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6.9 To passive play

Whenever a player or team, at any time during the match, plays in a way solely concentrating on maintaining possession of the ball. No matter if in bringing the ball from defence to attack or in the attack zone where actions aimed to create and use scoring chances must remain recognisable.

Examples of passive play are:

  • waiting too long before passing the ball;
  • excessive passing aimed at delaying getting the ball into the attacking zone;
  • playing the ball back from the attack to the defence, unless this is done to set up an attacking move;
  • excessive passing aimed at not creating shooting chances;
  • intentionally ignoring clear shooting chances;
  • both teams passively play in turns or appear to accept the score as it is with no ambitions to change it.

The referee does not blow immediately to stop the game when:

  • in the last phases of a close-scoring match, the winning team decides to play more cautiously and avoid high risks;
  • the strategy of the defending team changes trying to force their opponents to use shooting chances by becoming less active in hindering, accepting the risk of a goal, in the hope that an unsuccessful shot will provide a better chance of gaining control of the ball.

In both cases, however, the play may not continue solely concentrating on maintaining ball possession. In the play of the attacking team, actions aimed to create and use scoring chances must remain recognisable.

Referees, in deciding whether or not players are passively playing, should bear the following points in mind:

  • the technical capacity of the players;
  • the degree to which the opposing team does everything in its power to prevent scoring chances or gain the ball possession.