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Question Number: 17915

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/14/2007

RE: ANY Under 19

Zach Pendt of Bremerton, WA USA asks...

A shot is taken by team A. It is a high shot that might be going over the cross bar but nobody can tell including Team B's goalkeeper. Because of this, team B's goalkeeper jumps up, grabs the crossbar and pulls it down to block the ball. What do you do? Is there anywhere in the Advice to Referees or Laws of the game or somewhere else that I can find the "by the book" anwser???

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Zach here is the best I can do for you regarding a "by the book" answer.

"Soccer Judge" by Stanley F. Lover copyright 1980 was released as an official publication of USSF titled "The Illustrated Soccer Quiz Book" in 1983. Library of Congress 82-62696.

In that book appears question 29. The ball is entering the goal but the goalkeeper pulls the crossbar down so that the ball sails over it. What is the correct action?

A goal cannot be allowed but the goalkeeper should be cautioned for ungentlemanly conduct and an indirect free-kick awarded to the opponents.


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Answer provided by Referee Gil Weber

I respectfully disagree with and update the circa 1983 answer cited by referee Fleischer. Under the current application of the Laws any player, GK or field player, who pulls down the crossbar and prevents what the referee feels would have been a goal should be sent off for DOGSO (SO5 -- committing an offense punishable by a free kick). Once the crossbar is replaced the game is restarted with an IFK to the opponents from the six yard line. There was no foul punishable by a DFK, so no PK can result.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

The "by the book" answer you seek can be found at the official USSF Q&A site March 2007. The keeper is cautioned for unsporting behavior and sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity by committing an offence punishable by a free kick (SO5). Were the player that did this an outfield player he would likewise be sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity but this time for denying a goal by deliberately handling the ball(SO4). The crossbar is an extension of the player's hand. The crossbar is also the extension of the keeper's hand but the keeper may not be sent off for deliberately handling the ball inside his own penalty area.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

As of 26 Nov 2007 this is US Soccer's official word on the subject. Pulling down the crossbar is unsporting and therefore a cautionable offence. Once that is established by cautioning the player and showing him the yellow card the restart of play, an indirect free kick, is established. At that point in time the unsporting player who has committed an offence punishable by a free kick is sent-off for denying a goal or a goal scoring opportunity by an offence punishable by a free kick.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 17915
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 17935

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