In clause 12.20 of the ATR, is the operative interpretation “deliberately kicked” or kicked “deliberately to the goalkeeper” by a teammate?
In one of my recent games, white attacker in possession of the ball is moving toward blue’s goal, with blue defender challenging shoulder to shoulder. Blue defender wins possession and kicks the ball away from the white attacker. Blue goalkeeper, while still in her own penalty area, moves toward the ball and picks it up. Clearly the blue defender “deliberately kicked” the ball. But she didn’t necessarily kick the ball “deliberately to the goal keeper”.
Has the goalkeeper committed an infraction?
USSF answer (February 12, 2009):
We think the Advice is quite clear as it stands but will address the matter here.
Two answers to the first question: (a) Both. “Deliberately kicked” or “kicked deliberately” mean that there was some forethought to the player’s action; the player knew where he or she wanted the ball to go and kicked it there. On the other hand, an obvious attempt to clear the ball that happens to run to the ‘keeper is not punishable, nor is a ball that is obviously miskicked. (b) “To the goalkeeper” means directly to the goalkeeper or to a place where the goalkeeper can conveniently play the ball.
Second question: If, in the opinion of the referee, … .
We add a final note, meant solely to clarify for referees (and, unfortunately, many instructors, too) that the phrasing MUST NOT be interpreted as “kicked with the intent that the ball go to the goalkeeper.” “Deliberately” modifies “kick” and not the direction (meaning the totality of the direction “to the goalkeeper”) which is why the kick must be deliberate and the direction must be deliberate (i. e., not a miskick) but the direction itself doesn’t have to be the specific direction of “to the goalkeeper.”