Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 33091

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/23/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33087

In the event of the 'unfair outcome' scenario Ref McHugh mentions - I can see what they may be trying to achieve, however, if the ball currently goes into the goal via hitting someone (attacker or defender) on the hip, or leg, or back, or head, or belly " wherever - by a completely non deliberate manner (a rebound) - it would be a goal. So why not off a hand or arm in the same non deliberate manner?

Clearly this is just hypothesising at the moment, and until we see what is determined on March 23 we are at best making educated guesses, but it does intrigue where this might lead.

As is often said on this site - the HB area is one of the hardest ITOOTR calls to make at times.

Our local grass roots park footy starts March 23, so safe to say that whatever the outcome, we are not likely to be 'early adopters' as the saying goes - which is good, as we will have the benefit of watching from afar as others work their way through them.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russel,
as you say a rebound is a rebound but even those that score when the ball deflects off their arm will step up and say Ref it went in off my arm I do not want to get that credited to my list of accomplishments. Hopefully the ref will award the free kick out & not caution lol but the difference between the likes of Luis Suarez and Michelle Henri versus a class act like Miroslav Klose? Your morality/ integrity matters more than a goal or the outcome of a match but of course not everyone understands that.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
What you say is currently the Law as written. I would safely say that in a season I see very few certain deliberate handling the 10 on the scale of 10. I see plenty of ones that are 1/2 on the scale where the ball hits a players arm accidentally with no deliberate action involved. The difficult ones are in the grey mid range and if looks like IFAB may be introducing a caveat that if the grey area ones benefits the team then it should be called. I would safely say that most unfair outcome ones may be in the grey area?
I also think that at grassroots it is still going to be a matter of opinion. I had a possible DHB last weekend and I was not sure if it hit the player on the arm or not nor did I see a movement of the arm towards the ball. I did not give it. Some opponents were unhappy with the call opining that it did hit him on the arm.
I have not read anything yet that can change that decision or decision making process. I think any Law change will be to the ultimate benefit of the elite game and VAR such as the example I gave in the previous answer which started out as a corner kick. After VAR deliberations it ended up a penalty kick. What I read helps VAR and the Pro game as the decision will then be correct in Law. It is akin to the hockey ball to foot rule which states
** It is not always an offence if the ball hits the foot, hand or body of a field player. The player only commits an offence if they gain an advantage or if they position themselves with the intention of stopping the ball in this way. **
Most foot contact on the ball in hockey is given under the gaining an advantage clause.
I still think that most handling should be given as an IDFK offence and ones that result in a card given as a DFK or penalty kick. For me it would solve a lot of problems.
If you think about it How many teams ever complain or mention or complain about a DHB outside the penalty area? There is a message in that for the game!

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
With the law as it stands at the moment, a ball that is accidentally deflected off a player's hand or arm and into the opponent's goal is supposed to count as a goal. However it seems that quite a few people (some referees included) feel that this is unfair and it is actually not all that long ago (relatively speaking) that a goal could not be scored in this way.

Up till 1974, the law said the following:

'Except as otherwise provided by these Laws, a goal is scored when the whole of the ball has passed over the goal-line, between the goal-posts and under the cross-bar, provided it has not been thrown, carried or propelled by hand or arm, by a player of the attacking side, except in the case of a goalkeeper, who is within his own penalty-area.''

As you can see, under that version of Law 10 - The Method of Scoring, a goal was not legal if it came off an attacking player's hand or arm and I think it is this version of the law that some would like to go back to.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33091
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.