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Cal South E-News | June 2012 REFEREE EDUCATION

June 20, 2012


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Cal South Referee Education

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Question: I have a question on potential keeper handling just outside the penalty area. This happened in a game I was officiating this past weekend, but I couldn't find a reference for it anywhere. Not sure if I made the right call.

An attacking team crosses the ball through their opponent's penalty area. As it goes across, a defending player deflects it slightly, but it still rolls across the penalty area and is heading out the other side.

Only the keeper runs after the ball and upon sliding and stopping the ball, is able to keep the whole of the ball on the line of the penalty area however, the keeper's legs cross the line and leave the penalty area.

Is this considered handling on the part of the keeper with a direct kick taken at the point the keeper crossed the line? Does it matter more, or at all, if it was the endline?

Is this not the same for keepers who, while returning the ball into play either by punting or throwing, inadvertently step out beyond the line of the penalty area?

Is this the same logic applied from those who step onto the field, beyond the line, while performing a throw in?

Your guidance and comment back is greatly appreciated.

Paco Perez
Eastvale, CA Grade 8
Empire Soccer Club



Law 12 tells you that the only player allowed to play the ball with his hands is the goalkeeper. He is allowed to do this inside his own penalty area. Law 1 tells you that the lines are part of the field; in this case, the lines that enclose the penalty area are part of the penalty area. This means that the ball is inside the penalty area; therefore, the goalkeeper can play the ball with his hands. It does not matter what part of his body is outside the field of play. The bottom line is that the ball is INSIDE the penalty area. It is important to remember that is not necessary for the "whole of the ball" to be inside the penalty since the ball is round. As long as a part of the ball is in contact with the lines that enclosed the penalty area the ball is considered to be inside the penalty area.

A goalkeeper's momentum can take him outside the penalty area. However, if he is still holding the ball when the ball is outside the penalty area, that will result in a handball decision that will be punished with a direct free kick.

If the goalkeeper inadvertently steps beyond the penalty area via his momentum during a punt or kick, and is barely outside the area, you can warn the goalkeeper to be careful. If he does this again, then you can call the handball and award a direct free kick.

To your last question, Law 14 describes the correct way to take a throw-in. If a player steps into the field of play to take the throw-in, then he has not taken the throw-in correctly, and the throw-in is given to the other team.

Arturo Angeles
Cal South State Director of Instruction