there was keeper change during the game. he did sub in during a throw in but did not acknowledge me about the goalie change.

During the game the opposing team scores 2 goals on this goalie where the this goalie never touched the ball with his hands. finally this goalie touched the ball with his hands, I called a hand ball and penalty kick because he had not told me offically about the goalie change. What is the correct call? Or was I correct?

USSF answer (April 30, 2009):
Let us ponder this: You were fully aware of the change when it happened and did nothing about it. Now you want to punish the new goalkeeper for handling the ball. You allowed the new goalkeeper to play for much of the game and did nothing.

Would you have punished the goalkeeper if he had touched the ball on its way into the goal for the two scores that occurred before you took action? If so, that would have denied the opposing team whichever of those goals you took away.

What you should have done was to be proactive and ask the captain or the new goalkeeper if he wanted to tell you about a substitution. And you should have done that right away. We do not play power games with the players. It is their game, not ours. Help them play correctly.

The failure to notify the referee — if indeed there was a failure — is clearly a minor issue and you should only have reminded the new goalkeeper about the requirement.  But all referees need to understand that under NO circumstances can this goalkeeper be penalized for handling the ball illegally.  The strongest action the referee can take is to caution the ‘keeper at the next stoppage of play (but only the stoppage that occurs directly following the goalkeeper’s appearance on the field) — if the referee allows this opportunity to pass then he can’t even do that!

Our feeling is that this was a simple substitution during which someone forgot to say the magic words to you.  When you allowed the substitution and whistled for the restart of play with player X now wearing a distinctive goalkeeper jersey, due notice was given to and acknowledged by you.

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