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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35494

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/5/2024

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

This question is a follow up to question 35472

I still have one situation, please.

S: The goalkeeper catches the ball in the air in his hands and then ball falls to the ground.

A. Even when the goalkeeper is in the air.
B. When the goalkeeper lands on the ground.

Is it ball control? Or does it not reset the offside? Could it be a 'save'?

Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,
a spilled ball? As in when a keeper is making a save, & cannot get it under complete control? Perhaps jarred loose upon impact with the ground or just bobbled due to the angle and speed of the shot?

If it is in the process of a save which DOES NOT reset offside for a PIOP. Any loose ball is
the result of a deflection and any PIOP would still be restricted from involvement.

In such cases an onside legal opponent or even a PIOP might be directly challenging trying to pick up the temporary loose ball before the keeper can actually get it under control. Especially in youth, this is where attackers could be kicking at the loose balls as the keeper's hands are on or very near it.

If it was a PIOP, the referee should whistle the INDFK quickly to prevent any injury.

If it was an onside attacker, you gauge it on the careless, reckless, excessive scale if a foul did develop. A loose ball scramble as a keeper is attempting to get hands on to control after a save, does not restrict an onside opponent from trying to do the same only with out the hands.

Only if the shot was a weak one where the keeper palms it down when it was easily catchable would we consider the save as a controlled deliberate action, effectively releasing the ball back into active play, immediately thus resetting any PIOP opponents' restriction back to onside statis! The same applies if he holds onto the ball for the 6 seconds and then releases it. That would be considered as control and thus resets opposing PIOPs restrictions!

An opponent is NOT supposed to challenge a keeper who has control of the ball within their grasp. Attackers needs to pull out of tackles or at least realize & temper to reduce risk where the keeper is logically the best positioned in hand on situations, like air balls up high and on top of balls on the ground not go sailing in with studs up and head or and feet flailing to knock the keeper so he looses ball possession.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The LotG tell us a save is 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)

So not every catch by a goalkeeper may be considered a save. It certainly can be control yet spilling the ball as part of that action is not control and release.

It can in certain circumstances be considered a reset of offside when it is not considered a save. Those tend to be exceptional as most referees would put most hand action in the save category off an attacking shot / play.

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