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Question Number: 24887

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 5/6/2011

RE: Rec Under 16

Brant Kelly of High Point, NC USA asks...

Goalie runs out to cover a ball near the box line. He slides to cover the ball and in the process his body leaves the penalty box but the ball never leaves the box. Goalie makes sure the ball never leaves the box while he is standing up.
Foul or not - if so what is the foul and what is the penalty.

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

If the ball remains inside the penalty area, even if just touching the boundary line, the keeper may touch it with his hands and control it. There has been no infraction with what you describe. Doesn't matter were the keeper's feet or body are, just the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

No foul. The goalkeeper is entitled to handle the ball while it is inside the penalty area, which happened here. It doesn't matter where the rest of his body is, only where the ball is. And if any tiny sliver of the ball is eclipsing the line, it is considered to be inside the penalty area.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brant
This cannot be deliberate handling as the goalkeeper is legally allowed to handle the ball inside his penalty area. As the ball has not left the penalty area there is no offence. Also the penalty area line is part of the penalty area so all of the ball must be fully over the line to be outside the area.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

So long as any part of the ball is over any part of the penalty area line, the keeper may handle the ball. The location of the rest of the keeper's body is irrelevant.

In referee classes, we sometimes use a slide showing a keeper on the ground entirely outside the penalty area, reaching back with one arm, and putting one hand on a ball that is sitting on the line. Lawful action.

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