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Question Number: 30768

League Specific 9/15/2016

RE: Competitive Under 9

Henry Gray of Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA United States asks...

regarding new build out line guidelines from US Soccer for 7v7 games for birth year 2008 ... when goalie picks up ball from flow of play, is he required to hold on to the ball until all offensive players have cleared out past the build out line? or can he play it out before all offensive players have cleared? if he is 'allowed' to play it out before offensive players have cleared, then can those offensive players immediately challenge from wherever they were when goalie played ball OR do these offensive players have to clear the build out area before challenging?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

HI Henry
Yes the Goalkeeper must hold the ball until all attacking players have retreated beyond the Build Up line. Whether that is uniformly enforced or not is a matter for individual Leagues and it's referees. uS Soccer states that once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball to a teammate. Punting the ball is not allowed as this would defeat the purpose of the build out line and reduces the opportunity to play out of the back in an unpressured setting. After the ball is put into play, the opposing team can then cross the build out line and play can resume as normal.
The purpose of the rule is to encourage play from the back. It probably in the short term eliminates speed and initiative such as quick breaks yet that will come in the future.

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