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Question Number: 9842

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: Competitive - various ages

Skip Hansen of Overland Park, KS USA asks...

A player, standing on the goal line, prevents a goal by fending off a hard shot with her hands. In what situations must this be interpreted as "deliberately" and a red card given? Is there a way within the rules to give a penatly kick but not the red card? Note that this is not a situation where the player was running and the ball simply made contact with her hands in a normal running position. This is a case where the player raised her hands to fend off the ball - but I don't believe the intention was to prevent the goal. .Would you make any allowance for age?

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Skip if you, the referee, are of the opinion the hands were used to protect herself from injury then there is no offense. So no penalty and so sending-off. ..If she deliberately handled the ball and denied the goal she MUST be sent-off and there must be a penalty kick, you can make no other choice and be correct in Law. ..Would I make allowance for age? Would have to see the incident for myself... ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Doesn't matter if her intention was to prevent a goal or not. Besides, we don't know what goes on in the minds of players. That said, she deliberately handled the ball. You've decided that. This handling prevented a goal. She must be sent off and shown the red card unless your league has a rule against showing red cards to younger players.

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Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson

The only way to give the penalty kick without the red card is if the referee judges that the ball would not have gone in the goal if the player had not handled it. Otherwise, it is a violation of the laws of the game to not give the card. That being said, depending on the level of play and the age group, I can envision situations in which giving the red card violates the spirit of the game. If that red card is not given, however, the referee has opened themselves up to a justifiable protest by one of the teams.

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