Soccer Goalkeeper Rules – Why Do We Need Goals

goalkeeper rules in soccer

As a result, many people tend to forget that the goalkeeper does have an important role when it comes to the rules of the game. The goalkeeper rules in soccer differ from football rules in many ways. To learn more about them, keep reading.

The back-pass rule is probably one which still attracts a great deal of confusion to players at every level. When do you pass the ball to your goalie then? And if you do, is it legal? Many of us have played defense all our life and it has often occurred that even professionals don’t really know what the back-pass rule really is, or how to properly interpret it.

Avoid This Unnecessary Confusion

A group of baseball players playing a football game

One way to avoid this unnecessary confusion is to remember the origin of the back-pass rule. The origin of this particular rule is to prevent “cheating” by a team. It says that if any member of the team intentionally passes the ball ahead of another player and then starts playing a part of the ball, this will be considered as a “cheating” act. If the opposing team commits a “cheating” act within five minutes of the completion of a game, a penalty will be given – a red card, or a sending off.

Now, let us examine a very simple example. Two teenage boys play on opposite sides. One boy passes the ball back to the other boy, who then starts playing with it. If the referee did not review the play, the two players will be given an indirect free kick – either one-minute against the opponents, or a sending off. So the goalkeepers have a golden opportunity to stop a wasting time goal.

Ball Back

A pair of sneakers

What makes the “ball back” so problematic is that many players try to use this rule as an excuse for not playing proper soccer. For instance, during a Brazil v Argentina match, the referee sent off a player for reacting to a ball being thrown back. This is known as the “ball-watching rule” in English. Although this is not a foul, the sending off was later announced as a foul on the match, and the opposing team took advantage of this, scoring a priceless goal.

How can this type of tactic be allowed? The answer is simple. As mentioned above, this is a foul. Therefore, stopping a player from playing a ball which he is not legally allowed to play is the fundamental duty of a goalkeeper. So, if the goalie fails to do this, a yellow card is shown and the player is sent off. This way the opposing team can play their ball without any risks.

Professional Goalkeepers

In order to avoid this kind of situation, professional goalkeepers follow a specific routine in order to avoid being sent off. When a player is sent off, the entire team must suffer a disciplinary measure. Usually the players who lose their places are punished by being substituted; this makes it easier for the goalie to keep his job. If a player fails to show up for the next game, his services are no longer required by the coach. This is the reason why it is important for goalkeepers to play according to the rules of the game.


The referee’s announcement of a caution is very vital. It is very easy for a goalkeeper to get caught out of position by getting pulled out of position because of his own mistakes. It is therefore important for a goalkeeper to stay calm when a red card is shown. This way the goalkeeper can still continue to perform his duties and keep the ball away from the opposing team. If the opposing goalkeeper sends the ball towards the referee, he will be given a red and will have to leave the field.

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