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Question Number: 21667

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/19/2009

RE: High School

Peter Snell of south salem, new york usa asks...

Goalkeeper is standing on the top of the penalty box on the line. Opposing player takes a shot. Goalkeeper with his arms out stretched, catches the ball. Ball never was in penalty area. Is this a handball by goalkeeper.

Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

Not only is it handling, it's a sending off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity by handling.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I agree, it's definitely deliberate handling. The location of the ball is what is important, not the goalkeeper's feet.

If the ball had a reasonable chance of entering the goal except for the handling, it would be denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity as well.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Let's see. Both HS and USSF/FIFA are the same when it comes to where the goalkeeper can legally handle the ball, and that is ONLY when the ball (or some part of it) is within the penalty area.

In your scenario, where is the ball? Outside the penalty area, ergo, it is a deliberately handled ball. Tweet.

NFHS rules in 12.8.3.d.1 clearly says 'a player anywhere on the field (other than a goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area) who deliberately handles a ball to prevent it from going into the goal;' is disqualified (red card).

The statement 'the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area' means when the keeper is in possession of a ball that is located in the penalty area, and does not mean a keeper can stretch his arms out of the PA and argue he was 'mostly' in the PA.

The part of the keeper that matters is the part holding the ball. If the part holding the ball is outside of the PA, we have a DFK offense and a sending off to tend to. Next time, maybe the keeper will back up a bit first?

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

If the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball outside of his own penalty area, then a direct free kick will be awarded against his team from where the offence occurred - ie just outside the box, if he handled it just outside.

If the shot is on target, is going to make the distance and there's no more than 1 other defender in a position to block the shot then there is an obvious goalscoring opportunity, and the keeper should be sent off.

It can be difficult for the referee to tell if a shot is going to hit the net, especially from that distance. From one angle it may look like the shot will go wide or high, from another it may look on target. The referee can only use his best judgement - if he thinks the ball is going to miss the net, then he cannot send the keeper off.

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