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Question Number: 32159

High School 1/11/2018

RE: Women High School

Rogelio of Richmond, Ca Contra Costa asks...

Goalkeeper has the ball in her hands and bounces it in the ground and slips of her hand and the ball bounces and picks it back this considered a indirect free kick or just keep it playing?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The goalkeeper is in possession of the ball when she has it in her hands and it also includes the act of bouncing the ball. When the goalkeepers put the ball on the ground, they relinquish their privileges as goalkeepers.
Now a fumble while bouncing that is immediately picked is in my opinion not a deliberate release / put of the ball to the ground and if the ball bounces up and it is immediately picked up then the referee should play on. The goalkeeper will have to punt or throw pretty quickly anyways so the opponents have not been adversely affected.
The same rule applies in FIFA games and it would be approached the same.
It is my opinion that the referee should not punish dubious or doubtful infractions of the Rules / Law yet look for the certain breaches. To do otherwise is what we call *Gotcha* refereeing. Technically correct yet not in the spirit or intent of the game.
I once had a situation where a player filling in as a goalkeeper at Under 12 came out to punt and his sock was down. At the edge of the penalty area he knelt down, placed the ball at his foot and pulled up his sock with both hands. Did it deserve to be punished by an IDFK? I smiled to myself and he then picked the ball up and punted it, poorly if I recall correctly. I do not recall any great appeal and if there was I would have ignored it.
Even in the Pro game I have watched some goalkeepers in the act of getting up after the save readjust their grip on the ball by letting the ball go ever so slightly beside them which technically could be viewed as a release. It is never called nor would I expect it to be.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rogelio,
The way you describe this, the ball has come from the keeper's hand, bounced on the ground and back into the goalie's hand. As bouncing the ball is allowed, even if it slipped out of the hands this sounds to me like no offence has occurred.

Now, if the keeper has clearly relinquished control/possession of the ball, let it stay on the ground for a while and then picks it up again when for instance, seeing an opponent approaching, that should result in an indirect free kick - but that doesn't seem to be what happened here.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

NFHS Rule 12-7-1 states that the goalkeeper has six seconds to release the ball into play. During that time he/she may hold the ball, bounce it, or throw it into the air and catch it. Once the ball has been released into play, the goalkeeper may not touch it again with the hands until it has been played or touched by another player.

In your situation, the ball was not released into play so the goalkeeper was legally able to regain possession of the ball with the hands. As the referee, you must judge if the ball was put into play. Also, remember that the ball must be released into play within six seconds.

I hope that you have a successful officiating year.

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