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Question Number: 29856

Law 1- The Field 10/26/2015

RE: Rec Adult

Shane MacDonald of luton, Beds Englans asks...

Can you confirm what would happen in the below scenario eg play on/free kick etc.

This scenario happened recently in a 5 a side game.


-Goalkeeper has Both feet inside area
-Majority of the ball is outside area but is touching the White line
-Goalkeeper reaches outside the area and touches the side of the ball furthest away from him and scoops the ball back inside the area and then picks it up


Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Shane,

The Laws aren't concerned with 'parts' of the ball. The fact that the ball is considered inside the PA (by being on the line) effectively means the entire ball is inside the PA. So it doesn't matter if the keeper touches the part that's outside the PA - no offence has been committed.

This goes both ways. If the ball is on the line and a defender handles the part of the ball that's outside the PA, it's a Penalty Kick for a penal foul inside the Penalty Area.

However, I'm referring to the Laws of the Game (and Futsal has identical laws in this particular area). If it's 5 a-side playing with a heavily modified, unofficial version of the rules then it may be different, but I'd be surprised.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Shane
The answer lies in whether ALL of the ball was over ALL of the penalty area line. It makes no difference what part of the ball that the goalkeeper touches.
So in your scenario if the ball was still breaking the plane of the line it is legal for the GK to handle the ball.
In this image taken from goal line technology if the lower part of the line was the inside of the penalty area and the upper part was outside the ball is still deemed to be still inside and there is no handling offence should the GK touch the ball with his hands
In real time and at speed this is impossible to judge accurately hence the introduction of goal line technology to assist in goal decisions. If there is any doubt the referee should allow play to continue

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