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Question Number: 33490

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/29/2019

RE: Ex referee Adult

Chuck of Glasgow, Scotland asks...

WHY we have the 10 sec rule on goalkeepers if it is NEVER enforced

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Chuck
lol its actually 6 seconds! But I think you are being cheeky in that 10 has become the norm. lol We are often also asked why player encroachment at PKS is not enforced? The rational, while it may not be what you wish to hear is it, "usually" has no real bearing on the outcome of the match. In those excessive ,strange or occasional obtuse situations where it does then you might see a call.

We do allow a bit of recovery time to get up after a save or a goal scramble and really do not look to start the 6 seconds until the keeper is not surrounded by the opposition. Which is why opponents should back off quickly as they CAN NOT challenge a keeper with the ball in their hand possession inside the PA. It is a possible card as well as a free kick should they interfere.

But it is true the keepers do seem to dally about, running up to the edge of the PA, directing their team, holding the ball, possibly bouncing it, then either drop it to dribble it out or toss it up and try to get a maximum distant punt. It really does seem to create issues only if a team is losing and the opposing keeper is into 12 plus or more before releasing or taking plus 30 seconds to get goal kicks underway. Referees tend to warn first rather than immediately jump in at 6.2 seconds as it awards an INDFK scoring opportunity out of essentially nothing.

As my colleague ref McHugh has addressed the Canada USA incident that has long festered as a horrific call, even though the Canadian keeper was warned at half time, it was an absolutely correct call under the LOTG, but it was disservice to the match in general because the referee can add time effectively and the USA players were goading the referee to make the call.

I have RARELY seen a reason to make that call.

When a keeper was being obtuse at the release taking far too long. I warned the keeper's, "Lets get on with it. Do you really want to award the opposition a scoring chance out of you being silly? " I also reassured the opposition I was adding time as appropriate . I said, "This does not have to be an issue unless you decide it should." If I actually counted out the 6 seconds, very clearly using my hand gestures with a sharp, very warning type voice . ALL keepers released the ball before I hit 6 seconds! I just had to use a finger count and keepers were quick to pick up on releasing said ball back into play. Do no make me do that it puts me in a bad mood! ;o)

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Chuck
It is actually six seconds would you believe!
What has happened over the years is that usually both teams goalkeepers engage in the delay in putting the ball back into play. As a result it is one of those laws that is not strictly enforced and it only becomes an issue in the dying moments of a game.
A few years ago I did an exercise in timing all goalkeeper possession of the ball in a game. Sometimes the ball was released smartly to begin an attack, other times it was on the limit and then there were the tardy ones. Added all up together there was no great overall delay. At the Pro level there is general acceptance of the delay much like the throw in further up the field. At lower levels there is less acceptance of these and on the tardy ones opponents start to shout about the time taken which usually results in a hurry up release.
In the Olympic Games 2012 game between USA and Canada the referee called the Canadian goalkeeper for the offence. From the IDFK the ball was handled which resulted in a penalty kick which turned out to be the equalizing goal with USA going on to win. It sparked a major incident between both countries and some very unsavory comments were made. One player was suspended for four games and the referee was not selected to referee at any major international competition since the incident.
I would say that the experience there may have dissuaded many of the top referees from taking action except where it is so blatant that they are left with no choice. Those tend to be rare
In the scheme of things the time taken is not significant when one considers the time taken on some other restarts.
I would like the game to make a few changes to the laws. One would be a game clock like rugby and the other would be the principle of use it or lose it. If a team is not getting on with play the restart gets turned over.

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