Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 34007

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/28/2020

RE: Competitive Under 15

Rob Mowat of Port Coquitlam , British Columbia Canada asks...

In the trailing minutes of a game, the goalkeeper was sent off on dogso for a ball handling infraction outside the PA.

The play and ball was in their attacking zone. The keeper was well out of the net just inside her half. (They were down a goal, trying to tie)

The opposing team got the ball and one of their strikers was running past half in possession.
The opposing striker was under pressure from two players on the keepers’ squad.

The keeper was retreating back to the net, in a half turn fashion. The keeper was trying to run back towards the net but also maintain eye contact on the opposing player and the ball.

The opposing player attempted a chip and chase to gain clearance from the two defending players. The chipped kick struck the retreating goalie in the arm.
The ball deflected sideways off the keeper who was outside the PA. The defending players were able to retrieve the ball and move it to the side, out of danger.

The keeper didn’t intentionally play the ball with her hand nor did she try to make herself bigger.
The keeper was reacting to being hit by the ball in her somewhat awkward position given her retreat.Her hands were at her side.

The play was whistled down, play stopped and the keeper was given a red card.

The infraction occurred just inside the keeper’s half, midway between the centre line and the penalty area. Near the top of circle, possibly a bit closer to the PA.

The defending players were inline with the opposing striker, with the opposing striker with a very slight lead.

There was no one else between the opposing striker, the keeper and the keeper’s foul line.

The distance between the opposing striker and the retreating keeper was approximately 10 metres at the time of the infraction.

If It is DOGSO, then the keeper will need to figure out how to avoid any contact with ball with her hands outside of the PA in a similar 11th player attacking scenario since the goal is open, presenting an obvious scoring opportunity.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rob
These situations are always a judgement call based on the referee’s interpretation of the incident.
The first decision is whether it was deliberate handling or not. Outside the penalty area the goalkeeper is treated like any outfield player. I would say though that referee tolerance level will be lower in these scenarios in that goalkeepers arm movements are more used to stopping the ball so it is expected that a GK will use his arms instinctively. The key to this call would have been the distance of the goalkeeper from the ball as the further way the more time she had time to avoid arm contact on the ball. You say it was 10 metres so for me there was adequate distance to avoid the ball.
As to a DOGSO situation, which meets the 4 DOGSO criteria, any foul outside the penalty area by any player is more harshly treated than inside as the resultant penalty kick restores the goal scoring opportunity.
Perhaps the referee opined that the ball was destined for the goal? Maybe he felt that the handling was sufficient to deny an opportunity to go past the goalkeeper?
Here are a series of GK handling most of which resulted in red cards. Some might be questionable DOGSOs yet that is the rish GKs run in such situations.
I think the coaching point is the positioning of the goalkeeper that far outfield with such a high defensive line. It is a questionable position and I know some like the goalkeeper to act as a sweeper for the long through ball yet also not that far out to be chipped or not being able to retreat to the penalty area quickly. Many fouls outside the penalty area in front of goal by the goalkeeper are likely to draw a red card as it has become somewhat expected as shoen in the videos.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rob,
I think the main question here for me is whether there is an actual DOGSO offence. You say that the attacking player has chipped the ball forwards and it has struck the goalkeeper, who was 10 metres away, on the arm. You also say that this player was "under pressure" from two defenders.

It's a little difficult to be sure without seeing the actual incident but it sounds to me like the scenario might well fail to meet the criterion for keeping or gaining control of the ball. If the ball had not struck the keeper then it would obviously have gone further forwards, to a position where it was even more than 10 metres away from the attacker.

Given that, plus the presence of the two defenders who were pressuring the attacker for the ball already, I would have some serious questions over the likelihood of the attacker regaining control of the ball after having kicked it so far away from themselves.

So unless the ball was actually heading directly into the net if the goalie hadn't touched it (and your description didn't suggest that) then I'm leaning towards this not being a DOGSO offence.

As I say, it's difficult to be sure without being there, but that's the impression I get from your description.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 34007
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.