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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33240

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 4/13/2019

RE: Competitive High School

Scott Cubbage of Orange County, California USA asks...

What is the accepted standard for Law 14 Penalty Kicks, specifically for 'The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, ...' At a recent match that I videotaped, the goalkeeper left the goal line by jumping vertically with both feet, then landing with one foot squarely on the goal line and the other more forward, with the heel just touching the goal line. This happened during the kicker's approach to the kick. The keeper made the save, the AR discreetly signaled that the keeper left the line, and the Referee called the kicker back for a retake. I understand ITOOTR, but is this a common interpretation of this law?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Scott
The LotG and NFHS Rules require that the goalkeeper has his feet ON the line. Lateral movement is allowed yet the GK cannot leave the line until the moment of the kick.
In your description you say that the GK had one foot OFF the line. That is a technical breach of Law / Rule 14 which can be called. An AR might see it as trifling and doubtful particularly at speed while trying to determine the exact moment of the kick.
Now we all know that the application of this varies significantly from zero tolerance to being generous for all but blatant encroachment. My view is that as long as the AR is consistent and applying the same approach to both teams then so be it on the doubtful ones
As an AR I in my own mind cut some slack on the one foot movement yet when the back foot comes forward off the line as well then it gets called. From next season Law 14 has been amended to allow the one foot forward off the line approach which I believe is welcome.
I suspect that from your other question that the KFTPM you witnessed wrankles with you. There has to be a winner and a loser and we can all find issues to take exception to.
Have a look at this video
The GK saved the penalty, was adjudged to have encroached for which he got a caution and as it was his 2nd caution he was dismissed. The retake, with an outfield player in goal, was converted to win the game The save would have brought it to sudden death
Here is the Irish Captains Nathan Collins responding immediately after the game
His sportsmanship has to be applauded.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Scott,
While having just one foot off the line (and one on it) is indeed a technical beach of the laws, I think it is true to say that the reason that from next season, in games played under IFAB Laws this will be permissible, is that a feeling has developed especially in recent years, that, ''this is what football expects'' and least part of the reason this is so, is that it is difficult to judge this in real time. Accordingly, it seems a fairly large number of match officials have been judging the one foot off the line scenario to be a dubious and/or trifling offence.

The official reason given by the IFAB as to why keepers will only need to have on foot on the line at a penalty from next season is as follows:

''Goalkeepers are not permitted to stand in front of or behind the line. Allowing the goalkeeper to have only one foot touching the goal line (or, if jumping, in line with the goal line) when the penalty kick is taken is a more practical approach as it is easier to identify if both feet are not on the line. As the kicker can 'stutter' in the run, it is reasonable that the goalkeeper can take one step in anticipation of the kick.''

I do not know if the NFHS will eventually adopt a similar rule change - they quite often make changes that bring them into line with the equivalent IFAB law - but not always.

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