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Question Number: 28790

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/26/2014

RE: Intermediate Under 12

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28781

Just to be clear on 'intent'.
1. If the GK catches the ball inside the 18, loses control immediately & the ball hits the ground, she can pick it up inside the penalty area, whether or not she dribbles first. This is because she never had clear control & the 6 seconds doesn't start until she picks it up, right?

2. If the GK catches the ball inside the 18, doesn't bounce it, but drops it while running (e.g. slippery ball from rain) , can she pick it up immediately, if it's inside the penalty area or is this different because she had control at one point?

3. In the second scenario, could she start to dribble after dropping it, change her mind because she's about to be challenged, & pick it up (inside the penalty area, of course)?

Thanks in advance,

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil,
just to be clear we really do not judge intent we look at the action itself and determine if it was or was not control or a parry or a slip and uncontrolled in OUR opinion.
(1) agree as long as the referee does not consider it a parry
(2) could allow but if there are opponents who are challenging for that free ball a referee might award an indfk depending on whether he considers that as a bounce gone astray rather than an actual release of possession, nothing in law differentiates giving up control voluntarily or involuntarily except when a save is being considered..
(3) doubtful simply because it likely appears to the referee it was released and is not free to be reacquired with the hands .

in the u little's we might be a bit more lenient in our parameters but we are not mind readers we look only at the actions form our own opinion of the event and act accordingly

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Control / possession and time are the key determinants .
I. If the drop / release is part of the save then there is no offence in a pick up. It happens quite a lot. Now if say the goalkeeper saves and then a few seconds later drops the ball that is going to be seen as release of possession.
2. Not an easy one as it will be seen as release. I have in the past given goalkeepers the benefit of the bouncing concession on a genuine slip with immediate pick up yet I was questioned strongly by the opponents. Good goalkeepers will not take the risk and they will kick the ball away.
3. I would not allow this to happen. Whatever about recovering a slip as a bounce once the goalkeeper uses a foot then the ball may not be touched by the hands for a 2nd time.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


At U-12, referees (or at least this referee) should be a touch more lenient as the kids are still learning the game. So with that as a reference, I will answer your question from the perspective of myself on a U-12 game.

1) At any level, as long as the referee does not view this as a parry, this is routine and acceptable. I can't envision a scenario where I would blow the whistle for this at U-12

2) At U-12, I likely wouldn't make too much of a fuss if the ball slipped out of the GK's hand and they picked it up. That said, as the skill and age increases, this becomes unacceptable. As Ref McHugh points out, we don't look at intent for releasing the ball. Just whether or not the GK had possession. In this case, the keeper did so the ball should remain on the ground.

3) No. Even at U-12 this would not be acceptable. In number two above, I can see an accident if the ball slips and the GK picks it back up immediately; but this becomes indefensible if the keeper then uses the 'accident' as a major advantage.

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