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Question Number: 13843

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/19/2006

RE: rec--youth sports Under 11

B. Naranjo of Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan asks...

Isn't there a rule about the number of steps a goalie is allowed to take inside the goal box while holding the ball (after a save)? We just played a team whose goalie took a good stroll (10-15 steps) around the box, trying to find someone to throw/kick it to, and no one said anything.
I played soccer in high school and even ref'd one season (17 years ago), and I remember this being a rule, but now I can't find anything about it on the FIFA rules.
Am I just outdated? I need to know SOON, because my daughter is learning goalie and I don't want to teach her incorrectly. Thanks!

Answer provided by Referee Jeroen Krijvenaar

Hi, you are correct there used to be a 4 step rule , that allowed the goalie only 4 steps with the ball in his hand, Fifa changed these rules appr 6 years ago , no the goalie is allowed to do as many staps as he/she wants as long as he does not hold the ball in his hand more then 6 seconds. After these 6 seconds he has to drop the ball or kick it ith his feet, he is then no longer authorised to use his hands.


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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

It was 4 steps before the 6 second rule but the time of posession is flexable within reason. The concept is get the ball back into play. Once your daughter gets ball posession . To me that is standing up with control not laying on top after a save,. Just be sure she regains her feet in a reasonable time and the six second rule will go into effect when she is up to distriiubute the ball. Encourage her to get right out to the 18 yard boundry edge of the penalty area and take advantage of that distance when it is suitable. Cheers
4 things a keeper need be aware of

Indirect Free Kick

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:

takes more than six seconds while controlling the ball with his hands before releasing it from his possession (six second law)

touches the ball again with his hands after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player (two touch)

touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate (passback)

touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate (passback)

On passback keep in mind these four points

If an opponent last touches the ball it is ok to grab the ball.

If that pass is with any other part of the body by a teammate except the feet AGAIN it is ok to grab the ball

If the ball is off the foot of a teammate as in a deflection or miskick AGAIN it is ok to grab the ball. The only factor here is hopefully that is how the referee sees it as well.

LASTLY the passback INDFK handling restriction applies to balls that a keeper goes outside her area to retrieve as well as balls that come to her inside her area


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Used to be 4 steps. Now it's six seconds.

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

The LOTG changed on this one a number of years ago. The goal keeper now as a time constraint, rather than a movement constraint.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

No that rule was dropped a few years ago. Now keep has 6 seconds to release ball.

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