Paul Trevillion's illustration on Handball
Ask the Ref: Handball
Keith Hacket on the Joys of the Game, specifically on Handball.
I often hear the crowd’s screams for a free kick or penalty kick when the ball strikes the hand.
So I thought that I would try to clarify the law and also underpin at the same time how referees should act on the field of play
To clarify the first point, the hand does of course include the arm and when I am coaching young referees I point out that the hand and arm are right up to the stitched joint that joins the full body of the shirt with the arm.
Handball is one of the simplest of all the Laws of the Game, yet the difficulties for referees in a match situation is trying to determine whether a handball act is or isn’t deliberate and the complexity involved in making this judgement!
So what criteria do referees have to consider when deciding whether a handball act is or isn’t deliberate?
- THE PROXIMITY OF THE OFFENDING PLAYER when the ball is struck. The snap shot that strikes the hand of a defending player who is standing a short distance from the ball when the shot was made.
- THE MOVEMENT OF THE HAND OR ARM towards the ball or away from the ball to prevent a handball offence occurring
- Consideration of the hand or arm in the unnatural position
- Whether the player uses his hands or arms to make himself bigger
Caution if unsporting behaviour, for example to prevent an opponent from gaining possession; or attempting to score a goal
Sending off if (the handball) denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity
However not every handball offence is punished by a red or yellow card.
HANDBALL OFFENCES BY THE GOALKEEPER
A goalkeeper who commits a handball offence outside his penalty area is treated as an ordinary player
Related Articles: Ask the Ref
Keith Hackett is a world class ref and the author of You Are the Ref, the Ultimate Illustrated Guide to the Laws of Football and the new book, You Are the Umpire. The books are available on Amazon.com. The amazing illustrations are by Paul Trevillion.
You Are The Ref is a cult classic comic strip in England. SN is thrilled to bring this to our American soccer audience and share these stunning portraits of soccer stars from all eras. For anyone who has ever questioned a ref's eyesight or grappd with a clearly 'wrong' call, now it is your turn!
According to David James, "Anyone who loves the game knows You Are The Ref. Paul Trevillion's brillant art has been around for generations!"
Any opinions expressed in this column shall not be construed as advice on Laws of the Game, and may not represent the official position of US Soccer, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), CalSouth, the Presidio League, or any affiliates thereof unless specified with appropriate attribution.