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Question Number: 20948

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/8/2009

RE: Competitive Under 16

Rob Johnson of Folsom, CA United States asks...

During a tournament game, our player kicked the ball to the opposing goalie, who was outside the 18-yard box. The goalie dribbled the ball back into the 18-yard box and picked the ball up. In effect, she passed the ball to herself and then handled it. There was no whistle, and several parents expressed their surprise.

Is this permitted?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

That is permitted. It is only illegal when your own player deliberately kicks the ball to your goalkeeper.

Some indoor facilities have local rules prohibiting it.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

If I understand your scenario correctly, your team A kicked the ball to the opposing Team B goalkeeper. Team B GK collected the ball with her feet outside of her own penalty area, dribbled it into her penalty area and picked it up in her hands.

This is allowed. It is normal and is part of the game.

It is only when a player on a team deliberately kicks the ball (using the foot) to a place where their OWN goalkeeper can reach it (even outside the penalty area, and dribbled back in) that the goalkeeper is prevented from picking it up with the hands. Not true with the opposing goalkeeper...

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

The only time a keeper is prohibited from using her hands is if a team mate deliberately kicks the ball to her [or to where she can play it]. The situation described is an opponent kicked the ball to her. No sweat.

There are three other times the keeper can't use her hands but those aren't germane to this question. Remember several parents being surprised does not foul play make...


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Gotta love parents!! As a former soccer dad I can safely say that less than 5% of parents have any idea what the Laws Of The Game say about any rule. Please don't take this the wrong way. Most of us were not raised on soccer and know little if anything as to the rules. I am very happy you took the time to contact us with your question. The keeper is always free to handle any ball inside her own penalty area if she received the ball from an opponent, even if she received it outside the penalty area. Please continue to utilize our site for any questions you may have!

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