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Question Number: 3192

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: Travel Under 10

Lynne of Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA asks...

My son plays goalkeeper. What are the rules regarding the goalkeeper has possession of the ball and a forward still attempts to kick the ball. Also how long may the goalkeeper hold the ball after a save.

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Hi Lynne. Thanks for writing..Once the goalkeeper has possession of the ball, no opponent may attempt to kick it. The goalkeeper is said to have possession by touching it with any part of his hands or arms. This includes pinning the ball to the ground with an outstretched hand. He is also in possession if he has it trapped between his legs or pinned to the ground between his legs. He is in possession while bouncing the ball on the ground or throwing it up in the air. He loses possession if he drops it to the ground while throwing it up in the air. All of the above does not include the circumstances where in the opinion of the referee, the ball rebounds accidently from the keeper, for example after a save. An opponent may also not charge or attempt to head the ball out of a keeper's possession nor may they jump at him. Any of these offenses would result in a direct free kick for the keeper's team and possibly a yellow or red card depending on how severe the foul was. The keeper has six seconds to release the ball..I see you are in Florida. Georgia has an additional rule for U-10 teams, both rec and travel. It is a goalkeeper modification rule and states that once the keeper has possession of the ball, the opponents must leave the penalty area and may not play the ball until it has left the penalty area. The keeper may place the ball on the ground,i.e. give up "possession" and dribble the ball with his feet to the edge of the penalty area and the opponents still may not play it. The keeper may play the ball to a team-mate inside the penalty area, but, again, the opponents may not enter the penalty area nor play the ball until it has left the penalty area. The ball is "live" and in play but may not be played by the opponents until it leaves the penalty area. This means that if the keeper or a team-mate were to put it in the goal, it would count as a goal for the opponents. Also, if the keeper and a team-mate kick the ball back and forth, they would be guilty of time wasting. Usually a referee will verbally warn them to stop and may issue a yellow card to one or both and award an indirect free kick to the other team if they do not. Check with your State Association to see if there is a similar rule modification.

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Answer provided by Referee Stacy Kalstrom

Thanks for your question. Once a goalkeeper is in possession of the ball (meaning he is touching it with any part of his hand or arm) the ball may not be kick by an opponent. The goalkeeper has 6/7 seconds to release the ball back into play. He can do this by punting, throwing or rolling the ball. Once he has released it from his hands he is no longer considered to be in posession and anyone may now play the ball...Come visit our site again.

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