Goalkeepers and drop kicks

No, as they haven't done anything illegal. It's no different to them throwing the ball on ground outside the box and kicking it, would that be a foul?

And even then, neither would be fouls, they'd be infringements surely?


RefChat Addict
The easiest way to think of it is has a handling offence occurred? For a GK that would mean physically handling the ball outside the boundary of the area. If he has released his hands from touching the ball before it leaves the boundary he cannot be guilty of a handling offence.

socal lurker

Well-Known Member
No, no, no, a thousand times no!!!! :mad::mad: There is nothing to debate on this.

For some idiotic reason a bizarre number of people think where the ball is kicked matters. I had an AR flag for the GK leaving the area and was close enough to see an wave him down--he told me he flagged because the plant foot was outside the PA! :eek: (And many of those people also incorrectly believe it would be an IFK if the GK carries the ball out, but that's another myth . . . .)

The ONLY thing that matters is whether any part of the ball is in the PA, which means is even a smidgen of the ball still over a smidgen of the line the ball is still "in" the PA and the GK can handle it (even if handling part of the ball that is outside the PA--if ANY PART of the ball is over the line, the GK can handle any part of the ball). Nothing else matters. Period. And for heaven's sake, no one is looking for this to be super-dooper precise, either. (God help us some VAR is going to go back to a punt that led to a goal and pull it back for being an inch over the line when he released.)


RefChat Addict
If you turned the OP into a poll, "Handball" or "No handball", I'd be extremely worried if you had one (1, uno, un, ein, واحد, 一, один, ένας, एक) vote for handball.
If a goalkeeper completes a drop kick from outside the box having released the ball inside the box, is it a foul?
If the ball was released from the keeper's hands while it was still inside the penalty area, there is no offence, no matter where he was when he kicked it.
No, as they haven't done anything illegal. It's no different to them throwing the ball on ground outside the box and kicking it, would that be a foul?

And even then, neither would be fouls, they'd be infringements surely?
Well, the Laws no longer use the term 'infringement' so they'd be offences but I agree that they wouldn't be fouls, at least not the way I understand the use of the word.

I know that there are people (especially in the US, it seems) who include handling offences as fouls, but that doesn't fit in with the way I have always understood fouls, ever since I started my involvement with the game as a child - or for that matter, how I read the law. The way the law talks about a player being fouled, foul challenges, serious foul play etc, I think comports with the view that a foul involves a physical challenge between opponents.

Also, the Laws of the Game appear to make a distinction between fouls and handling offences. For instance the law lists two separate categories of stopping a promising attack - either by handling, or by committing a foul. It seems to me that if handling was included within the meaning of the term 'foul', it would not require its own separate entry. There are also multiple places where the Laws talk about a "foul/handling" or "handling/foul" - again, if fouls included handling they wouldn't need to use both terms, one would suffice.

socal lurker

Well-Known Member
I find it interesting that, although Law 12 is called fouls and misconduct, "foul" is never defined. I suppose there is something implicit from the titling that all that is not misconduct is a foul, which would make handling a "foul." I seem to recall that before the great rewrite of the 90s that Law XII referred to what are now DFK offenses as "penal fouls," and that included handling. But I don't have my old books handy--I'll take a look when I get a chance. I think the reality is that the usage of "foul" is inconsistent--in some of the places it is used it seems to include handling (e.g., signals for whether a foul occurred in the PA) and in others only to refer to the other DFK offenses.

In the US, it is true that foul has generally been used as including handling. The classic definition was a foul is committed (1) by a player, (2) against an opponent (or the opposing team in the context of handling), (3) on the field of play, (4) while the ball is in play. That definition has taken a beating in the past few years with fouls occurring off the field of play and certain fouls being against any person.

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
The Laws do not reference 'defined terms' anywhere near as well as they should
Once terms like 'foul' are clearly defined, they can be referenced (ideally using italics in the text) repeatedly with precise meaning. The Glossary at the back of the book is a lame attempt at this