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Question Number: 22536

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/17/2009

RE: REC Adult

Donald Driscoll of Vancouver, WA USA asks...

If a goalie steps outside of the box when kicking the ball is it an in-direct kick from the top of the arc for the other team or if not what is the correct call?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

1. If it is a foul, it can only be the foul of deliberate handling of the ball, which is a direct free kick.

2. The location of the goalkeeper's feet and body is irrelevant to the question. It is the location of the ball = = is all of the ball outside all of the penalty area line. The keeper may handle the ball if any part of the ball is within the penalty area.

3. During a normal punt, the keeper lets go of the ball well before it is kicked, and the keeper's momentum carries her outside the penalty area. It is often doubtful that the keeper released the ball when the ball was entirely out of the line. Referees should not call doubtful infringments.

4. Even if we have precise measurement of the location of the ball, during the normal punt the location of the release of the ball is trifling = = it has no real effect on play. The ball may carry 6 inches further, but that distance rarely has any true affect on opponents. Moreover, most punts end in 50/50 balls in the middle of the field. So, most of the time even if there is an infringment on a punt, it is trifling. Refrees should not call trifling infringements.

5. An effective way to deal with the problem is to warn the keeper: 'keeper watch your line.' This lets everyone know that you've seen it, serves as a reminder to the keeper not to try your patience. If the infringement is persistent, the players will accept that you warned the keeper, and the keeper deserves to be punished.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Excellent detailed answer by Referee Wickham. I would reiterate the points that it needs to be very blatant to call the infraction and always with the help of neutral assistant referees. Any deliberate handling of the ball other than the goalkeeper inside the penalty area is always a direct free kick.
I recall in an English PL game an assistant referee called this handling infraction, I believe in an Arsenal game and the action replay with freeze frame showed that the goalkeeper released the ball about a yard inside the penalty area and kicked it some I+ yard outside. The ball was only kicked by the goalkeeper outside the PA and therfore it was not deliberate handling. Red face and a ticking off by the match observer for getting it wrong.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

The question does not provide sufficient information to answer it.

1. Does the goalkeeper carry the ball wholly outside the penalty area, or does his foot alone exit the area?

If the keeper carries the ball out of the box, then it must be a direct free kick from the location where the ball was handled outside the area. If he releases the ball inside the box or the ball stays in the box and only his foot exits the box then no foul has been committed.

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