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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35493

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/5/2024

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


one goalkeeper's question, please.

Law 12:

'A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball with the hand(s) when:
•?the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface(e.g. ground, own body)OR BY TOUCHING IT WITH ANY PART OF THE HANDS OR ARMS, EXCEPT IF THE BALL REBOUNDS FROM THE GOALKEEPER OR THE GOALKEEPER HAS MADE A SAVE

Football terms:

An action by a player to stop or attempt to stop the ball when it is going into or very close to the goal using any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless a goalkeeper within their own penalty area)

Almost every touch under Law 12 seems to be a save. Almost every time the goalkeeper touches the ball which is close to the goal.

How do you understand it? Can that part of the rule ever be used? (I mean the part I capitalized).

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,

I hold that an accidental release, a purposeful release, a fisted punch out and if a keeper palms a ball down that could be caught it is considered as a save and release as well. All are control and release at the same time, thus he can be challenged as he has no control. Yet if a keeper knocks a ball down or it rebounds off him then he recovers it is not a second touch just a continuation but during that time, he has NO control, he could be challenged fairly. Unlike within the 6 seconds after a save when it is permitted for the keeper to bounce the ball and he has control and can not be challenged .

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The wording is to deal with what is called a parry. A catch and release type action where it is not a save yet the goalkeeper uses the hands to control the ball and release it all in one action.
It generally happens on a weak shot and the goalkeeper rather than holding on to the ball decides to use the hands to control the ball and release it all in one action.
There can be a fine line between a save and a parry and a referee has to opine what has transpired. Many times it is a save while a referee can opine there was no possibility of a save and therefore control has been exerted.

Many times I have seen parries where the opponents pay no attention to it so it is play on as doubtful or trifling.

I once recall in a game a goalkeeper controlled a very weak shot with a parry and then decided to dribble the ball off to the goal line corner of the penalty area to use up time. An astute forward shouted he cant pick it up and he was right. The goalkeeper should have picked the ball up instantly and there would have been no possible offence. Anyway I called it which was sort of like a short corner. Nothing came of it yet lesson learned.

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