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Question Number: 33360

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/18/2019

RE: Rec Under 16

Doug Crawford of Oakland, CA US asks...

Hi fellow refs - A drop by the goalie vs a bounce by the goalie?
When I saw this action by the Chicago Fire goalie in real time at the stadium I thought maybe the goalie might have let the ball drop deliberately, sort of like bouncing the ball, ?not realizing the attacker was ready to pounce? I was certainly happy for Chris Wondolowski and San Jose Earthquakes for the goal.

Looking at the replay at normal speed I am not sure. In slow-mo closeup I can see the goalie dropped it accidentally and the goalie did not protest after the goal, but acted like it was his own fault.

Do you have any advice on what constitutes a deliberate bounce by the goalie and when does the goalie not have control? I have seen goalies sometimes receive a ball in the air and deliberately let it go to ground and pick it up, although not often.

Thanks as usual /Doug

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Doug,
that was, in my opinion, a very clear oops by the keeper, not at all a controlled bounce out of possession. Good goal and absolutely the keeper was at fault as he did indeed know it was! If the keeper had been able to regrab the ball to prevent the goal there is no problem in doing so as that knock down was not a parry

When a keeper stops a ball to knock it down & then to pick it up, we can look at that as a save and his 6 seconds of possession does not count until he has the ball in his grasp after that knock down. A keeper is entitled to make a save where if the ball was swerving or traveling with so much force that to try and catch it might result in a fumble or unintended deflection, they will knock it down to help control so as to recover it easily.

That is NOT a parry.

In VERY rare cases a keeper will parry a ball that is easily caught. An easy high lob or a soft shot where it was easily catch-able to use the hands but it is allowed to be cushioned then drop & fall to the ground. These rare cases are sort of a catch & release in one motion, because the keeper was hoping to use up additional time by dribbling it about if no attackers were nearby and then only reach to pick it up when forced to pick the ball up for the 6 seconds. Thus when he reaches down to scoop up the ball a referee could signal an INDFK because the referee holds the opinion that save was a parry & a release of the ball back into play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Doug,
There was actually a change in the 2018/19 edition of the Laws of the Game to the wording that deals with this kind of scenario. The amended wording and explanation is as follows:

''Amended text
A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when:
the ball is between (...) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if it rebounds from the goalkeeper or the... (...)

Goalkeepers often unsuccessfully attempt to catch/hold/stop or 'parry' the ball but as this is a 'deliberate' touch with the hand(s) they have technically controlled the ball so cannot pick it up. This is not the Law's intention and is not enforced; removal of 'accidentally' clarifies the Law.''

Note: In the original text, the word 'accidentally' is shown but struck through, between 'rebounds' and 'from' indicating that it has been removed.

I think it is clear from this amendment that the IFAB does not want to punish what is referred to here as a parry, and which is the action ref Dawson describes where a goalkeeper knocks the ball to the ground after being unable to successfully catch it, while making a save. The IFAB does not want this kind of action, deliberate as it might be, to be seen as a control or possession of the ball that precludes them from touching the ball again afterwards.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Doug
Perfectly good goal. It is simply poor goalkeeping and as the ball was dropped it was available for challenge by the goalscorer. The only consideration here would have been had the scorer been in an offside position it would not have been a reset of any offside consideration. As the scorer was clearly onside all was good.
As to what constitutes control my advice is that the goalkeeper would need to have the ball under control for a second or so with little doubt that the ball is in his possession. It would look like the ball is caught either by the hands / arms or the hand on top of the ball on the ground.
Law 12 tells us that 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.
The exception in point 1 covers the goal here as the ball has rebounded from the goalkeeper.
If one pays close attention to goalkeepers at the Pro level they are very careful about the use of the hands on any control situations as they do not want to be called for a second touch violation. They use the chest, leg etc for control so there is no possible hand control question.
My advice is to only to look for the deliberate catch and release with a dribble away and subsequent pick up. If there is any hint of a rebound from the hands then there is no problem about picking the ball up even after a dribble away.

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