"HANDBALL"

Surfref

PREMIER
The one word I hear most from spectators is "Handball." 19 out of 20 times the spectators have it wrong. If only spectators actually knew the Handling criteria and what the referee is using to make the decision, there would be less yelling at the referee in youth games.

Here is a good explanation of Handling with videos and play analysis of both the right and wrong calls by MLS referee. PRO Referee is a great website with informative information on the LOTG and how to apply them.

http://www.proreferees.com/news-play-of-the-week-2016-week-29.php
 
This always interests me, especially if it occurs inside the box it can be a huge game changer.

Reading the 5 things listed:

1. The proximity of the offending player when the ball is struck. The closer the player is to the ball, the less time he has to react, less time to move his arms out of the way or even towards the ball. The ball struck at close range on to the arm or hand of an opposing player is less likely to be considered a deliberate act than a ball struck from distance where a player has more opportunity to move his hand out of the way.

2. The movement of the hand or arm towards the ball, or away from the ball to prevent a handball offence occurring. If a player is attempting to avoid contact with a ball which strikes his hand or arm, the ball will often ‘fall’ towards the ground. If the act is deliberate, the ball will travel at pace off the offender as his hand/arm is rigid – he is expecting to make contact with the ball.

3. Consideration of the hand or arm in the unnatural position and distinguishing whether a player is merely protecting himself, or is unable to move his arms out of the way as the ball was struck from close range. However, when a ball goes to the side or above a player, where the hand or arm moves towards the ball, that is not a natural position or a defensive reaction. In these situations it is likely to be more a deliberate act of handball.

4. Whether the player uses his hands or arms to make himself bigger to prevent the ball from going past him, either towards goal or the penalty area. This action is a deliberate attempt to handle the ball, giving the defending player an unfair advantage.

5. The consequences of the handball offense.



If a player was just in front of the goal, back the play, another player shoots from 4 yards away, the ball strikes the defenders arm thus not going into the goal, do you call a handball?

What about corner kick, defender tries to play off chest and instead ball hits off chest and arm dropping next to them, they then clear, handball?
 

Surfref

PREMIER
This always interests me, especially if it occurs inside the box it can be a huge game changer.

Reading the 5 things listed:

1. The proximity of the offending player when the ball is struck. The closer the player is to the ball, the less time he has to react, less time to move his arms out of the way or even towards the ball. The ball struck at close range on to the arm or hand of an opposing player is less likely to be considered a deliberate act than a ball struck from distance where a player has more opportunity to move his hand out of the way.

2. The movement of the hand or arm towards the ball, or away from the ball to prevent a handball offence occurring. If a player is attempting to avoid contact with a ball which strikes his hand or arm, the ball will often ‘fall’ towards the ground. If the act is deliberate, the ball will travel at pace off the offender as his hand/arm is rigid – he is expecting to make contact with the ball.

3. Consideration of the hand or arm in the unnatural position and distinguishing whether a player is merely protecting himself, or is unable to move his arms out of the way as the ball was struck from close range. However, when a ball goes to the side or above a player, where the hand or arm moves towards the ball, that is not a natural position or a defensive reaction. In these situations it is likely to be more a deliberate act of handball.

4. Whether the player uses his hands or arms to make himself bigger to prevent the ball from going past him, either towards goal or the penalty area. This action is a deliberate attempt to handle the ball, giving the defending player an unfair advantage.

5. The consequences of the handball offense.



If a player was just in front of the goal, back the play, another player shoots from 4 yards away, the ball strikes the defenders arm thus not going into the goal, do you call a handball?

What about corner kick, defender tries to play off chest and instead ball hits off chest and arm dropping next to them, they then clear, handball?
Both of your questions are dependent upon the position and what he does with the arms. Since, you do not specify what his arms are doing I have to guess.

In the first question I am assuming you meant, "back to the play." If he has his back to the play and arms at his sides when the ball hits his arms, I would probably not call the foul.

The second question I am assuming arms next to his side in a natural position, so no foul.
 

Just a Parent

SILVER ELITE
The one word I hear most from spectators is "Handball." 19 out of 20 times the spectators have it wrong. If only spectators actually knew the Handling criteria and what the referee is using to make the decision, there would be less yelling at the referee in youth games.

Here is a good explanation of Handling with videos and play analysis of both the right and wrong calls by MLS referee. PRO Referee is a great website with informative information on the LOTG and how to apply them.

http://www.proreferees.com/news-play-of-the-week-2016-week-29.php
A few weeks ago a coach asked me what handball was in my book. I told him I do not have a book but that I was going by the LOTG as interpreted by USSF. He said he would like to see them and I told him sure, as soon as the game was over. After the handshakes at the end of the game I waited for him near where he had his stuff. He came, picked up his staff and as he was starting to walk away I reminded him that I was going to show him the criteria. His reply; "we won't agree anyway". He didn't look too happy when I started to laugh.
 
Both of your questions are dependent upon the position and what he does with the arms. Since, you do not specify what his arms are doing I have to guess.

In the first question I am assuming you meant, "back to the play." If he has his back to the play and arms at his sides when the ball hits his arms, I would probably not call the foul.

The second question I am assuming arms next to his side in a natural position, so no foul.
Thanks for the reply. In both cases fouls were called. It seems to many handballs are called based off what I read, especially at the younger age where kids aren't even thinking of using their hands to get an advantage. Also had a game where handballs were called twice against us, both times they were trying to play off their chest and the ball either hit their hand or deflected onto their hand.
 

Surfref

PREMIER
Thanks for the reply. In both cases fouls were called. It seems to many handballs are called based off what I read, especially at the younger age where kids aren't even thinking of using their hands to get an advantage. Also had a game where handballs were called twice against us, both times they were trying to play off their chest and the ball either hit their hand or deflected onto their hand.

I occasionally work with some refs that call any contact with the arm/hand. I have to provide them with a little education during halftime.
 
I occasionally work with some refs that call any contact with the arm/hand. I have to provide them with a little education during halftime.
My sad handball story - from 15+/-2 years ago -

First game of the season for my boy's BU11 team, away game on a pleasant day in El Cajon. We were up by a goal as time was running out. Opponents execute a corner kick with a looping arc that comes right to the feet of our big defender. He tries to clear the ball from the PA, but miskicks it so it runs right up his body, including his right arm. Ref calls handling, they tie the game with a last-minute PK.

Fast forward to end of season - three-way tie for first. Top 2 teams will be put in BU12 Premier next year. We come out third on tie-breakers.
 
This always interests me, especially if it occurs inside the box it can be a huge game changer.

Reading the 5 things listed:

1. The proximity of the offending player when the ball is struck. The closer the player is to the ball, the less time he has to react, less time to move his arms out of the way or even towards the ball. The ball struck at close range on to the arm or hand of an opposing player is less likely to be considered a deliberate act than a ball struck from distance where a player has more opportunity to move his hand out of the way.

2. The movement of the hand or arm towards the ball, or away from the ball to prevent a handball offence occurring. If a player is attempting to avoid contact with a ball which strikes his hand or arm, the ball will often ‘fall’ towards the ground. If the act is deliberate, the ball will travel at pace off the offender as his hand/arm is rigid – he is expecting to make contact with the ball.

3. Consideration of the hand or arm in the unnatural position and distinguishing whether a player is merely protecting himself, or is unable to move his arms out of the way as the ball was struck from close range. However, when a ball goes to the side or above a player, where the hand or arm moves towards the ball, that is not a natural position or a defensive reaction. In these situations it is likely to be more a deliberate act of handball.

4. Whether the player uses his hands or arms to make himself bigger to prevent the ball from going past him, either towards goal or the penalty area. This action is a deliberate attempt to handle the ball, giving the defending player an unfair advantage.

5. The consequences of the handball offense.



If a player was just in front of the goal, back the play, another player shoots from 4 yards away, the ball strikes the defenders arm thus not going into the goal, do you call a handball?

What about corner kick, defender tries to play off chest and instead ball hits off chest and arm dropping next to them, they then clear, handball?
I'm not as experienced as baldref or surfref, but as described I'm likely to blow the whistle on both of them.
1. Ball is going into goal and hits a kid in hand? I'm sure you had to be there, but unless he has his hand purposefully tucked to his side or into his body to get it out of the way, that sounds like a tough one to let go.
2. Corner kick and kid is trying to chest the ball but it hits his arm and then falls to his feet? Again, unless his arms are tucked behind trying to keep them out of the way, this is going to get a whistle from me.
 

Surfref

PREMIER
I'm not as experienced as baldref or surfref, but as described I'm likely to blow the whistle on both of them.
1. Ball is going into goal and hits a kid in hand? I'm sure you had to be there, but unless he has his hand purposefully tucked to his side or into his body to get it out of the way, that sounds like a tough one to let go.
2. Corner kick and kid is trying to chest the ball but it hits his arm and then falls to his feet? Again, unless his arms are tucked behind trying to keep them out of the way, this is going to get a whistle from me.
Age and skill level sort of come into play. Men/women or higher level older youth players would need to have there arms stuck to their side and not twist or move the body to use the arm to block or redirect the ball. A younger kid with their arms close to their side would probably not get the calls. This is where Referee positioning comes into play. The referee needs to be close to play (10-15 yards), but most important is to have a good angle especially if the ball is down in the attacking third. Being "there" is critical when something such as Handling occurs and a call could change the game. This is where referee fitness comes in and a knowledge of the game and tactics is important for a referee. The other thing is that the referee has to have the courage to make that foul call that will result in a PK. I have worked with a couple referees lately that did not make two game critical Handling calls. One of the referees actually told me he did not make the call because he did not want to hear all the players, coach and spectators yell at him. This is when the referee needs to have a huge set of platinum balls and just ignore the yelling. The other referee let it go because he thought there was an advantage. The attacker lost the ball less than a second later. We had a long talk about applying advantage in the penalty area.

Sorry got off on a little tangent.
 

SCS Fan

BRONZE
Surfref, How about this one - in a GU15 game I was a spectator at, on a corner kick that is kicked into the goal box the first player to touch it is a defender a few feet in front of the middle of the goal, this defender contorts her body and lunges a foot at the ball getting a piece of the ball just before it hits the ground ball comes up and hits one her arms which has flailed out because she was off balance due to her stretching effort to get a foot on the ball. The ball lightly lands at her feet where she is able to then clear the ball. Because she was off balance it seems her arm was in an unnatural position, this was a ball to hand and was not intentional. However the consequence was very beneficial to this defender which is why I believe the AR called handling, and the CR agreed and awarded a penalty kick. Was this the right call?
 

Just a Parent

SILVER ELITE
Surfref, How about this one - in a GU15 game I was a spectator at, on a corner kick that is kicked into the goal box the first player to touch it is a defender a few feet in front of the middle of the goal, this defender contorts her body and lunges a foot at the ball getting a piece of the ball just before it hits the ground ball comes up and hits one her arms which has flailed out because she was off balance due to her stretching effort to get a foot on the ball. The ball lightly lands at her feet where she is able to then clear the ball. Because she was off balance it seems her arm was in an unnatural position, this was a ball to hand and was not intentional. However the consequence was very beneficial to this defender which is why I believe the AR called handling, and the CR agreed and awarded a penalty kick. Was this the right call?
No. Handling should only be for "deliberately handling the ball".
 

Surfref

PREMIER
Surfref, How about this one - in a GU15 game I was a spectator at, on a corner kick that is kicked into the goal box the first player to touch it is a defender a few feet in front of the middle of the goal, this defender contorts her body and lunges a foot at the ball getting a piece of the ball just before it hits the ground ball comes up and hits one her arms which has flailed out because she was off balance due to her stretching effort to get a foot on the ball. The ball lightly lands at her feet where she is able to then clear the ball. Because she was off balance it seems her arm was in an unnatural position, this was a ball to hand and was not intentional. However the consequence was very beneficial to this defender which is why I believe the AR called handling, and the CR agreed and awarded a penalty kick. Was this the right call?
I have to agree with JaP. Where are your arms going to go if you start to fall backwards, out and slightly back to help you regain balance. This is a natural reaction to being off balance or falling. She did not deliberately play the ball with her arms or hands.

Although in real time it is much tougher. A properly positioned referee and AR should have realized that the ball contacting the arms was not deliberate. Some of these plays happen so fast that they are hard to see unless the referee is positioned correctly.
 

watfly

GOLD
I know some refs will call it a "handball" if they deem the player to have gained an advantage by the ball hitting their hand (regardless of intent). Not correct, but that interpretation is not uncommon for refs and certainly a lot of parents. I heard that recently from a ref that called a handball after a ball struck a player's hand that had his back to the ball and was retreating downfield.

Maybe semantics but I think if it were called what it is, "handling" that there might be a better understanding of rule. Did that player handle the ball?
 

watfly

GOLD
The article quotes this "His arm is also in an unnatural position, away from his body." and I also hear this from other refs when determining the call that the player's arm is away from his body. Why is this considered an unnatural position? It's natural in soccer to play with your arms out for balance and to create space, it's normal to be "bigger" than your torso. I can see if the player has his arms straight out but arms out with a bend at the elbow seems natural.
 
Last night, hard shot towards the goal by one of my girls in AYSO, hits girls hand that is stuck out at a 90 degree angle from her body. Looks intentional, two referees on my side say it looks like a hand ball. Referee says it was accidental. I ask are you sure, her arm and hand extended outwards into the flight of the ball. I lose a point for sportsmanship, and get a warning that if I say another word he will reward the other team with a penalty kick. I apologize and shut my mouth.
 

twoclubpapa

SILVER
The article quotes this "His arm is also in an unnatural position, away from his body." and I also hear this from other refs when determining the call that the player's arm is away from his body. Why is this considered an unnatural position? It's natural in soccer to play with your arms out for balance and to create space, it's normal to be "bigger" than your torso. I can see if the player has his arms straight out but arms out with a bend at the elbow seems natural.
Arms out to "create space" can be pushing or holding an opponent. Players need to be careful when they create space in this manner.
 

watfly

GOLD
Based upon explanations I've read and heard it appears that handling is not just a "deliberate act" but (given a certain distance) a "failure to avoid contact with the ball" with your hand or arm.
 
Based upon explanations I've read and heard it appears that handling is not just a "deliberate act" but (given a certain distance) a "failure to avoid contact with the ball" with your hand or arm.
If they see the ball at a certain distance and do not avoid the handling contact then it was deliberate :)
 

GunninGopher

SILVER ELITE
but (given a certain distance) a "failure to avoid contact with the ball" with your hand or arm.
Here is how I explain it to kids and adults alike...

Let's say a guy was driving down the street in a straight line and a kid's soccer ball rolled and stopped in the street a little bit ahead of his truck. If the guy kept driving straight and ran it over would you say he 'deliberately ran the ball over' if he could have avoided it? He was already driving straight, after all.

I think most would agree that a failing to act to avoid something is akin to deliberately doing it, and that is one of the principles I apply when making the snap judgement about whether a ball was deliberately handled or not.
 

watfly

GOLD
Here is how I explain it to kids and adults alike...

Let's say a guy was driving down the street in a straight line and a kid's soccer ball rolled and stopped in the street a little bit ahead of his truck. If the guy kept driving straight and ran it over would you say he 'deliberately ran the ball over' if he could have avoided it? He was already driving straight, after all.

I think most would agree that a failing to act to avoid something is akin to deliberately doing it, and that is one of the principles I apply when making the snap judgement about whether a ball was deliberately handled or not.
I understand your point, and agree with your conclusion in some cases, but your analogy is not illustrative of your point as it is an example of "the movement of the hand (car) towards the ball" which clearly is a foul under the LOTG. The correct comparative analogy would be "if a kid threw a ball at a car stopped down the street it would be a deliberate act of hitting the ball by the driver if the driver didn't move his car out of the way". Semantics maybe, but I see those as two very different concepts. (although it could be argued that those are just two really bad analogies).
 
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