I am playing a mobile game "DLS2021" and one of its new upgrades is that when the ball touches the referee, the game stops and then the referee needs to drop the ball for the team which was possessing it before it stops in order to restart.

I don't know whether this rule exists in reality because I have never seen this event when watching live games, or encountered such a setting in any other game, even DLS2021's older version (e.g. DLS2016, DLS2020).

So except when the referee is on the way of the ball, are there other situations for referees to drop the ball when restarting?

  • Have you tried searching for any material on this? The dropball has been a part of the game for years.
    – Nij
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 6:22

1 Answer 1


There are plenty of situations requiring a drop ball to resume play. There are two main reasons for it:

  1. A foul by a player or team official outside of the pitch
  2. The referee stops the play and the call was not caused by a rule violation

Examples for situations causing a drop ball:
(There may be more and the ball must be in play at the time of the call.)

  • Injuries
  • Referee touches the ball and possession changes
  • Persons or animals on the pitch
  • More than one ball on the pitch
  • Breaks caused by severe weather
  • The referee correcting a previous call (not VAR)
  • The ball hitting an object above the pitch while still inbounds, e.g. a video wall or the roof
  • Good answer! But one extensive question: how does a referee to arrange the possession when dropping the ball? I think that chances are that a game is stopped when there is a 50/50 situation. Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 22:51
  • @MemphisMeng usually it is clear who had the ball last and this team will get it back. When there's a 50/50 situation like the lights going out in the middle of a challenge the team who had the ball right before that will retain possession, but that's for the referee to decide. Otherwise the referee will wait for a good opportunity to stop the play.
    – dly
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 7:31
  • That makes sense. I also believe referees are responsible to make as few conflicts as possible. Commented Nov 12, 2020 at 14:42

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