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Question Number: 32225

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/10/2018

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


the rule says:

A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when:
the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if the ball rebounds accidentally from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save
holding the ball in the outstretched open hand
bouncing it on the ground or throwing it in the air

Please explain this part:'OR BY TOUCHING IT WITH ANY PART OF THE HANDS OR ARMS EXCEPT if the ball rebounds accidentally from the goalkeeper OR THE GOALKEEPER HAS MADE A SAVE'

Maybe one question please.

What is the save and what is touching the ball with the hand? I don't undestand the difference. :-)

Thank you!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,

If the keeper has the ball held in his hands, cradled in in the crook of the elbow, trapped between his palm and the post he HAS possession of the ball, he can not be challenged/bumped to knock it free but if the shot force was too great and his catch is mishandled or dropped or he slips that ball is loose he does not have possession and is entitled to still pick it up!

EXCEPT if the ball rebounds accidentally from the goalkeeper OR THE GOALKEEPER HAS MADE A SAVE'

if a keeper is hit by the ball on the hands/arm or attempts to catch it and fails in all cases he may have made a save but the ball is NOW free to be played by any opponent except if the opponent was PIOP at the time of the shot by the team mate. A deliberate save does not reset offside for the opponent. But as the ball is not possessed by the keeper an onside opposition player can still play that free ball and of course the keeper can still try to pick it back up BECAUSE it was not possessed only saved from entering the goal!

However if the keeper has decided to deliberately parry the ball, it is in the opinion of the referee that ball was possessed, caught and released almost instantly. As a result the ball is no longer a save but a released ball put back into play by a deliberate action. Thus the opposition is released from offside restrictions!

A parry is considered as if the keeper had kept possession of the ball for their full 6 seconds and then dropped it onto the ground. In both cases that ball CAN NOT be picked up by the keeper using his hands without an INDFK being awarded unless some other player gets in a touch,

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The advice here is to define situations where the goalkeeper has possession of the ball and as a result may not be challenged. It is for me a catch all situation where the goalkeeper has a hand on the ball and is exerting control over it.
On a save the ball can be controlled or if it is spilled the ball can be challenged for by an opponent. Most times on a save the ball is caught or a hand is got on the ball in which case it cannot be challenged for.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
I think 'touching it with any part of the hands or arms' is fairly self-explanatory so I take it your question is about what constitutes a save (and what differentiates it from a touch). It's another one of these somewhat subjective areas but for me a save is when the ball is hit towards or close to the keeper or the goal at a speed and/or angle that makes it understandable that the goalie, although able to get hands on it, might not be able to hold on to it.

The main reason why I think this wording is in this part of the law, is to describe situations in which the goalkeeper is allowed to use the hands a second time before another player has touched the ball. If the ball is moving very slowly and close enough to the keeper that it is perfectly simple and easy for the keeper to hold it, but the keeper simply chooses not to and instead touches it with the hands and allows it to roll or bounce away (or even directs it away in a pushing motion) then the prohibition on using the hands again should apply.

There are considerations related to offside when the difference between a 'deliberate save' and a rebound or deflection also come into play but they are covered by their own separate wording in the offside law itself.

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