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Question Number: 3409

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: Under 10

nazim of , maadi egypt asks...

how many seconds may the goalkeeper be holding the ball inside the goal box?

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Technically, the keeper has 6 seconds to release the ball from his hands. However, in practice, we don't stand there and count to 6 like referees do in basketball, so there is some leeway. Usually, if a referee thinks a keeper is taking too long, the referee will verbally warn the keeper before actually calling a foul..Thanks for the question.



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Answer provided by Referee Stacy Kalstrom

Great answer by my colleague Contarino. The answer to your question lies in Law 12, under the heading Indirect Free Kick. The reason you find it here is that if a keeper were to hold onto the ball quite a bit longer than the 6 seconds and has not released it even after you prod him/her to do so. The result is an Indirect Free Kick awarded to the opposing team...The Indirect Free Kick is to be taken from the spot where the keeper was standing when you made the call (unless covered by the special circumstanes under Law 8)...Please remember the intent with which this was written, to prevent time wasting, so if you have a youth player who is confused about where to release the ball or to whom and doesn't release it in time, just tell them "Come on keeper, release the ball" Don't use this as a reason to penalize, that is not in keeping with the "spirit of the Law"...Also, this only applies to the keeper holding the ball in his hands, not at his feet. Thanks for visiting our site.



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Answer provided by Referee Gartenhaus

Good question by you and good answers by my fellow referees. I would like to add that the six seconds applies to the keeper handling the ball in the entire Penalty Area, not just in the goal box..Thanks for writing.



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