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Question Number: 32274

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/3/2018

RE: None

Rupert Handley of Perth, Western Australia Australia asks...

You know how if your arm makes contact with ball, its called as a handball? Well, what happens, if, say, you, in a very weird circumstance, for whatever reason, put your arm up in your shirt, and it makes contact with where the arm is? Would it be handball or not?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rupert,
Actually, if your arm makes contact with the ball, it might or might not be a handling offence. Mere contact on its own is not enough - it has to be a deliberate act by the player. Inadvertent contact is not a handling offence.

Theoretically, whether the hand or arm is covered by the shirt or not, the same principle would apply - if the referee judges that the player has deliberately used the arm to contact the ball it would be an offence. Having said that, if the exact location of the arm cannot be determined this would be a problem so for this reason, I would say a referee should not allow a player to play with the arms hidden in this manner in the first place. And if the player is not allowed to do this, the problem would not arise.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rupert
The position of the arm inside the jersey makes no difference. If the player uses his arm to play the ball it is deliberate handling.
Also the use of the jersey is seen as an extension of the arm so the ball that is cradled on an outstretched jersey is handling as it allowing it to bounce up inside a jersey.

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