Arms and the Free Kick

(Originally posted on 7/6/17, “Operation Restore”)

Shane, a U-12 and Under parent, asks:

When blocking a free kick when your arms are by your side, is there an offense if the ball hits your arm and your arms do not move from your side?



The International Board has been very clear in the section titled “Handling the ball” in Law 12 (2017-2018 Laws of the Game).  It starts off by explicitly stating that the offense involves “a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with the hand or arm” and goes on to note that, among the things to be considered are “the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)” and “that the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement.”

What you described doesn’t even come close to an offense.