Alex is a remarkable goalie. He’s not afraid to dive right at the feet of a forward making a run for a goal. He’s brave, and tenacious, and nearly unstoppable.
Early in Saturday’s game, Alex had the ball in his hands, when another player continued to try to control the ball, and stepped on Alex’s hand with his full weight. Even though he had new gloves with finger protectors, his hand was broken just under his index finger.
Despite being hurt, Alex played most of the rest of the game with a broken hand.
Recently, it’s gotten to the point where players are disregarding the safety of other players, especially the goalie. Alex has been kicked in the head more than once, and he now wears a helmet (like the one worn by Chelsea Keeper Petr Cech). And even though Alex has control of the ball, he’s been stepped on several times by players who think it’s okay to kick the ball out of his hands. And a dangerous play foul is rarely (if ever) called by the referees.
According to the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees, based on the FIFA rules:
When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot be challenged by an opponent.
A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball:
- while the ball is between his hands or between his hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body)
- while holding the ball in his outstretched open hand
- while in the act of bouncing it on the ground or tossing it into the air
Playing in a dangerous manner
Playing in a dangerous manner is defined as any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player himself). It is committed with an opponent nearby and prevents the opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.
Playing in a dangerous manner involves no physical contact between the players. If there is physical contact, the action becomes an offence punishable with a direct free kick or penalty kick. In the case of physical contact, the referee should carefully consider the high probability that misconduct has also been committed.
We're making sure this gets the attention of the referees, often inexperienced, that 11 year old players need a little more guidance when it comes to the definition of dangerous play. For that matter, they should start with sportsmanlike conduct.