Football is called soccer because the ball is to be played with the foot. The header is fine. On the other hand, touching the ball with your hand will almost certainly lead to a discussion. But when is handball?
It has something of its own learning to it Football: When is a field player touching the ball with his hand a penalty handball? Whistle specifications have been adjusted many times in recent years, which has always been accompanied by public criticism.
In addition, there are various interpretations where apparently crystal clear handballs are not penalized but action is taken when touched from close-range shots. The introduction of a video referee seems to have complicated the situation as the ability to watch more and more slow motion perspectives makes any handball seem even more dramatic.
We deal with the most important questions about handball.
Who is responsible for international football rules?
This task is carried out by the Board of the International Football Association (IFAB). In this case, the four British football associations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – each have one vote FIFA represents the remaining 207 member associations and has four votes.
The body’s task is to “ensure that the Laws of the Game are protected while respecting the traditions and the international dimension of football”. A three-quarters majority vote is required for the proposal to be adopted, which means that FIFA cannot change the rules without the consent of the British unions.
IFAB members’ decision-making is assisted by the Football and Technology Advisory Board, made up of former players, coaches or referees. In 2022, these will be Arsene Wenger, Jillian Ellis, Luis Figo, Zvonimir Boban, Pierluigi Collina and Roberto Rosetti.
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What is the handball rule for the 2022/2023 season?
In the official rule catalog, which contains only 17 rules, handball is dealt with under Rule 12: Fouls and Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Namely in point “12.1 Direct free kick”, which was not infringed before the start of the season.
Under “Handball” it says: “For the assessment of handball offenses, the line between the shoulder and the arm (when the hand is held) is under the armpit.” At the same time, however, it is emphasized: “Not every touch of the ball with the player’s hand / arm is an offense.”
There are three conditions of the offense, one of which is sufficient for the whistle: either the player deliberately touches the ball with his hand or arm (e.g. by making the appropriate move), the player magnifies the touch of the ball with his hand, or “arm” his body “unnaturally” due to the position of his hand / arm or scores an opponent’s goal by touching his hand or arm. In the latter case, the intention is irrelevant. A goal is a whistle if it is scored directly with the hand or arm – including the goalkeeper – or if a goal is scored immediately after contact with the hand or arm.
The provisions on unnatural body enlargement are also becoming more precise. This occurs “when the hand / arm position is neither the result of a player’s body movement in the situation, nor can it be excused by that body movement.” With this hand / arm position, the player accepts the risk “that the ball will bounce off his hand / arm and will be penalized for it”.
What is the handball rule for goalkeepers in the 2022/2023 season?
The next sub-clause applies to bouncers known to enjoy special privileges in their own penalty area. Only outside their territory are they subject to the same handball rules as all other players.
The IFAB rules also state that a goalkeeper who “illegally touches the ball with his hand / arm in his own penalty area” – for example, after a teammate passes – causes an indirect free kick. However, no disciplinary measures will be imposed so yellow or red cards are excluded.
However, there is a penalty for goalkeepers if they ‘touch the ball a second time after the game has been restarted’ ‘before another player has touched the ball’. The condition of the personal penalty is stopping the promising attack, preventing the opposing team from scoring or preventing the obvious opportunity to score. It doesn’t matter if the goalkeeper touches the ball with his hand / shoulder or some other part of the body – it is no longer a pure handball rule. An example would probably be too short kicks or free kicks by the goalkeeper who then follows the ball and touches it again.
Can the handball rules in the Bundesliga be changed despite the IFAB rules?
No, under “Application of the Game Rules” it says: “The same Game Rules apply to all confederations, states, cities and municipalities. They may not be changed or adapted without the approval of the IFAB ”. The exception is the number of changes, which can also be less than five. In addition, the size of the field, the material of the ball or the dimensions of the goal can also be adapted to football for juniors, seniors, people with disabilities and amateurs.