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Question Number: 26812

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/22/2012

RE: Rec Soccer Other

Karen Gertz of Aurora, OH USA asks...

Playing girls soccer 4th through 8th grade. The goalie went to punt the ball and it did not go anywhere, the goalie picked up the ball right away. The goalie was inside the inner box on the goal. The reason I note that is because the opposing coach, who's goalie made the misstep, said that because the goalie was inside the inner box there was no penalty. The ref was going to give my team a free kick. I assume an incidental free kick, near there goal. We were losing 4 to 0. The ref then changed the call and the opposing team did a goal kick instead. What is the rule in this scenario? Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Karen
As the goalkeeper released the ball from her possession on a punt she was not entitled to touch the ball with her hands again until the ball was touched / played by an opponent. It made no difference where the goalkeeper touches the ball again with her hand/s inside the penalty area. The offence is punished by an indirect free kick from where the ball was touched with the one exception that if the ball was touched inside the goal area the IDFK is taken from the 6 yard line directly opposite where the offence took place.
Any chance that the goalkeeper was impeded / fouled on the punt by an opponent in which case it is an IDFK / DFK to the defending team from where the offence took place against the goalkeeper?
If not I suspect that the referee may have thought that the original call was harsh and then reconsidered the call. Restarting with a goal kick was incorrect in the rules. It was either a free kick or a dropped ball if the call was made in error.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

The goal area is the smaller rectangle within the penalty area. Generally, in this situation, the referee can take age and skill level into account, and perhaps term what happened as trifling, and allow play to continue. Since the referee determined the keeper used her hands after releasing the ball into play, the only possible restart is an indirect free kick from where the ball was touched, unless it was within the goal area, in which case the ball comes to the top of the goal area closest to where the incident happened.

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