Friday, April 16, 2010

Interfering with the Gloalkeeper's Release of the Ball

This is one of those situations that doesn't happen often but when it does we need to deal with it correctly.  As I've said in past posts, US Soccer is big on giving us "criteria" to use when making decisions on the pitch and this is no different. 

We should all know that a player is not allowed to prevent the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands.  The part that is tricky is what is considered " releasing the ball."  Per US Soccer, the goalkeeper is considered to be releasing the ball from the moment they have control to when the ball is clearly released into play.  This includes:
  • bouncing the ball
  • running with the ball
  • in the process of dropping the ball in preparation for kicking it
  • throwing the ball
The idea here is that the GK gets to release the ball without any inteference.  No opponent may not stand or move so close as to restrict the release.  I've found that proactively managing this situation is the best approach.  As the center, when the GK takes possession its a good idea to keep an eye out for any opponents near the GK that might be a problem.  If you feel that there is the possibility for interference you may choose to stay close enough to verbally manage the situation, if needed.  As the AR you also need to be aware of interference and be prepared to assist the Referee, especially if he or she has already moved upfield.

In this particular case (see below) the correct procedure would've been to disallow the goal and restart with an Indirect Free Kick for Philadelphia, at the spot where the interference occurred.  You can read the whole article from US Soccer by clicking here.

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