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Question Number: 33624

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/5/2019

RE: rec and competitive Under 13

Paul Bagrow of Jacksonville, fl usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 21959

I fully understand Law 12 stating . . .the goalie can not pick up a direct pass from teammate.

My question and situation: Teammate (outside penalty box) passes ball to goalie, who is inside penalty box. Goalie takes several dribbles with foot, then picks up ball as opponent pressures, while still inside penalty box.

Since goalie made several touches, does this still count as handling a pass directly from a teammate?

This was my situation in a recent competitive U10 match.

Thank you for the help and insight,


Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Paul,
What the keeper does between receiving the ball and handling the ball makes no difference.
Even if the defender deliberately kicked the ball to the keeper who was outside the PA, and the keeper ran inside the PA with the ball then handled it - that's still an offence.
Also, if the defender deliberately kicks the ball to the keeper in such a way that they have kicked it into space near the keeper for the keeper to move to and receive the ball, that is still 'to the keeper'.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Paul,
I wonder if perhaps your confusion over this is caused by a slight misapprehension about the wording of the law. Law 12 does not talk about a pass directly to the goalkeeper, it talks about a ball kicked deliberately to them. Also, please note that not all passes are subject to this law, only those where the ball is *kicked deliberately* to the goalie.

As my colleagues have stated, it makes no difference if the keeper dribbles the ball around a bit before picking it up. If the ball was kicked deliberately to them, this is still an offence. There is an exception to this, as outlined by ref McHugh, when (in the words of the law):

''the goalkeeper has clearly kicked or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play''

Dribbling the ball before picking it up does not meet this definition.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Paul.
absolutely, the keeper is RESTRICTED from handling the ball once a team mate directly and deliberately KICKS the ball or does a direct throw in to him.

The location of the keeper RECEIVING said pass is immaterial be the keeper standing inside the PA or outside the PA.

The keeper can dribble the ball in or out of the PA as long as the opposition allow him to do so for as often as he wishes.

If he was to use the hands at ANY time ON the ball to prevent the opponent challenging from getting to the ball it would be a DFK OUTSIDE the PA as he is considered an outfield player when outside his PA and subject to the same handling guidelines as the players themselves!

For disobeying the handling restrictions that is determined by how he received the ball, INSIDE the PA it is only an INDFK from the point of hand/ball contact subject to the special circumstances within the 6 yard goal area.

When the ball is deliberately kicked to the keeper by a team mate . the keeper CAN NOT use their hands like they NORMALLY could

As stated by my colleague there are some relaxed guidelines for a miss kick or an accidentally dropped punt out where we do not seek to punish 2nd touches or disguised back passes. It is a harsh call to award a goal scoring opportunity essentially out of nothing.however there are consequences to unwise actions even if the participants are unaware or forget! It is NEVER a card or a send off though though for a handling restriction foul INSIDE the PA by a keeper.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Paul
As described it was an offence punished by an indirect free kick. It makes no difference if the goalkeeper dribbles the ball inside or outside the penalty area. The restriction on touching the ball with the hands remains.
Now just ensure that there are no competition rules that are unique to U10s and below in your area. Some ULittles competitions may allow goalkeepers to pick up passes.
Now there has been an amendment in the recent law changes where a mis-kick away by the goalkeeper results in a reset which allows the goalkeeper to handle the ball on a backpass.
This cannot be called as an offence. Previously it could have been as there was no reset

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