I am a grade 8 referee working to improve my skill level and increase in understanding of the game. I have found the us soccer website to be extremely helpful. Find the week in review to be very educational. Currently have a question on making the correct call when there is goalie/attacker collision. When both players are clearly playing the ball and there is not an apparent aggressor, should there be a “no call” or should there be a foul? When one player or the other is clearly an aggressor and “takes the other out”, is it correct to call a foul on the goalie when the ball has been played and a goal prevented? Would say if the attacker takes out the goalie, it is clearly a foul. Is there guidance to making a call when there is a goalie/attacker collision? Thank you.

USSF answer (September 16, 2009):
One question at a time.

First, if both players are clearly (and fairly) playing the ball and not one another and, as a result, they collide, there is NO FOUL. PERIOD. This despite the penchant some referees have for calling this a foul.

2. If one of the players (whether goalkeeper or a field player) is clearly playing his/her opponent, rather than playing the ball, that is a foul. If the act is aggressive, it is serious misconduct, worth of a sending-off (red card). If it is instead reckless, it is unsporting behavior and must be cautioned (yellow card).

3. If the act by the “aggressor” is a foul, interferes with a goal-scoring opportunity (including the actual preventing of a goal), and all “4 Ds” are present, then the “aggressor” should be sent off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick. However, if the act in and of itself is worthy of a sending-off, then that is the reason to be included in the match report.

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