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Question Number: 29104

Law 18 - Common Sense 1/15/2015

RE: Rec Adult

Stephen Quinn of Perth, WA Australia asks...

This happened to me about a year ago but it has bugged me so much that I'd like to get your opinion.

In one ladies' game I refereed I gave a penalty when the goalkeeper caught the ball, came out to the edge of the penalty area, then handed to ball to a defender who promptly drop kicked it. She claimed that she had hurt her leg and could not drop kick herself. The team were very surprised and annoyed when I gave a penalty. Strange, but that is not my question.

The penalty was taken, and fairly saved by the goalkeeper. As she got to her feet holding the ball, two defenders rushed up throwing their arms around her and hugging her in delight. In the course of which, their upper arms brushed against the ball she was holding to her chest.

My question is, should I give another penalty for this, or ignore it in view of it being not deliberate and happening in the middle of their celebrating her (excellent) save? Is it a serious offence or trifling?

I gave the penalty...

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Stephen
The first question that springs to mind is did the defender handle the ball to drop kick it?? If the goalkeeper came out of the penalty area with the ball only then it was a direct free kick on the edge of the penalty area. It would be extremely strange for a GK to hand a ball to a team mate who took the ball in hand inside the penalty area to drop kick it!!
On the second one I would certainly not have given a penalty as the ball was in the goalkeepers grasp so any touch of the ball by the arm of a team mate had to be inadvertent and certainly not deliberate. It would only be deliberate if the ball was about to fall out of the GKs grasp and a defender helped her hold on to the ball.
I would say based on those two decision you werent flavour of the month or got added to the holiday card list

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Stephen,

What a strange incident!
If the keeper throws or hands the ball to a defender who catches the ball, this is a penalty. There's absolutely nothing to question here - it blows my mind that the players can argue it shouldn't be a penalty!
If the goalkeeper couldn't take the kick, she should know to get your attention. That doesn't give the team permission to get a defender to handle it - nor can you, as the referee, go back on the penalty decision if advised on this. Your decision is correct, assuming the defender deliberately handled the ball.
If, however, the keeper threw the ball so the defender could kick the ball without handling it, this is not a penalty - but it also means that the ball can be challenged (if done so safely), unlike a goalkeeper's punt.
As for the second scenario - while the defenders have deliberately handled the ball, as there is zero impact upon play this would be considered 'trifling', and you wouldn't penalise for this as it's completely inconsequential.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Stephen,
you have to wonder at the reasoning but in all fairness this sounds like a recreational fun type match so I am inclined to cut a great deal of slack in such incidents. True by the LOTG the keeper unwisely created a PK foul by handing the ball to her team mate who I suspect grabbed it before kicking it while inside the PA. Or did the keeper take the ball completely outside her PA? That would be a DFK by the way not a PK! Whether I would have dropped the ball and let such an incident slide by is debateable. The keeper should simply say hey ref I have a problem. The resulting PK or DFK however awkwardly arrived at is still their responsibility.

It would be harsh to say the least if you awarded a PK for hugging LOL . As long as the keeper is not handing the ball to each so she can hug another lol

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