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: 34067

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/1/2020

RE: College

John of Patras, Greece asks...

I am wondering if the following case is a penalty: The defender touches the ball deliberately (with his hand raised in the air) outside the box, but one of his legs is stretched and touches the inside area of the box.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
Very simply it is the location of the contact between the ball and the hand/ arm that counts not the position of the player.
As described that would NOT be a penalty as the hand / arm contact on the ball is outside the penalty area.
If any part of the ball is on the penalty area line it is deemed to be inside the area and if it is handled in that position by a defender it is a penalty kick.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi John,

It is where the contact is - not the player. When the foul is against an opponent (such as tripping an opponent), we judge the penalty from where the point of contact is - not the location of any other body parts.

For handball, it is where the location of the ball is - and we use the entire ball, not the part of the ball that was touched.

Say, for instance, that the ball is 90% in the outfield and 10% above the PA line. Because the lines form part of the area they enclose, this means the ball is inside the PA. So, if that defender deliberately handled the 90% part of the ball, it is still a penalty.

But where the legs are have no impact.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi John ,
as described it would be a DFK outside the PA with possible situational consideration for caution for USB show a yellow card or a send off show a red card for DOGSO via handling.

The DFK foul of handling ball deliberately is based entirely on the ball location, as long as it is in play. The fact that even if a small piece of the ball was to break the plane of the PA boundary line if the hand touched the part of the ball outside it Still would be a PK.

Think on the 5 inch lines that make up the PA boundary lines as a 5 inch wall of water extending straight up into the sky , if the ball is the slightest bit wet it is INSIDE the area of which those boundary lines enclose!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,
I'm wondering if this might have anything to do with the penalty awarded for Olympique de Marseille against Olympiakos Piraeus last night? If so, from what I could see on the only freeze frame I was able to get (a not very good quality one admittedly) it looked to me as if the ball was just slightly overhanging the line when it made contact with the player's hand, so as my colleagues have explained, that would make it a penalty - assuming the referee saw this as a handling offence, which he obviously did.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 34067
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.