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Question Number: 33493

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/29/2019

RE: 2 High School

Paul of Adelaide, South Australia Australai asks...

If a goalkeeper is outside of the Penalty Area, yet the ball is inside the Penalty area, can the goalkeeper handle the ball so long as he does not remove the ball from the Penalty area? (ie: is the handball offence by a goalkeeper judged on the position of the ball or the position of the goalkeeper?)

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson


Hi Paul,
CONSIDER all of the 18 yard PA perimeter boundary lines as a 5 inch wall of water extending straight up.

It is the position of the ball itself that determines IF the keeper can use their hands.

In the opinion of the referee, if any part of the ball, if only the tiniest outer curve of that ball is wet, it is considered to be INSIDE the PA.

Even if the 99% dry part of the ball is outside on the midfield side or either touchline side of the lines.

If you could imagine. it is theoretically possible for a keeper to be 100% outside the PA, lying face down, completely stretched flat out, with feet pointed towards the mid line or either touchlines, arm and hands and fingers extended back past the shoulders towards the PA so the tips of his fingers rest on the dry part of the ball that is outside the PA BECAUSE that outer curve is just a wee bit wet that ball is in his legal possession and no opponent can play it.

HE would have to be very careful in trying to crawl back into the PA and regain his feet while ensuring the ball stayed within his legal grasp. A slight miscue and he could guilty of a DHB thus a DFK right there should he adjust the ball ever so slightly, rolling it out into the FOP instead of keeping pressure and roll it completely back into the PA so he could then punt, kick or throw it down field.
Cheers



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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Paul
It is the position of the ball that matters not the position of the goalkeeper or his hands.
So if the ball is inside the penalty area the goalkeeper may legally use his hands. Only when all of the ball is over the penalty area line can the goalkeeper not use his hands.
For example the goalkeeper slides feet first out over the penalty area line and he hold the ball which stops on top of the penalty area line that is legal. All of the GKs body is outside the PA yet the ball is not. It is the location of the ball that matters



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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Paul,
In answer to your question, a handball offence by a goalkeeper is judged on the position of the ball, not on the position of the goalkeeper. This principle holds true for any judgement regarding a ball and a line. For instance, if a player who is completely off the field of play touches a ball which is still overhanging the line, it is again the position of the ball that matters, not the position of the player, in deciding whether the ball is out of play (this is in contrast to the rule in other sports, such as rugby and cricket where it is the position of the player that counts).

So if the ball is in the penalty area - which includes when it is on the line itself, the keeper may legally handle it.



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