Where can goalkeepers actually go outside their circle? What can they do? Most importantly, why the heck won't they just stay home, gosh darn it! Get the answers here on this #RuleyTuesday episode.
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Hey friends! I’m Keely Dunn of FHumpires, back with a yet another hot take on one hockey rule. Today, we’re working through what goalkeepers can and can’t do outside the circle, when you’re going to call a foul, and why.
Rule 10 is where we begin:
10.1 A goalkeeper must not take part in the match outside the 23 metres area they are defending, except when taking a penalty stroke.
Protective headgear must be worn by a goalkeeper at all times, except when taking a penalty stroke.
10.2 When the ball is inside the circle they are defending and they have their stick in their hand:
a) Goalkeepers are permitted to use their stick, feet, kickers, legs or leg guards or any other part of their body to deflect the ball over the back-line or to play the ball in any other direction.
Goalkeepers are not permitted to conduct themselves in a manner which is dangerous to other players by taking advantage of the protective equipment they wear.
10.4 When the ball is outside the circle they are defending, goalkeepers are only permitted to play the ball with their stick.
Just for good measure, we’ll cover rule 4.4 because it gives colour to rule 10.
4.4 Goalkeepers must wear protective equipment comprising at least headgear, leg guards and kickers except that the headgear and any hand protectors may be removed when taking a penalty stroke.
The following are permitted for use only by goalkeepers: body, upper arm, elbow, forearm, hand, thigh and knee protectors, leg guards and kickers.
What's the Purpose?
Here are the highlights I want you to pull out of these clauses. You’ve probably heard me say before that almost every hockey rule is aimed at reducing danger. These provisions are no exception because the purpose behind defining what a goalkeeper wears, particularly a big fibreglass helmet with a metal cage and all this bulky protection is it makes them significantly bigger than your average player. All of this equipment makes them dangerous to all the field players who can’t wear any of it. We want to limit and control when players could come into contact with goalkeepers so there are no surprises.
That’s part of the logic behind goalkeepers only using their sticks when outside the circle. Now, we don’t have to be all mean and confine goalkeepers within a 15m semi-semi-circular area, but we don’t want them going all crazy town on the whole field. So outside their circle, they are just like field players and can’t play the ball with their equipment and can only use their sticks. They lose their biggest advantage, which is fair when you consider that outside the circle a goal can’t be scored anyway, so they’re not stopping a shot and doing goalkeeper-y things if they’re outside the area. Further, the guidance reinforces that they have to play with consideration of all their extra equipment and not put their opponents in danger, which could happen in any sort of collision. Here’s a good example of a goalkeeper using only her stick to make a defensive play and does so safely.
Not Outside the 23m Though!
That ‘defensive play' element is where the next point I want to emphasize comes in: goalkeepers can’t play outside their 23m area at all unless they are attempting a penalty stroke. Here’s a clip where the goalkeeper gets a little too eager to stop a breakaway, uses his stick to make the tackle but does so well outside his 23m area.
What Is the Call and Why?
Now we can address what you should do when this happens. First off, we put a lot of responsibility on goalkeepers to know where the circle is. Since they always know when a shot is taken from outside it, we can expect them to control their bodies whenever they get close to the line. That means that in most circumstances, you can deem a goalkeeper using anything but their stick outside the circle as an intentional action—not that they intended to foul, but they intended to be outside the circle and took the risk they would foul and break down the play.
At the minimum, a penalty corner should be given, and a card would be appropriate where the breakdown had a big effect on the game or where it had a physical element. Given the egregiousness of this particular breakdown and level of play, a 10 min yellow card is appropriate and given here. Five-minute yellows and green cards could be appropriate in different circumstances at different levels; so make sure to take the consequences to the game and the relative professionalism of the players into account, but don’t be put off holding them to account either.
Personal Penalties Being Personal
Side note: cards are personal penalties and their suspensions must be served by the goalkeeper themselves, as we covered in #RuleyTuesday Ep. 2. There’s a link here and in the description: go check that out for more.
Did I wholly wind up wandering goal watchers? Witness your warrant in the available window and if I could wheedle you to whip out a like, I’d be walking on air. Also, head to fhumpires.com/workshops and sign up for “Player-Proof Your PCs” where you’ll get wise to a winning method for your set pieces. Fhu3t members get a bonus PC decision-making flow-chart and yellow members get a 50% discount so sign up for the #thirdteam at fhu3t.com – what are you waiting for!
Chau for now!
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