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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30209

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 3/21/2016

RE: Mini soccer Under 9

Jamie moxon of Hull, England asks...

Can a goalkeeper score from kicking it out of his or hers hands?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jamie
Yes that is allowed as the ball is in play and no infringement has occurred. Indeed if the goalkeeper could throw the ball that far a goal would also be awarded as well.
However as you mention Under 9 and the possibility of a small sided / small pitch games the competition rules can be amended to not allow this. For instance there can be a ball height restriction rule which prevents punting the ball out of the hands or kicking it above a certain height.
I am also aware of some local rules where players are encouraged to pass the ball which prevents the goalkeeper from punting / throwing / kicking the ball beyond the half way line.
In addition Law 15 is amended in small sided games to prevent a goal being scored from a goal clearance which is a goal kick restart. In a regular game a goal can be scored directly from a goal kick.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


In a normal game under the normal FIFA laws, it is perfectly legal for a goalkeeper to throw or punt the ball into the opposing teams goal. In fact, I am pretty sure Tim Howard did that very thing for Everton a couple of years ago. As Ref McHugh points out though, there may be instances where local rules (especially for the u-littles) prohibit such an action. For example, a league local to me recently instituted the Spanish 'build-out lines'. As part of this implementation, the goalkeeper is no longer allowed to punt the ball and hence would not be able to score off the punt. Check with your local association for any specialty rules of competition.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Jamie,
The keeper holding the ball in his hands is part of normal play (with the proviso that an opponent can't challenge the ball), so assuming it's a normal match and not some small-side game with modified laws, then it is legal for a keeper to score from a punt out.

As an example of the ball being in play, if the keeper has the ball in his hands and a defender in the Penalty Area punches an opponent, the restart would be a penalty kick - as opposed to punching the opponent while the ball is out of play (say, waiting for a free kick to occur), where the restart would be whatever the initial restart was.

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