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Question Number: 2888

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: Competitive Under 12

Paul Justison of Oakland, CA USA asks...

Unintentional Handball?..An unguarded attacker was coming down the right side of the field and approaching the penalty area, when a defender came out to challenge her. When the defender was outside the penalty area and within 2 to 3 yards of the attacker, the attacker fired a hard and high point blank shot. The defender raised her hands towards her face and recoiled backwards in anticipation and the shot ricocheted off of her right elbow...At this age level and separately at the higher levels would this be intentional or unintentional handball? ..In discussing this with referees after the game, some thought that since the defender gained an advantage it was a clear violation, but I thought advantage had nothing to do with handball?

Answer provided by Referee burbidge

It really does depend on the situation. In the opinion of the referee, if the hand ball contact was done in self defence, then it would not be appropriate to call a foul as there was no intent on the part of the player. Frequently, spectators clamour for a handball to be given when there was no intent. To remedy this problem of protest at a non-call, a yell of "No intent - play on!!" can be useful. HOpe this is of assistance.

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Answer provided by Referee Dawson

Hi Paul, are recieving good advice from my colleague. If you think about the movement of the arms in a protective mode they do not move towards the ball they are inward motions to the affected area generally placed over the face, breast or crotch. It is important that the arms remain stationary and do not ward the shot away with motion towards the ball. This likely will draw the call of a handball. Cheers

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