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Question Number: 31362

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/18/2017

RE: Select Adult

Tony of Whitehorse, Yukon Canada asks...

What constitutes possession by a goal keeper? If a goalie has his hand(s) on the ball securing it to the ground, is this possession?

So, if a goalie makes a save and while lying on the ground secures the ball between hand(s) and ground is this possession?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tony
This is what the Laws state and I quote
** A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when:
# the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if the ball rebounds accidentally from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save
# holding the ball in the outstretched open hand
# bouncing it on the ground or throwing it in the air**
So in your example when the goalkeeper has his hand on top of the ball when it is on the ground that is deemed to be possession and he cannot be challenged for the ball

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Tony,
once a keeper has possession the opponent must attempt to bail . My colleague describes possession as it is presented within the context of the LOTG but players need to realize that keepers are at risk because of their RIGHT to use their hands. Referees must balance the safety with the right to score a goal. Where there are issues is the keeper will dive into the feet of an attacker to use their hands. The attacker can not launch himself with extended feet into the body of the keeper but in chasing down a loose ball rolling out in front it is not a stretch to lunge to toe poke or kick it it into the goal before the keeper arrives. That said if the keeper DOES get a hand to the ball in trapping it on the ground ahead of the foot arriving there is NO LEGAL GOAL It is at minimum an INDFK out and possibly depending on the circumstances even cardable as reckless or excessive. We understand that on a loose ball where both teams have a shot at getting to it there wil the odd time it really is a 50/50 but truthfully it is almost always 51/49 at minimum and 60/40 most of the time!

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