hi, i have two question. The first questionis which rule protects the goalie. I know there is a rule that says that nobody should touch the goalie when he has possession of hte ball. The second question is about parents invading the field. Is there any rules that says anything about parents invading the field and insulting the players. IS because i had a problem on a game of boys from 7 and 8 graders, were one player from the opposite team would kick or use exesive force towards the goalie when he had the ball. After a play were one of the other team player was down, parents from the opposite team enter the field and yelled and insulted my player. I need the laws or rules that have to do with these two problems to be able to send a letter. Thank you.

USSF answer (May 14, 2009):
1. Protecting the goalkeeper:
There is no rule that “protects the goalie” from contact initiated by other players — as long as that contact is not against the requirements for a fair charge and does not happen when the goalkeeper is attempting to release the ball for others to play — in other words, to punt or throw the ball out of the penalty area.

2. Pitch invasion by parents:
No person may enter the field without the permission of the referee.

Law 3 tells us:
“Anyone not indicated on the team list as a player, substitute or team official is deemed to be an outside agent as is a player who has been sent off.

“If an outside agent enters the field of play:
– the referee must stop play (although not immediately if the outside agent does not interfere with play)
– the referee must have him removed from the field of play and its immediate surroundings
– if the referee stops the match, he must restart play with a dropped ball in the position where the ball was at the time when the match was stopped, unless the ball was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was when play was stopped.”

However, please note that as a practical matter where rosters are not provided, anyone permitted to be in the technical area (other than substitutes, of course) is to be considered a team official.

Law 5 tells us:
The referee may stop, suspend or abandon the match for any infringements of the Laws or because of outside interference of any kind. The referee also provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players, and/or team officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the match. This includes any other decision that the referee may take in accordance with the Laws of the Game or in conformity with his duties under the terms of FIFA, confederation, member association or league rules or regulations under which the match is played.

Also note that the actual entry of the outside agents (spectators) is not the only — or even the most — important issue — it is that the invaders are yelling at and berating players. ┬áIn instances of this sort of behavior, the referee would not simply drop the ball for a restart, but would would terminate the match for “grave disorder.”

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