A situation similar to this occurred during a recent match where I was an AR, and it got me thinking. On a corner kick, the blue team puts the ball into play and another blue player strikes a shot toward the goal. A red defender (not the goalkeeper), just in front of the goal line and between the posts, blocks the shot with his thigh, popping the ball into the air. Deciding that he has neither time nor space to play the ball legally, the red player then swats the ball away from the front of the goal with his hand. Assuming that the ball was either coming straight up or slightly back out away from the goal after contact with the red player’s thigh, would this violation be punishable with a caution for USB and a PK restart, or would this be considered a continuation of the original shot and therefore be punishable with a send-off for DOGSO-H? I know that predicting how a ball might bounce is problematic, but would it make any difference if there was visible spin on the ball, suggesting that it would have spun itself into the goal if it had been allowed to hit the ground?
USSF answer (March 20, 2010):
No DOGSO-H here unless the referee can determine that, but for the the deliberate handling, whether the ball would have entered the goal.