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Question Number: 31484

League Specific 4/25/2017

RE: Rec Under 11

Joey Ingle of Tupelo, MS United States asks...

My questions concerns the keepers and their possesion on the new build out line rule. When does the keeper loose his/her possession of the ball? Here's what we debated over at a recent tournament, we know the keeper can roll, throw or kick the ball (from the ground) after gaining possession, and as soon as the keeper plays the ball by either rolling, throwing or kicking it the attacking team can go after the ball from behind the build out line. There was one keeper that when he gained possession of the ball he would run up to the top of the penalty box and place the ball on the ground (palm on top of the ball and slam it down to the ground) with no roll, no throw and no kicking. He then would proceed to kick the ball from its stationary position (similar to a goal kick). Some refs thought he looses possession when he slammed it to the ground and allow the attacking team to attack. The TD said no, he still possesses the ball until he puts it in play by either rolling, throwing or kicking it. So we had to tell the attacking team to stay behing the build out line until the keeper kicked the ball into play after palcing (slamming) it to the ground. What's your opinion?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Joey
Thanks for the question.
The build out line is used to promote playing the ball out of the back in an unpressured setting.
Now my understanding of the USSF position is as follows
** Build Out Line
The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting
When the goalkeeper has the ball, either during play (from the opponent) or from a goal kick, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play
Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punting is not allowed)
After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal
If a goalkeeper punts the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense
If the punt occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred
The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called
Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line
Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line**

So while the panel is well versed in the Laws of the Game we are somewhat handicapped by the fact that alterations to underage soccer are not consistently applied in every area or location. The guidelines are but recommendations not actually established under the Laws. The development idea of trying to improve success of those in distributing the ball in an unpressured setting has merit in that it promotes playing the ball out from the back which mimics the game at higher levels. If the tournament director wants it done in a certain way then so be it just that he must ensure that everyone is on message.
So the important part for me is consistency in its implemtation in all games in the tournament and uniformly enforced by all referees on the day.
My view of your example is that the putting in play can only happen with a kick in the instance you describe and that the kick should happen as soon as all the attackers have moved OUTSIDE the build out line. When that happens there should be no delay in the goalkeeper kicking the ball into play which means that the attackers can come forward from outside the build out line. The ball is in play the moment it is kicked which should equate to all attackers being outside the build out line.
Put it another way. Attackers inside the build out line cannot challenge for the ball until they have moved outside the build out line first. I suspect that the GK has been coached to take advantage of the no challenge rule from inside the build out line and that by placing the ball on the ground he is prepared for a timely kick once all attacking players have exited the area. A referee could not countenance though a situation where the GK was tardy in the kick.
Here is a video on the subject

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