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Question Number: 34119

Mechanics 2/6/2021

RE: U18 Under 19

Jason C. of Lacrosse, WI USA asks...

An attacking player plays a long through-ball to a teammate and is fouled in the process. I hold the whistle to see if the pass comes off. The keeper on the opposing team comes out of his area and plays the ball with a hand at a moment when it becomes clear the attacking player making the run would not have gotten to the ball (ie the keeper could have cleared the ball with his foot, but bungled it).

Would you say that the advantage materialized for the attacking team (no DOGSO, no likelihood of control, but a handling offense and a free kick in a promising location), or should I bring the play back to the original foul?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jason,
In the scenario you describe, there is clearly an advantage to the attacking team in penalising the offence by the goalkeeper, so I would say that is the one you should penalise - not the original offence.

However I would also say you should re-examine the question of a potential DOGSO offence. It's difficult to say, based on the description but are you sure there was no likelihood of control by the pursuing forward if the keeper had not used their hand? I don't think you can use the argument that the keeper could have used their feet - after all, any time a DOGSO offence occurs you could say that if the defender had chosen to use a legitimate play instead of a foul, the attacker would not have got the ball. But the defender did resort to an illegal manoeuvre and I don't think we can rule out the possibility of a DOGSO offence by saying that they could have used a legal one instead.

I think in this particular instance the better question to ask is whether the attacker would have got to the ball if the keeper had not touched it at all. If the ball was hit so hard that it would have gone out of play before the attacker could reach it, then I would agree with a no DOGSO decision. However, if absent any kind of touch by the keeper, you think the attacker would have been highly likely to reach the ball and be in an obvious goal scoring position, then for me this would be a DOGSO offence.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jason,
the keeper handling a ball that is outside his PA is a DFK offense same as any teammate. It is indeed likely advantageous to award a free-kick closer to the goal than the previous foul location assuming line of sight and the restart location are better.

Basing your decision to not see DOGSO given your assumption the defender was there able to play the ball well ahead of the pursuing attacker, that ball was not directed at the goal & that ball would go into touch or arrive at a location far from an obvious scoring opportunity like the ball stopping just short of the corner flag.

I do hold it possible for a player/keeper to deliberately choose to play the ball but handle it unintentionally. A bright sunny day faded lines, a weird bounce, AR whipped up a flag and the keeper mistook it for an offside stoppage. None of which is a reason, IF such action was deliberate, just an excuse. We MIGHT stretch the why did the keeper handle that ball and consider it a free-kick gift with no card.

However it is a fact, another DFK offense has stopped the attack!
If as my colleague Ref Grove has stated, that attacker would have reached the ball in an obvious goal-scoring position, if there was no other keeper intervention, then ITOOTR this could be interpreted as a DOGSO by committing a DFK offense.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
A referee should always punish the more advantageous foul by allowing advantage even a silent one. So in this case the handling by the goalkeeper is perhaps the more advantageous offence to punish as it is closer to goal in perhaps a better restart kicking position.
As to advantage materialising off the first pass here that is not possible as the attacker has been unable to get to the ball. Put it like this. Had the goalkeeper kicked the ball away the first offence would be certainly punished. Having said that the referee can allow the advantage and punish the second offence.
As to a possible DOGSO the question to ask is did the handling offence by the goalkeeper happen in a way that the attacker could not get to the ball.
Its one of those in the opinion of the referee moments and could easily be a DOGSO depending on what way play could have unfolded.
A referee would have to run on in his head how play would have unfolded WITHOUT the handling offence and that will be based on distance from goal and the strength of the touch by the attacker. A mistake by the goalkeeper who tries to correct that with a handling could easily be a DOGSO as if the ball goes past him can the on rushing attacker get to the ball before any other player hence the offence has prevented that from happening.
What I can say is in my opinion play should not be brought back to the original offence as I believe the second offence restart is in a much better location. That though raises the question of a DOGSO which is a judgement call. It is certainly a caution for the goalkeeper.

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