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Question Number: 29569

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/30/2015

RE: interscholastic High School

John Cardoza of Masdrid, New York U.S.A. asks...

Fuulback A3 makes a pass to teammate A4.
Keeper A1 'handles' the ball to avoid the
pass from being intercepted by opponent

Pass back violaton??

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

In real life, the referee doesn't know that A3 is passing to A4 (unless he shouts, 'A4 here is a pass').
The referee sees A3 kick the ball.

If the ball was kicked directly, the keeper may not touch it with the hands.
If the ball was miss kicked, the keeper may touch the ball.

Why would A3 kick the ball directly toward an opponent? In my game, I'm likely to conclude it was a miss kick.

Pass back violations are rare. The referee doesn't need to go looking for one.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
How does the referee know that the deliberate kick by A3 was intended for A4 and not the goalkeeper. If the kick was misdirected then the referee can conclude that it was not deliberate and allow play to continue.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi John,

I think the issue is conflicted because referees often try to ascertain the REASON the deliberate kick was made. If ITOOTR it WAS NOT an intentionally kicked ball directed solely ...TO .. the keeper but say to a teammate or to clearance into touch or a misdirected effort there is this concept although the keeper used his hands on the deliberately kicked ball, the referee has resolved this was not what the kicker intended, but simply a keeper's decision to retrieve a... loose ball... ahead of the opposition.No call is required because the law was not created to regulate this type of handling only if that deliberate kick was an intended pass to the keeper is there reason in law to see it as an INDFK.

The written portion of law states if the ball is deliberately kicked by a team mate TO the keeper, the keeper is NOT permitted the use of his hands.
A simple concept.
If the ball is being pursued it STILL does not permit the keeper to use the hands.
In fact I argue the REASON for the restriction is in fact to promote more attacking options in as much as it was to stop time wasting. If the keeper IS permitted use of his hands inside his own PA of course the opposition can no longer challenge and must wait for the 6 seconds until released. Not a lot of usable time but why is everyone so inclined to poo poo the idea as a trifling or non existent concern is a mystery to me?

It is NOT illegal to kick the ball to your keeper only a restriction in what he can do. To assume the keeper is NOT the intended recipient of the ball in my opinion is a false dichotomy since we do not look at intentions only judge deliberate actions.

I personally support the attacking concept that non use of his hands to play a ball kicked towards him by a team mate is a superior advancement and should in fact be extended to any type of pass. Having keepers forced to kick a ball away being unsure is far more attacking minded then permitting a grab to stop play unnecessarily. That is only a suggestion to the powers that be, it is NOT stated in law anywhere, just to be clear.

INTENTIONS are NOT the same as deliberate actions! You can deliberately choose to try or do something and have it not be what you intended. Just look at the ridiculous excuses for the foul of... deliberately handles the ball... being called internationally to figure that out! Or how offside is currently being called !

There is no foul of pass back , there is simply an illegal handling restriction (non use of the hands) if a ball is deliberately kicked ball from a team mate to the keeper or a throw in from a team mate goes directly to the keeper. If an opponent is in pursuit I am MUCH less inclined to see this as trifling where I might if it appeared as an obvious misdirected almost deflection like redirect with no opponent disadvantaged.

Whether or not ITOOTR he sees it as an INDFK violation or not the best you hope for he applies this view equally to either team. I do understand my take is harsher than many.

In a recent match the thrower fired a hard throw towards his teammate at the edge of his PA who was unprepared and the ball skipped by him so an opponent in pursuit was challenged by the keeper for that loose ball.
As soon as the keeper's hands touched the ball I whistled for an INDFK citing the ball was received directly from the team mates throw in.
The argument?
The defender was not trying to do that only the missed intervention of the other teammate the ball was actually destined for created the need to make a save!
No doubt 100% true however, WHY is that the fault of the opposition who were denied their right to challenge a loose ball the laws of the game specifically say cannot be touched with the hands of the keeper? You do not think their knowledge the keeper MUST kick it versus pick it up has anything to do with their pursuit? Will defenders try to pretend to play a ball but let it bounce or roll by so the keeper can punt that ball out safely? You bet they will if they can lay claim to it was not their intention but it was a good idea and it WHY we do not judge intent. We do not read minds nor should we have to. In my opinion the LOTG on this matter are quite clear. I wish they were even more strict! I point out the game should NOT reward mistakes. I also point out some referees would not be so harsh as I if they saw it as a mistake!

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi John,
ITOOTR the great responsibility exercised by a referee using their discretionary powers to evaluate the need to apply the letter of the law but perhaps knowing the spirit of that law is not necessarily in sync.
The illegal handing restrictions, once activated in the opinion of the referee, prevent the keeper from using their hands. In the bevy of answers from the panel members you will note that this activation process is not as clear as one might hope for. It is possible for one referee not to see what another sees as an infringement. I place this blame on those that write the LOTG and then try to alter its meaning to fit a generalized concept because those that read it interpret it as written perhaps not as those who formulated it intended. One should try to officiate with as little interference as possible but what is or what is not fair as a judgement decision by a referee is governed by their integrity and current knowledge applied EQUALLY to both teams!


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