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Question Number: 32694

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/8/2018

RE: Rec Under 11

Aser of Concord, Ca US asks...

Hi there, any help would be appreciated. Here's the scenario:

Goalie makes a save and has the ball in his hands.
Goalie places ball on ground.
Goalie picks up ball.

Hand ball?
What is the restart?

Thank you,

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Aser,

Once the goalkeeper releases the ball from their hands (not talking about when the ball bounces off from a diving save - talking about when the keeper has control), they are not allowed to handle the ball again until it has been touched by another player.

The restart is an indirect free kick to the opponents from where the offence occurred - if it's on the Goal Area (6 yard box), then it's taken from the edge of the GA (and in that case, defenders can line up on the goal line, inside the goal - otherwise they must be 10 yards away).

It's not 'handball' (deliberately handling the ball) - that's a direct free kick offence when a player deliberately handles the ball except for the keeper in their own penalty area. If, for instance, the keeper's 2nd handling happened to occur outside of the Penalty Area, then that would be deliberate handling, and a direct free kick offence. For the keeper inside his area, the double handling is a specific indirect free kick offence.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Aser,
if a keeper has possession of the ball with his hands inside the PA he has 6 seconds upon which to release it back into play. After a save, if say the keeper went to ground or dove to get to the ball in the midst of a scrum around the goal, we generally allow a bit of extra time to sort them selves out. Now if he was covered in dirt, ate a face full of water spray or was possibly winded or hurt we might let him place a ball on the ground to wipe himself off and re-pick the ball up as a continuous phase of play rather than an actual release that assumes we do not stop play to do a drop ball.


if we consider the keepers' actions as a parry or a release of possession then his reuse of his hands would be a 2nd touch violation and an INDFK for the opposition. If this occurs inside the 6 yard goal area that INDFK occurs on the goal area line parallel to the goal line 6 yards away on a direct pullback.

Inside the PA a keeper can NOT be guilty of handling the ball deliberately for a PK he is ONLY ever charged with illegal touching which is always an INDFK inside the PA!

If he uses his hands on the ball OUTSIDE his own PA that is a DFK for deliberate handling, it is NEVER an INDFK. Keep in mind youth matches have a learning curves where the 11 aside LOTG are just beginning to take hold.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Aser
As described it is an offence punished by an indirect free kick from where the goalkeeper touches the ball with the hands inside the penalty area after. It is covered under three IDFK offences where the goalkeepers touches the ball whith her hand inside the ornaltypenalty when
1. After releasing the ball from her possession to the ground
2. The ball has been deliberately kicked to her by a team mate
3. The ball has been deliberately thrown to her by a team mate from a throw in.
The reason this law exists is that in the past it had become a tactic by teams to use up time by passing, throwing the ball to the goalkeeper who constantly picked the ball up preventing opponents from challenging for the ball. The law in effects prevents the GK from picking the ball up in such situations and must play the ball with the feet which allows challenge by an opponent. At all other times the goalkeeper uses the hands to save, catch the ball as expected.
Now the least serious is the drop and pick up again as the goalkeeper is still under time pressure to release the ball back into play. The laws allow for the goalkeeper to bounce or throw up the ball which is not release of possession.
Also bear in mind that at Under 11 there can be competition rules such as the use of the build out line where attackers must not pressure the goalkeeper and they must retreat beyond that line to allow the goalkeeper to pass / throw out to a team mate. Punting by the goalkeeper can also be restricted.
So a very young goalkeeper can get 'caught in the headlights' so to speak when confronted with a game situation where she has been told to throw the ball rather than punt and forgets about passing as an option after releasing the ball to the ground.
I once had a Under 11 GK run out with the ball to the edge of the penalty area, the run dislodged his shin pad and sock somewhat so he stopped, placed the ball at his foot, sorted it and then threw the ball to a team mate. I just had to chuckle and I allowed play to continue. I believe the coach had a rotation policy that every player had to play goalkeeper in part of a game so the young player was oblivious to the law.
I know when the game gets competitive at older age groups there is less discretion on these matters and we expect players to follow the laws. At the ULittle age groups it is about FUN and learning.

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