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Question Number: 21609

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/2/2009

RE: Traveling competitive Under 14

Jim Garrett of Rochester, MN USA asks...

Refresh my memory.

If the Keeper catches a ball and carries it to the top of the box to punt it away, at what point (foot touching the line, toes over the line, or foot entirely beyond the line) does this become a handball outside of the box by the Keeper resulting in a penalty.


Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

That would be none of the above, including a penalty. It matters not where the feet,toes,knees,head, torso etc are. Only 2 things matter 1, where is the ball? And 2, where are the hands? The keeper may release the ball from his hands before the ball crosses the penalty area boundary line and kick it 2 yards outside the line and there would be no infraction. If the keeper on a punt carries all of the ball over all of the boundary line he has technically committed an infraction. However, Law 5 gives the referee the authority to ignore infractions that are trifling in nature,have no bearing on the game, and not punish them. Most referees would simply have a word with the keeper to be more careful next time. In no case,never, ever would a penalty kick be awarded for ANY keeper handling infraction. If found to be deliberately handling the ball, the ball, by definition, would have to be OUTSIDE the keeper's penalty area so there could only be a direct free kick awarded. And for any keeper handling violation inside his penalty area, the punishment is always an indirect free kick, never a penalty kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

None of the solutions you have suggested pass the test.

The goalkeeper is guilty of deliberately handling the ball when the entire ball is being deliberately held outside the goalkeeper's penalty area. The position of the goalkeepers feet do not matter.

Also, please remember that this offense is punished with a direct free kick from the spot of the infringement. A penalty kick is never given for the goalkeeper handling the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

This is one of many things where people will often call for a free kick, but a foul has very rarely occurred. Often the keeper will release the ball on the line, but the momentum of the keeper and ball means he can be a yard or two out of the box by the time he kicks it. There is nothing wrong with this; as long as he does not handle the ball outside the box, no foul has occurred.

Also, unless you can clearly see that it has been handled outside the box, then you shouldn't be stopping play - the keeper should have the benefit of the doubt here.

And as my colleagues have said, the offence is 'deliberately handles the ball', and the direct free kick is awarded from where the offence occurred - just outside the penalty area.

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

It matters not where the body is. Only the ball. The AR should only be watching to see if the ball is being carried COMPLETELY over the PA line before they consider informing the referee that they have seen an infringement of the LOTG which occurred out of sight of the referee. If the ball does indeed get carried over the line, it is more appropriate for the AR to simply holler out to the keeper a warning about keeping watch for where they are going, rather than raising a flag to get the referee's attention.

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Answer provided by Referee Nathan Lacy

BALL completely over the line while being HELD in the hands of the keeper. All the best,

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