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: 35587

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/20/2024

RE: competitive Adult

Bob Forche of Columbus, ohio USA asks...

Is it a foul to charge a goalie that doesn't have possession of the ball?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
Simple answer is that no player can be charged while not in possession of the ball and with the ball the charge has to be legal that is shoulder to shoulder and not in a careless manner.

For me there is no place in the game for charging off the ball and if it is reckless the offender should be cautioned. The restart is a direct free kick or penalty kick
We can’t have situations where players are throwing their weight around charging players including goalkeepers off the ball and not expect sanction.

I recall a situation where a goalkeeper who was holding the ball went out of his way inside his penalty area to charge an opponent knocking him to the ground. I cautioned the goalkeeper and awarded a penalty kick.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Bob,
Off the ball??? if it is not a fair charge designed to win the ball in a challenge no matter who it is likely a foul punished by a DFK or PK with cards very plausible as USB yellow or VC red send off!
A keeper, inside their own PA, has the 6 seconds of uncontested possession once their hands are on the ball CAN NOT be challenged fairly resulting in the same punishment but you can not even interfere with the keeper at all.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 35587
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 free 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. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>