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Question Number: 32698

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/10/2018

RE: Competitive Under 15

Coach Ron of Hagerstown, MD USA asks...

Keeper possession
When they were younger, we taught our girls that if the keeper only has a finger pinning the ball when on the ground (ala Lucy holding a football to be kicked by Charlie Brown) that we can't kick it.
In interest of keeping everyone safe.

But I also thought there is legitimacy to this.

Can opposition kick the ball, if the keeper merely has a finger on the ball pinning it to the ground?
I contend the keeper has 'control' of the ball. Could roll it any way they wanted

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when:
# the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save
#  holding the ball in the outstretched open hand
#  bouncing it on the ground or throwing it in the air.
So yes a finger pinning the ball to the ground is control and the ball may not be played by an opponent.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ron,
My colleague ref McHugh has given the relevant part of the law. As it says, if the ball is being touched by any part of the hand, the keeper has control of the ball and may not be challenged.

I remember when I was still playing, there was a common myth that it was OK to challenge for the ball unless the keeper had both hands on it. It wasn't true then and it isn't true now.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Coach,
You have it spot on my friend!

NO, the opposition can NOT kick the ball or charge the keeper when she has a finger holding the ball along the ground.

What does occur is it will be a 50/50 loose ball where the kicker slides to push it through arrives almost at the same time as the hand. It is these situations which cause a lot of anxiety. That said on ANY challenge it MUST take into account the safety of an opponent which is why we lean towards the keeper in ball hand foot situations

The very fact a keeper can place a hand on something that everyone else just kicks away at is the very reason we have strict no touch laws when a keeper has ball possession.

Their fingers, & hands very susceptible to being broken.


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