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Question Number: 29896

Law 3 - Number of Players 11/7/2015

RE: Competive Adult

Carol of Springfield, MO United States asks...

Is it permissible for the goalie to move forward out of the box and participate in play such as his team trying to score on a corner kick?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Carol,
absolutely permissible. The keeper is but 1 of 11 players, he is, however, the only one permitted the use of his hands inside his own penalty area. Outside his own PA he is subject to every single LOTG his team mates are subjected too including handling the ball deliberately! Thus he generally stays back protecting his goal. Yet aggressive instincts, used to roll out an attack, perhaps generate some emotion for his team to spark better play or effort. I have seen keepers dribble up field to draw opponents to them and make long crosses or passes to spring a team mate free or inspire a team after he had made a splendid save or seeking a quick counter attack.

Tactically, a keeper could move up into the opposing penalty area to participate in a comer or free kick as often the keeper is one of the tallest of players and seek to score particularly if his team is behind and a goal might be the difference in them advancing . Of course for fun to if his team is well ahead but that could be viewed as a trifle disrespectful.
It is risky but there are times when the rewards are worth such a risk!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi carol
The goalkeeper is the same as any other player on the field of play with the one exception that she can use her hands inside the penalty area. To make that distinction the goalkeeper wears a distinctive jersey. So the goalkeeper could play outfield for all of the game if she so wishes. If rarely if ever happens yet there is no reasons for it not to other than it is unwise and risky tactics unless of course it is the last few seconds in the game and the team is behind by a goal.
Have a look at this character Rene Higuita a Columbian goalkeeper in the 90s
Higuita was known for his eccentric playing style, taking unnecessary risks and actively trying to play outfield. He was also prone to blunders, and it was a mistake by him that knocked Colombia out of the 1990 World Cup, when he dithered with the ball at his feet enabling Cameroon striker Roger Milla to dispossess him and score, putting Cameroon through to the quarter-finals. See 6.10 on the video.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The goalkeeper must do only one thing different from the other players - wear the funny Spiderman shirt so we know who is the keeper. She can play just like any of the other players.

Now the keeper does have superpowers that the other players do not, primarily the ability to handle the ball in the penalty area. But that doesn't limit her other powers.

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