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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33522

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 7/16/2019

RE: Competive Under 16

Emma of Troy, New York United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 23507

Can you wear sticky football gloves as a goalie

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Emma
Law 4 does not mention goalkeeper gloves and makes no provision for the type that can be used. Convention allows for goalkeepers to use gloves as protective equipment. Some glove manufactures have promoted the idea of *sticky* in the marketing of their gloves yet what does sticky mean. Some goalkeepers have developed ways to make their gloves grip the ball better.
Now a strict interpretation of the Law would suggest that using an artificial aid to assist in playing the game would not be allowed. However no referees is going to inspect gloves or be concerned about stickiness so I cannot see how that would be enforced.
The official answer would be that a referee if asked formally would not allow an artificial aid to enhance a players playing ability yet at the same time could not opine what constitutes an artificial aid such as stickiness of goalkeeper gloves.
If by some chance the gloves were so sticky that the ball could not be easily removed from the gloves then obviously that would have to be dealt with by the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Emma ,
leave the crazy glue at home but a normal sports glove has pretty good grabbing potential. Kicking a ball with your glove still attached would not go well. lol Keep on mind you need to toss or throw it. If it was too sticky you might even cause an own goal because the ball does not release well . .


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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Emma,
It depends what you mean by 'sticky.' Goalkeepers do not want the ball to slip through their hands and potentially into the goal so many goalkeeper gloves are designed to avoid being slippery. However by the same token the goalie needs to be able to distribute the ball by throwing or rolling it from their hands so it would be counter-productive, impractical and illogical to put something on the gloves that is so sticky that it would not allow the ball to be easily released. So nobody would make, and no goalkeeper would use, gloves that are actively sticky and would adhere to the ball.

In terms of the laws, there isn't anything that specifically addresses this point but as I don't think it's a situation that would arise in the first place for the reasons given above, I guess it's a moot point.

Non-slippery gloves or gloves with an improved grip are common, but I have never, ever seen gloves that actually adhere to the ball and I seriously doubt that I ever would.

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