Kick-off touched twice: a case study on how important focus is

A kick-off touched twice. Something you do not experience often, but referee Stan Teuben was fully concentrated and whistle. But what is the correct restart?

Plus a painful personal memory about a similar incident when I wasn’t 100% ready.

Video of the incident

The incident happened in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie, the 2nd football level in The Netherlands. It’s a game between PSV u23 and Ajax u23. The referee is Stan Teuben.

I am curious if you recognize the mistake, because you probably won’t understand the Dutch commentator. And what is the correct restart?

You can also watch the clip on Facebook.

Laws of the game on “kick-off touched twice”

The Laws of the Game say that “the ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves”. That box is ticked, but what happens if the player touches it twice? The IFAB added: “If the player taking the kick-off touches the ball again before it has touched another player, an indirect free kick, or for a handball offence, a direct free kick, is awarded.”

Referee Stan Teuben was focused from the start, he whistled for the offence. I am curious if you have ever experienced this?

My experience with this

I’ll admit a personal mistake here. I missed this once, because I was too busy with my watch. A player was facing his goalkeeper, but the ball ended near the corner flag when he kicked it. While I stared down at my watch, he touched the kick-off twice.

One player who was nearby me mentioned it to me, but I completely missed it. An attacker was sprinting after the long ball, but luckily for me the ball went outside. The restart then was a goal-kick, so me not being alert didn’t cause me serious problems.

My biggest lesson was: fix the watches first, then blow for the start of the game. Here are some tips to stay focused for 90 minutes.


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