Handling?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by fairplayforlife, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’ll admit over the last year my confidence in understanding what is and isn’t handling anymore is at an all time low. But someone shared this tweet with me and I’m a bit confused on how this isn’t handling. Unless maybe they think it hit the part of the arm that isn’t considered for handling. (Looks like the elbow to me) Thoughts?

     
  2. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    I think the monkey wrench is that she deliberately played the ball first, and then it hit her arm. So we're left with whether that is unnaturally bigger. I honestly don't know what the powers that be really think on this one. (And, of course, there was no VAR for the game.)
     
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  3. Sport Billy

    Sport Billy Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 25, 2006
    But the ball hit the hand "directly from the player’s own head or body (including the foot)" so it is not handling - as it doesn't fit an exception.

    EDIT - Lurker is correct, it comes down to unnaturally making oneself bigger - which I don't see here.


    Same game - can't find a video.

    US player dribbles into PA.
    Loses control
    Defender kicks the ball straight back (it's heading out for corner)
    Brazilian GK runs over and picks it up.
    Passback?
     
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  4. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #4 fairplayforlife, Feb 22, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
    I guess I just don’t understand what they want anymore then. The arm is clearly out away from the body and takes away space where the ball would normally naturally pass by the sliding defender if not for the arm. So I feel this is clearly making the body unnaturally bigger.


    As I said though. With everything going on with handling right now I don’t feel like I have a grasp on it anymore.
     
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  5. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is there a video of that play? The “passback” I mean.
     
  6. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    I think what "unnaturally" means on a slide is tough. Watch baseball players (who have no incentive about their arms) slide, and the arm is up--it's where the arm naturally goes when you slide. It's almost impossible to avoid--but was also part of that video a few years ago about "taking a chance," which isn't quite what got into Law 12. I think this is handing if she did not deliberately make contact with her body before it hit the hand. I think it is not since it did (but a close question in which I'm not completely confident). Would have been interesting if there was VAR . . .
     
  7. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Isn't that directly from the original examples. Arm near ground is fine. Arm extended vertically and above shoulder is not good.
     
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  8. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That’s what I thought. But then again I can’t swear it hasn’t changed.

    And didn’t they leave natural position behind and go with unnaturally bigger because of plays like this to avoid the argument of what a natural slide looks like.

    Basically if you can’t slide without taking up the space your body naturally occupies don’t do it.

    Idk I just want them to go back to deliberate. That felt like it made sense.
     
  9. Sport Billy

    Sport Billy Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 25, 2006
    #9 Sport Billy, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    I can't find one

    but it still goes back to where you fall on

    "• it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate"

    This was one of the kick it to a place where only the keeper could get it or it goes out of bounds.

    I still maintain "deliberately" applies to "kicked", not "to the goalkeeper"
    If it was the latter, the phrase would read "kicked deliberately to the goalkeeper," but it doesn't.

    But I still understand the purpose of the law.

    If a defender isn't under pressure and plays a ball away from the goal, and the keeper picks it up, it's trifling.

    However, this play was under pressure and the defender played the ball to the right edge of the goalbox. Keeper was near the right post. So the kick was deliberate even if it wasn't directly to the goallkeeper. But, it was kicked to a spot that only the keeper could get there before the ball goes out of play.
    Keeper gets there and picks it up.

    I think that is a violation.
     
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  10. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That’s my philosophy as well. They could also just phrase it, “ deliberately passed to the keeper with the foot” that takes all the ambiguity out of it.
     
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  11. sulfur

    sulfur Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Deliberately applies to the full phrase. FIFA and IFAB have made that utterly clear, regardless of what the US Advice to Referees used to say.

    So by maintaining that stance, you're just as bad as the ex-referees that have become pundits that you've complained about in the past.
     
  12. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm with @fairplayforlife - it's so tough to determine what is and isn't handling anymore. I've always been one who is closer to "I'm not going to call a foul unless it's 'deliberate' " camp. But all of these "if this, then that" permutations makes it really confusing.

    The play that really started to make me rethink my stance on handling was in a U12 indoor game. Defender opens his leg to play a ball like we've all seen at that level. His arm is out somewhere between 7 and 8 o'clock because his leg is coming up. The ball bounces off of his upper thigh and hits his arm in that position. He does not move his arm into the ball - it remains at that position I mentioned. I call no handling under the law of defender playing the ball (emphasizing that I saw it and didn't call it with a "no good/cutting the grass") and his arm being in a natural position for what he was doing in that moment. Attacker's parents go nuts, and I was confronted by a parent of the team after the game to the point where I reported him to the tournament administration.

    At that level (U12 competitive level), I just do not see how that is anything other than a non-handling because of the components of the law. But I'll admit I replayed the situation over in my head on the drive home.
     
  13. Sport Billy

    Sport Billy Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 25, 2006
    But that still doesn't answer whether kicking it to a place where only the keeper can get the ball is a deliberate kick to the keeper.

    I believe it is.
     
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  14. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    I'm still pondering the phrasing "Except for the above offences, it is not an offence if the ball touches a player's hand/arm: directly from the player's own head or body (including the foot)...."

    And I don't see this as an unnatural position when sliding from that distance and with that speed. Note that the other arm was also up and, IMHO, in a natural position to give you some lateral balance and to keep your hands from being stepped on by the opponent, unintentionally, of course. I think most of us know unnatural position when the player is standing on both feet, but what is 'natural' when they are sliding?
     
  15. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But natural position isn’t really the criteria anymore. It’s unnaturally bigger. Which this clearly is (to me).

    And to play devils advocate natural position/movement still comes with the implied restriction of within the rules of the game being played.

    A keeper sliding like this makes perfect sense because the hands/arm are supposed to be used to block space. A field player not so much. Your arms aren’t meant to be used to take away playing space unless absolutely necessary. Which this doesn’t appear to be. I’ve seen far more tackles with the arms close to the body than I have with them up and out like this.
     
  16. Bradley Smith

    Bradley Smith Member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #16 Bradley Smith, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    Just to expand on what @fairplayforlife says here, I think the key consideration here (that isn't explicitly written in the laws, but is taught as interpretation in clinics) is the concept of barrier vs. balance. Is the arm there to take away space for a player and/or the ball?

    In the this particular handling case, I'd argue that the nature of this challenge is entirely meant to take away space. If your arm is making you unnaturally bigger here, you're taking a risk. The entire point of this challenge is to be a barrier for the ball. You're trying to block a shot. This is not a deliberate play, but an attempt to stop the shot. If it hits your arm above your body like it does here, it's a handling offense — even if it comes off of your leg first.

    This is different than cases where your arm may be out to your side (unnaturally bigger) or above shoulder height when you are deliberately playing the ball — like in a clearance. Your arm movement is not to create a barrier for the ball, but instead for balance. If you shank your clearance up into your arm, that's not a handball.

    Now, it can be argued that the slide tackle and the resulting deflection off the leg is a deliberate play — which would make this not a handball. But the entire point of this challenge was a last ditch tackle to block the shot. The player took a risk and bears some responsibility to not create an unnaturally bigger barrier with their arm.

    That's how I'm thinking about it, at least. I agree it's not always clear, and this particular example highlights how there's still always a grey area in the wording — and even in the taught interpretations.

    I think the more situations like this that occur in higher profile games, the more we will get additional clarity to the nuance in instruction. At least until we rework the entire handball section of Law 12 again. :D:D
     
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  17. sulfur

    sulfur Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Believe all you want.

    That's no longer a consideration.

    It _was_ for the US during the AtR. It no longer is.
     
  18. Sport Billy

    Sport Billy Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 25, 2006
    But it is not that clear.

    I realize the AtR said something like "or to a place where the goalkeeper could play it".

    But that's not really the question here.

    If the defender kicked the ball within a foot of the GK, it is "to" him.
    The further away, the less it is "to" the GK.

    My question is if kicking the ball to a place where only the GK can possibly play it equals "to the goalkeeper".

    It seems it would.
     
  19. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Exactly. “To” the keeper has to mean more than “goes perfectly to the keeper’s current location within inches of the frame of their body.”

    If a defender turned around and played the ball 30 yards back to the penalty area and only the keeper is back there, but the ball ends up 5 yards to their side it would be asinine to argue that the ball wasn’t “to” the keeper. Even though technically the keeper had to take a few steps to go retrieve it.
     
  20. Thegreatwar

    Thegreatwar Member

    May 28, 2015
    New England
    I’d like this too. None of this nonsense about part of the arm not being considered part of the arm for handling purposes. Was all this tinkering with the handball law really necessary?
     
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  21. Pelican86

    Pelican86 Member

    United States
    Jun 13, 2019
    Prior to the law changes, this is the kind of play I called all the time (especially for that age group, or slightly older). It happens so often I would even talk about it in pregame with my ARs. Very often it was even more blatant--the ball comes off the player's foot as he tries to trap it, then the ball hits his arm, which is sticking out from his body at waist height. The ball bounces back down to the ground, and the player keeps possession. No one EVER complained about this being called handling. The player took a bad touch, he got an advantage from the ball hitting his arm, he knows it, his teammates know it, all of the parents know it. Free kick for the other team and get on with the game. Now, I'm not supposed to call it handling, so all the opponents and their parents are going to scream about it, even though I know and they know that the ball clearly hit the player's arm. Thanks IFAB. It really should be mandatory that everyone on their committee has to spend one weekend a year reffing some U12 games, just to see what soccer is actually like below their rarefied levels.
     
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  22. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    Why would you ever have called that handling? What about that is remotely deliberate?
     
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  23. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's where I was going with my original reply. Whether under the new laws or the old laws/interpretations, I have always been convinced that this was never handling - especially at the U12 level. I always used to get so frustrated when I'd see referees call this in younger grassroots games. These kids are barely in control of their bodies, even the relatively coordinated ones. My son once conceded two penalties in the same game on plays like the ones I mentioned. He kept asking me after the game why those were called handling, and I really had no answer for him.

    In the play I mentioned, at the U12 level I would rule a no-call 100 times out of 100. While I usually don't pay any attention to screaming parents, this one made me think (it probably didn't help that I had just thrown a parent of this club's U13 team earlier in the day). As long as the kid doesn't move his arm into the ball as it's coming off of his leg, it's just not handling to me. Even "8 o'clock" is a completely natural position as a kid is opening up his leg to take a ball off of his thigh.
     
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  24. Pelican86

    Pelican86 Member

    United States
    Jun 13, 2019
    "Deliberate" has always been a tricky term to deal with. We're not mind-readers. My approach to this call (again, prior to the rule changes) was based on the fact that a player is gaining an advantage from the ball hitting his or her arm after making a poor touch on the ball. If something like this happened in a U12 girls' game, there's a good chance the girl was going to fling her arm back, look guilty, and stop playing. When everybody expects the call, just make the call.
     
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  25. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    Strongly disagree with you on this (but I guess that's moot at this point given the law change). IMO, the role of the referee, even at 12U or 10U, it to properly apply the Laws and educate the players (and to an extent, the parents) rather than just call non-offenses as offenses because others expect it. I believe the proper role for the referee in these games, where the handling was not deliberate, is to not call an offense, and ideally verbalize "not deliberate, keep playing" so that players (and parents and coaches) learn.
     
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