As parents we want to support our kids when they have their football match, but so often we do not have a cooking clue what the rules of football are, but we do know that players aren’t supposed to use their hands unless they are the goalie. 

The rule for a hand ball includes using any part of the arm from the tips of the fingers to the shoulder.  The way to look at this football rule is that a player cannot handle the ball.  If the ball is kicked and hits a player’s hand or arm is not a hand ball, even if the player gains an advantage from it.  In this case the referee must use his own judgment to determine whether or not a hand ball is accidental contact or a purposeful attempt to gain an advantage.

In younger ages a ball striking arms deliberately held against the body for protection will not be deemed handling the ball, unless in the opinion of the referee, the player then directs the ball with them.

A lot of us thought that the goalie can use his hands but believe it or not there is also a situation in which the goalie cannot us his hands – this is called the back-pass rule.  Goalkeepers cannot pick up a pass that came directly from one of their teammates, the goalkeeper must use his feet. 

Believe it or not, there is a situation when the goalie cannot use his hands, this is called the back-pass rule.  Goalkeepers cannot pick up a pass that came directly from one of their teammates, in this case the goalkeeper must use his feet.  Infraction of this football rule will result in an indirect kick from the point of the infraction.

When a throw-in is taken a player must have both feet on the ground and throw the ball with both hands from behind his head and over his head.

Even though this is about “no hands” – there is sometimes a bit of confusion about a goal kick or corner kick.

Goal kick or corner kick is taken when the ball leaves the field across the end-line – if the offensive team kicks the ball out, play is restarted with a goal kick and if the defensive team kicks it out play is restarted with a corner kick.

A goal kick will be taken from anywhere inside the goalie box and it can be taken by any player not just the goalkeeper.

Sometimes a goal kick is retaken, this is because the FIFA football rules state that the ball is not back “in play” until it leaves the penalty area.  At this time no one can touch the ball until it leaves the penalty area and if the ball is not kicked properly it must be retaken.

For parents it is easy to forget in the heat of a football match, that this is their kid’s game and not theirs so it is important to try the following:

  • Learn the rules
  • Let the Players play, the Coaches coach and the Referees officiate.
  • Cheer good plays of both teams
  • Be a model for good sportsmanship for your kids……remember they are watching!

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