We've had the situation a few times this year (in U12) when there has been a dropped ball situation and the ref has instructed one player to stand away from the ball and told the other player to kick it to opposition goalkeeper (but has not instructed the strikers and other players about what is happening.... so potentially they could play the ball and score without realising they shouldn't touch the ball).
It hasn't ended in tears so far but there is the potential.
So, 1. Are refs being taught to do this? 2. Should they be doing this? 3. Would the goal count if the above scenario played out (ref instructs player to kick back to keeper and another player intercepts and scores)?
Please note, I fully agree with the principle of giving the ball back when warranted but feel this should be left to the coach to instruct.
1) No. 2) No. 3) Yes. The Law is quite clear.The referee's job is to drop the ball. The drop may be uncontested, or all 22 players may take part. What happens after the ball hits the ground is up to the players. Note that a new change to the Law states that although the ball is play when it hits the ground, a goal may not be scored directly from it.
Any opinions expressed here are mine alone and not necessarily indicative of any formal Referee's body unless otherwise stated.
What the referee was doing was using some common-sense. Technically in a drop ball decision, the referee's role is to just drop the ball. And under the laws, the numberof players to be involved is not specified, ie from 0 to 22 can be involved.
Instead of just dropping the ball so an attacker can kick it back to the keeper or another defender, in this case the referee has just cut out the middle-man (ie attacker) and dropped the ball directly for defenderor the goal-keeper to play.
Don't quite get your point Oldref. The ref dropped it for the attacker and told them to kick it at the goalkeeper but didn't tell any of the team-mates. Are we talking about the same situation? I don't get bit about cutting out the middle man.