Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - "Resident Ref" explains handball and red cards
Spurs Odyssey Banner

Over 25 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey

Main Page
News and views from Paul Smith, and links to the interactive features of the Spurs Odyssey Site. [more..]
Articles, reports, views, opinions, comments and other features all related to Spurs. [more..]

Harry Hotspur's Tribute Pages to the late great Bill Nicholson

Buy this commemorative plate!

Match Reports
Search Spurs Odyssey &/or The Web!


"Resident Ref" explains the law regarding handball and a red card offence

In the first of a series of articles, which will be published whenever a controversial refereeing issue crops up (that's every week, then!) Spurs Odyssey's own "Resident Ref" explains the law regarding handball, and the relevant red card offence affecting the Robbie Keane incident last Sunday. As you know, the club appealed Graham poll's decision, but failed, so Robbie will have to sit out next Sunday's game at Upton Park. Here is the detail:-

Law 12 Fouls & Misconduct

A player is sent-off and shown the red card if s/he commits any one of seven offences:

#4 reads:

"Denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area)"

Here is an extract from a position paper on the subject of "Handling"

The Laws of the Game declare that a direct free kick is given to the opposing team if a player “handles the ball deliberately ...

This simple statement defines one of the ten listed offences in the first part of Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct) and lies at the historical and traditional heart of soccer, a game played with all parts of the body other than the hands....

What are the characteristics of a clear handling offence?

• A player deliberately carries, strikes, or propels the ball with the hand or arm

• It is the player’s action that initiates the contact with the ball

What characteristics of ball contact are clearly not handling offences?

• The ball strikes the hand or arm (i.e., the ball initiates the contact)

• The contact is accidental (not the result of action by the player)

• The contact is the result of a purely reflexive effort at self-protection

What are the standards of judgment which the referee will apply when the handling offence is not immediately clear?

• The distance or time within which the player had to react to avoid contact – if there was time to avoid the contact, the likelihood of an offence is greater

• The position of the player’s hand or arm at the time of the contact – if the hand or arm is carried in an unnatural or unusual position (e.g., high up in the air or, while defending against a free kick, far away from the body), the likelihood of an offence is greater

So there's the Law defined and some additional information provided to Referees.

I leave it to you to decide whether this weekend's events met the criteria as laid out above.(Ed: In my view, it might have been a pen, but not a red card offence! My initial reaction was No Pen!)

Our "resident ref" has volunteered to respond to an "Ask the Ref" thread on the Spurs Odyssey Message Board If you would like to join in the debate there, then please let me know

· Read the Bolton match report here

Top of page | Index to 2006-7 Matches & Reports

Fixtures, appearances, current league table, form guide, reserves fixtures, and Spurs Honours. [more..]
Find match reports, appearances, goalscorers and features from previous seasons. [more..]
Pick of the Week
Every week we select a Spurs related site from the whole world wide web and highlight it in this section. [more..]
View a comprehensive list of links to other Spurs related sites. (With a few extras) [more..]
About this site
· Overview
· History
· Contributors
Site Owner
· Paul Smith


We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Full details van be found via the Spurs Odyssey Privacy Policy