty.
  3. In my opinion it should be like a normal free kick, with the only addition that the goal keeper is allowed to remain within the radius of the ball.
  4. Seems like we are getting stuck in a loop here. So I agree, if the robot doesn’t manage to kick the ball at all, the kick is not retaken but the normal procedure after a free kick starts again
  5. I don’t have an opinion on that one.
  1. I was happy with the original FIFA rules and having a little faith in the referees:
    “A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
    kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
    trips or attempts to trip an opponent
    jumps at an opponent
    charges an opponent
    strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
    pushes an opponent
    tackles an opponent”
    There is more information on the offenses in the official ‘interpretation of the laws’ attached to the FIFA rules.

  2. That is soccer, but typically we have the option of an ‘advantage’ where the referee “allows play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offense if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time”

  3. I do not see the point in having special rules for this problem. The initial rationale for not having a penalty kick during the game was loss of time (which I do not share). However, replacing the penalty kick with a direct free kick in the penalty area from whatever position we may decide on, does not make any sense. I would stick with the FIFA rules here and make this a penalty kick (which robots need to be able to do anyway).

  4. No loop… This is in principle covered by Law 12:
    “Referees must caution players who delay the restart of play by tactics such as:
    taking a free kick … with the sole intention of forcing the referee to order a retake

    excessively delaying the taking of a throw-in or free kick
    We may then start a discussion on the word ‘intention’. However teams know about the requirements and one could argue this is intentional or robots are incapable.
    Furthermore, as teams can choose the position for the free kick close to the border of the penalty area, every reasonable robot should be able to accomplish the task.

  5. That is how I read the rules. The defending team amy take any position to carry out the free kick. The attacking team has to start from the goal area line (parallel to goal line) at the point closest point where the infringement occurred.

  1. Good, so we can agree on 4-5s. The original FIFA rules are clearly not easily applicable to robots, and not very helpful for referees who have to make decisions whether to award a free kick or not.
  • Agreed, free kicks only in some radius of the ball, and simple removal penalties otherwise.
  • How about making a penalty kick the same procedure as an indirect free kick for the attacking team in the goal area. That is, "an indirect free kick awarded inside the goal area [to the attacking team] must be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred". “All opponents must be at least 0.5 m from the ball until it is in play, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts.”
  • Maike: Agreed, an unsuccessful kick means that if the ball has moved or 10s has elapsed since the referee’s signal, the ball is in play and the opponent can come in and take the ball.
  • Free kick to defending team in goal area: Ok, so the referee must then respect a request by the robot handler for a particular ball position when positioning the ball for the free kick.
  1. I don’t think the ball should be moved far no matter to who’s advantage it may be. If the ball is close to the goal of team A and then the player of team A walks into another player somewhere inside the goal area of team B, I don’t think we should move the ball right into the goal area of team B. I mean this is very harsh for a foul, because it might lead to a goal of a team that might not be able to even get the ball that far. It is also not at all understandable for people. Even though it is allowed in normal soccer, it is just happening only very rarely. However, our robots often unintentionally commit pushing fouls and I don’t think that should mean the ball is constantly changing place. But I guess we have to vote on this in the TC.
  2. We already voted on this within the TC. A penalty kick within the game is NOT the same as a penalty shoot-out afterwards and is actually a disadvantage of the team getting the penalty kick. The ball is moved backwards from inside the goal area to the penalty mark where the robot will probably not be within 15 seconds. All other robots would need to stand behind the center line, where they won’t reach within 15 seconds, so a majority of them will be removed. So I think introducing this at the current state of the robots will be a major disadvantage. I would also like to remind that apart from moving towards the FIFA rules, we also want to see an interesting game. If we make the rules too challenging in one year, the only thing we will see is all robots sitting at the side suffering from removal penalties.