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Question Number: 31880

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/8/2017

RE: Adult

Carol Hibbert of Lake Worth, Florida United States asks...

Can a goalkeeper flip the ball in the air to avoid a tackle or collision with an opposing player? Is this a yellow card and a Indirect Free kick on the goalkeeper?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Carol,

I'm not entirely clear on what you mean. But if the goalkeeper has taken possession and somebody then chooses to charge him (say, a forward not pulling up their run and hitting the keeper late) then this would be a direct free kick - and likely to be a minimum caution if it's forceful enough to be considered reckless (red card if using excessive force).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Carol
A goalkeeper is like any other player with the one exception that she can use her hands inside the penalty area. There is one exception to the use of the hands inside the area in that the GK may not use the hands to touch the ball when it has been deliberately kicked or throw to her by a team mate.
Now if the GK has sufficient skill to flip the ball up to avoid a challenge then there is nothing wrong with that. An outfield player can do it and so can a GK.
It is significantly more likely that the challenging player is guilty of a foul as the flip up means that the tackler is late to the ball particularly if there is going to be a collision.
If the GK is entitled to catch the flip up in that the ball has originally come from a play by an opponent or in a manner that allows the GK to use her hands then the tackler has to play the ball. Avoiding a collision from an opponent may suggest that the tackler is at least careless and perhaps reckless which is a foul against the tackler. If it is reckless it is also a caution.
Now having said all that I do not think it is wise flipping the ball up particularly if the hands cannot be used. It is an unusual tactic rarely seen by referees involving goalkeepers.
By the way a goalkeeper cannot be cautioned for using the hands inside the penalty area so even a flip up from a deliberate kick by a team mate to the goalkeeper can only results in an IDFK only.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Carol,
A keeper can do anything a player can with the added bonus of being able to often use his hands legally. I am trying to grasp your situation and why you went with a caution ?
It is possible after flicking the ball up? ( I hope that is what you mean by flip?)an INDFK if he improperly uses his hands on a deliberate kick by a team mate or a double touch

If the keeper was to use his fee to flick a ball up to his hands as long as there is no illegal handling issues?

This is not circumvention as in a player trying to use the feet to get the ball to the head so they can flick it on to the keeper?
Nor are we talking about a summersault roll here?


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