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Question Number: 28847

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/13/2014

RE: Rec High School

SocDefendcer of Portland, OR U.S.A. asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28104

Why is it that the goalie cannot pick up the ball if it is on the line when a team mate kicks it to them. The answer stated the goalie could pick it up as long as an opponent kicked it.

Also can a goalie who is out of the box kick it into the box and then pick up the ball as long as both of his feet are in the box?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi SocDefencer, and thanks for your question.

The laws state that the goalkeeper cannot handle the ball if it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate. The reason for this law is that without this law, teams would simply be able to run down the clock by kicking it to the keeper all the time.

Kick it to the keeper, he holds it for 6 seconds, he throws it to a teammate, kicks it back, holds it for 6 seconds, and repeat.

So, even if it was outside the penalty area, if it was kicked to him by a teammate he can't take it back into the area to handle. Bear in mind that on the penalty area line counts as inside the area.

If the ball hasn't been deliberately kicked to the keeper by a teammate, then the keeper is allowed to trap the ball outside the penalty area (say, with his feet), bring it inside and pick it up. The reason this is allowed is because there's no particular issue with wasting time, as he's only able to handle it for one instance of 6 seconds.

I'll also point out that the position of the feet when he's handling the ball is irrelevant; all that matters is the position of the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

There are four INDFK offences that restrict the keeper's rights to be able to use his hands inside his own penalty area.
The deliberate kick of the ball by a team mate to the keeper ( a certain type of a pass back) is one of those four offences where a keeper CAN NOT use his hands! That particular type of pass only restricts the use of the keeper's hands. The keeper can still use his feet or any other body part.
If the ball is passed back to him in ANY other manner other than a throw in from a team mate or an opponent including a deliberate kick then he CAN use his hands.

The location of the keeper's feet are not considered important! It is the location of the ball that determines if the handling is legal or not. IF the ball is considered inside the penalty area the keeper can legally use his hands reaching back inside. Remember the boundary lines that surround the penalty area are considered as PART of the penalty area which means ANY portion of the ball that is in contact with the boundary lines that ball is INSIIDE the area EVEN if the part of the ball the keeper touched, was not.

Imagine the keeper lying on his belly, COMPLETELY outside the penalty area his feet pointing to the centre midfield his arms outstretched with his fingers resting on the outer edge of the ball pinning it to the ground, that ball barely touching the outer edge of the penalty area boundary line. That is COMPLETELY legal and considered as uncontestable possession for the 6 seconds as allowed in law.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The laws of the game before 1992 permitted the keeper to handle the ball. This led to some very boring games when the defender kicked the ball to the keeper, who held it, and then distributed the ball to the defender who then kicked the ball to the keeper.

The law changes were designed to eliminate this method of wasting time and ensure the opponents had a fair opportunity to challenge for the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The answer to the first part of your question is because the Rules do not allow it. The reason the rule exists is that teams were abusing the deliberate kick to the goalkeeper situations by constant kicks to the goalkeeper who when challenged picked the ball up every single time. Some games had multiple repetitions of this near the end of the game which frustrated opponents and made for a very boring end.
As regards the second part of your question the answer is dependant on the position of the ball not the goalkeepers position. If all or part of the ball is inside the penalty area which includes the line the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands provided the ball has not been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team mate. If it has been deliberately kicked by a team mate to the goalkeeper then the GK may not touch the ball with his hands even after dribbling the ball inside or outside the area. Should he do so it is an IDFK from where the GK touched it with his hands inside the penalty area.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Soccer fan,

High school and College Soccer games are governed by rules not laws.

The rules covering the goalkeeper's receiving the ball from a teammate are found on page 55 and 56 of the NFHS 2014-15 Rules Book and they are:

Rule 12-7-3: On any occasion when a player deliberately kicks the ball to his/her own goalkeeper, the goalkeeper is not permitted to touch it with his/her hands. Please note that the kick to the goalkeeper has to be deliberate, and this rule was made to take away the kick to the keeper who would then punt it as an offense option and keep the defense from delaying the game..

Rule 12-7-4: A goalkeeper shall not touch the ball with his/her hands when receiving it directly from a throw-in by a teammate. Again the option of a punt by the goalkeeper was taken away and the opportunity for the defense to delay the game was reduced.

There is a note to these rules that you may not be aware of. It states: Players may not use trickery to circumvent the above rules. Example: Players may not kick the ball with their feet to their own head, chest, or knee and then pass it on to their goalkeeper who touches it with the hand.

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