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Question Number: 6494

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: All Levels - Full Size Field Game Under 13

Neil Grant of Surrey, BC Canada asks...

If a keeper stops a ball outside the penalty area (not from his own team mate)and dribbles it into the penalty area is the keeper allowed to pick up the ball? Is this considered a back pass even though he/she brought it into the box themselves and did not receive it from their own player?..My suspission is yes it is allowed. Was I correct to keep the play going or should I have called an indirect kick for the opposition at the location of the keeper picking up the ball?..Neil Grant

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Neil this is a reoccurring question here, the goalkeeper may not handle a ball received directly from throw-in by a colleague or when it is deliberately kicked to him, or to where he can play it, by a colleague. So if that has not happened he may do his job, handle the ball within his own penalty area for a maximum of six seconds. ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Neil, it can NEVER be a passback if coming from an opponent. NEVER,EVER. Get that out of your mind now. Just like with offside. Can never be offside if receives a pass from an OPPONENT..If a keeper collects the ball outside her PA from a pass or throw-in from a teammate, she can dribble it into the PA but may not handle it. You were correct with no call. Awarding an IFK would have been a serious mistake. Go over all the possible handling infractions regarding the keeper that result in free kicks until you have the concepts cold. Here's a start, outside her PA, a keeper is simply like any other player with no special rights or penalties; for handling infractions inside her own PA a keeper is treated differently, always an IFK.

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Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson

The reason we get this question so much is that while this is perfectly legal in outdoor soccer, it is illegal in most indoor leagues.

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