In this blog post, I will discuss five rules that directly affect soccer goalkeepers. Most goalkeepers are unaware of these rules and can be confused if they are penalized for committing them. I hope to clarify some questions that all of you Canadian goalkeepers may have.

Goalkeeper Rule 1) What happens if a goalkeeper touches the ball with his/her hands in the goal box from their own player:

If a goalkeeper handles a ball from their own player in their goal box, most people assume that it is an indirect free kick from where they touched the ball. In fact, this is not the case, if a goalkeeper handles the ball from their own player in their goal box, the result is an indirect free kick from the edge of the goal box. This means, no matter where you are (in the penalty box), the closest the indirect free kick can be is six yards.

Goalkeeper Rule 2)  What happens if an own goal is scored from a free kick, goal kick, or corner kick:

If for whatever reason, miscommunication, wind, etc. you concede an own goal from a free kick, goal kick, or corner kick, the goal will not count. As long as no other player touches the ball before it goes in the net, the result will be a corner kick for the opposing team. That means that on most attacking set pieces, you cannot concede an own goal.

Goalkeeper Rule 3) What happens if an attacking player impedes your progress:

As we see quite often, attacking players frequently try to block goalkeepers half volleys, throws and goal kicks. This happens at the amateur level, all the way up to the professional level. Luis Suarez committed this offence last weekend, when he attempted to block Iago Herrerin's half volley. In the case that this happens to you, the referee will most likely call an indirect free kick for you/your team. Furthermore, the referee may caution the player who attempted to prevent you from playing the ball. Please note that the same outcome will occur if a player from the opposing team tries to impede your progress.

Goalkeeper Rule 4) What happens if you, the goalkeeper places the ball on the ground and then picks it up again:

This is a very simple rule, there is only one possible outcome. If you place the ball on the ground and then you pick it up again, the outcome will be an indirect free kick for the opposing team, from where you picked the ball up a second time (unless it is in the goal box, it will be moved onto the edge of the goal box). You will most likely not be cautioned for this offence, unless the match official feels that you acted in an unsporting way or prevented a goal scoring opportunity.

Goalkeeper Rule 5) Can I pick the ball up if my teammate passes me the ball from a throw in:

The answer for this is no. A throw in is classified as a pass back and will be resolved with the same sanction. This would be an indirect free kick if you handled the ball inside your penalty box, or a direct free kick if you handled the ball outside your penalty box. If you receive a throw in from a teammate, you should attempt to play the ball with your feet or with your head.

I hope that this helps to clarify some confusion regarding certain Laws of The Game that directly affect us as Canadian goalkeepers. If you have any questions about these rules or any other ones, please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you as quickly as I can. Lastly, please share with us any rule related controversies that you goalkeepers may have experienced in your own games, it does not matter weather you play as a goalkeeper in League 1, OPDL, district leagues or recreational soccer, we want't to hear from you! And remember, we always need to be respectful of our Canadian referees.      

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