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Question Number: 32635

High School 8/10/2018

RE: High School

Henry Tomer of Allison Park, PA United States asks...

Girl's High School game. Team on offense took a shot on goal. Goalkeeper easily caught the ball. The player who shot the ball kept her momentum going forward - to probably to see if there was going to be a rebound. The offensive player slowed down as she approached the Keeper. Then, the Keeper went out of her way to purposely give an elbow to the offensive player, knocking her down. Should be a yellow card on the Keeper, right? Should this be a PK, or a Direct Kick at the point of the foul?
Thank You.

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I assume all of this took place inside the penalty area. Therefore it would be a penalty kick.

Unless the keeper went outside the PA to strike the opponent. In that case, and if the keeper is still holding the ball, it's handling outside the PA - and that's the offense that happened first. So it's a direct free kick to the opponents.

If the keeper released the ball first, then went outside the PA to strike the opponent, it would be a direct free kick as well, for striking.

You might consider a red card for violent conduct instead of a caution, particularly if the ball and play has moved away from the area of the striking foul. There's no reason for the elbow except to try to harm and intimidate the opponent.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Henry,
The way this is described, it certainly sounds like a direct free kick offence, which means a penalty kick if the offence took place within the penalty area. As ref Voshol says, a red card is also a distinct possibility given the gratuitous use of excessive force.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Henry ,
the who blinks first concept of approaching adversaries is not so contentious that one needs to go that extra bit, like fling out the arm to make contact. The keeper has taken a dislike to the opponents' intimidation run and chosen an ill advised reaction to it. The strike is most definitely a DFK thus PK if inside the PA area. If the keeper had released the ball and pursued this player most definitely not a caution but a red card for VC. I will assume this was a glancing lean in as they passed each other so although I might lessen the card colour to a yellow caution rather than a send off reducing her team by a player in need of finding a new keeper. Given you say she went out of her way the red flag waves more than yellow for me!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Henry
As described this is a striking foul by the goalkeeper punished by a penalty kick as I assume it happened inside the penalty area. It should also be sanctioned by at least a yellow card. If the referee judged the goalkeeper was playing the opponent, the referee has the discretionary power to judge the action severe enough to warrant immediate disqualification from the game.
In the past I have awarded penalties for such actions. Now the difficulty for the referee can be determining whether the goalkeeper goes out of her way to target an opponent or whether the other way around of the opponent say running into the goalkeepers path or trying to obstruct the goalkeepers release of the ball. As the obstruction happened first that will be a foul to the defending team although the goalkeepers can still be sanctioned for misconduct if the action was reckless.
Have a look at this video
With the benefit of action replay, slow motion etc I am of the view that this should have been a penalty kick and a caution for the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper in my opinion went out of his way to charge the attacker with the ball in his hand which is a foul and a penalty kick. The referee opined that the attacker caused the contact and gave a free kick to the defending team. In real time on the field he may have thought that the attacker was to blame. The video in my opinion shows a premeditated charge by the GK. He could easily have gone around the attacker but chose otherwise.

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