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Question Number: 22715

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/11/2010

RE: Pro Adult

Roy Gomes of Toronto, Ontario Canada asks...

The goalie touches the ball with his hands
(does not grab it) inside the area then
carries it with is feet outside the area
changes his mind and brings it back inside
the area, again with his feet, then picks it up with his hand. Is this an infringement of the laws ?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

You say touch?
In what manner?

If it was a save and he knocked the ball down as in a rebound then the action you ask is permitted and no infringement! The ball was never controlled or possessed via the hands and thus the keeper is still able to use his 6 seconds of uncontested possession

If it was a parry - in the opinion of the referee the ball was easily catchable - then the possibility will exist he considers this ball as a controlled ball THEN released within the 6 seconds. If this opinion is held then the action you ask is NOT permitted and Yes it is an infringment!

Law 12 Fouls and Misconduct
Indirect Free Kick
An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits the following offence:

? touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player

When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot be challenged by an opponent.

A goalkeeper is not permitted to touch the ball with his hand inside his own penalty area in the following circumstances:
? if he handles the ball again after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player:

? the goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball by touching it with any part of his hands or arms except if the ball rebounds accidentally from him, for example, after he has made a save
? possession of the ball includes the goalkeeper deliberately parrying the ball


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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham


The referee needs to decide if the initial touch constituted 'possession and control' of the ball. If so, the keeper cannot again touch the ball until it has touched another player. A deflection by the keeper off a hard shot ordinarily would not be 'possession and control;' catching the ball and dropping it to the ground would.

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

Our favorite answer to nearly every scenario question posed: 'it depends.'

It depends on whether or not the goal keeper controlled the ball to the ground via a parry, or if they simple knocked the ball down in attempt to make a save from a shot on goal. The answer to the 'how' will then guide how we answer this question.

If the keeper parried the ball, it is considered control. And regardless of whether or not the keeper took it out of the PA using their feet and brought the ball back into the PA, the keeper may NOT pick up the ball again until it has been touched by another player and not deliberately kicked back to them by a teammate.

If the keeper made a save and essentially deflected it down, then took the ball out of the PA, and subsequently brought it back into the PA, they CAN play the ball using their hands.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

My Referee colleagues have explained the relevant Law on this. You state that it is Pro Adult. Professional goalkeepers are very careful about touching the ball with the hands in these situations and most will err on the side of caution and not use the hands but use the chest, foot etc to control the ball particularly when they intend to dribble the ball so that no violation of Law 12 can be even considered.

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