Law Clarification Request - Definitions - Touch vs Played

Robert Burns

, Referees in Canada, Webmaster
Staff member
Nov 10, 2003
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I've moved the clarification requests into the Wiki, so thought I would add a dedicated thread for it.

Wiki states:

The members seek clarification on the matter of intentional or unintentional contact with the ball.

The Definitions define "Played":

[LAWS]Played: the ball is played when it is touched by a player.[/LAWS]

The definition does not make it clear if the contact needs to be intentional or not.

The following Laws, in relation to a player & the ball, state "played":

  • 6.A.9(a)
  • 8.3(b)
  • 10.4(o)
  • 11 Definitions
  • 13.6
  • 13.7
  • 20.7(c)
  • 22.11(a)
The following laws, in relation to a player & the ball, state "touched":

  • 13.9(a)
  • 13.15(a)
  • 19.1(b,d,f,g,h)
  • 19.2(d,e)
  • 19.4
  • 19.6
  • 19.13
  • 19.14(a,c)
  • 20.7(c)
  • 22.7(c)
The following laws, in relation to a player & the ball, state "played or touched/touches":

  • 9.A.1
  • 11.4(f)
  • 21.6(b)

As "touched" is not defined in law, it is not clear if the difference between "played" & "Touched" is intention. We assume that there must be a difference because of the above laws stating "Played or Touched"

If "played" were defined for intentional contact and "touched" for unintentional contact, it would be possible to introduce consistent use of terminology & application throughout the laws.

End of clarification request.

Debate. (again).


Referees in England
Sep 14, 2009
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Robbie posted this - and pinned the thread - in 2012 ...

In the 2018 Law Book the matter was finally settled :)

Played: The ball is played when it is intentionally touched by a player.