When is the right time to call Handball?

When to call handball? Did I make the right call?

Blue is attacking, White is defending. We are in open play but Blue has had the ball in the defenders penalty area for about 30 seconds, so the defense is packed deep, including players within a yard of the goal line.

Blue kicks the ball, it glances off of a White defender’s arm and goes in the goal. Blue was awarded the goal. The White team wanted the goal to be reversed and a handball called instead, as it happened first. (The defender’s arms were tucked in alongside his body and were not out in a body expanding position, nor were they above their shoulders.)

Handling the ball is part of Law 12, Fouls and Misconduct. It is clear that the White team coach wanted the handling called, as it would negate the sure goal and provide for a Penalty Kick where there is a chance of a miss.
The offending White team player would receive a “caution” (if match was 12U or higher) for unsporting behavior.

As Law 12 reviews Handling the Ball, it is important to recognize that “not every touch of a players hand or arm with the ball is an offence”.
The criteria for “Handling” includes:
• “Deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm. For example moving the hand/arm towards the ball”.

• “Touches the ball with their hand/arm when it has made their body unnaturally bigger. A player is considered to have made the body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the players body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalized”.

• Scores in the opponents goal

  • Directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper
  •  Immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm even if accidental.

Based on the information provided in the scenario experienced, none of the criteria for “Handling the Ball” existed and the, “no call” was correct.