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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34042

High School 11/1/2020

RE: HS varsity High School

Ronald A Reed of High Bridge, New Jersey United States asks...

NFHS recently changed the drop rule. When dropping the ball to the defending goalie in the penalty area, can he/she pick up the ball???

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ronald
When the ball touches the ground at a dropped ball it is in play and as it is inside the penalty area a goalkeeper would be allowed to use his hands to pick the ball up.
The only time a goalkeeper is restricted from using his / her hands inside the penalty area is when the ball has bern deliberately kicked to him / her by a team mate. This is a dropped ball so that restriction does not apply.
The same applies to FIFA games.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ronald,
Yes, they can. A goalkeeper is allowed to use their hands on the ball when it is inside the penalty area. There are a few exceptions where this is not allowed, such as a ball deliberately kicked to them by a team mate. This is not one of those exceptions, therefore the keeper is free to use their hands.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


Referees McHugh and and Grove are correct. The goalkeeper can play the dropped ball with the hands as soon as the dropped ball hits the ground.

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