Tim Howard with some unconventional keeping

I'm sorry officer.. I didn't know I couldn't do that.

The commentators on the stream I was watching were saying it was an amazing bit of goalkeeping. For me, it was one third indecision, one third obstruction and one third a decent recovery from a nightmare position that he got himself into. Can't believe the attitude the commentators took.

I'd imagine the ref has never seen anything like it, and the realization that it was obstruction probably only dawned on him 10 seconds after the incident, at which point it would be very weird to still blow the whistle.

It's all well and good discussing the legality of these things on Reddit, quoting the rule book etc, but we tend to forget that referees only have 2 seconds to judge a situation and odd incidents are hard to deal with.

I thought this was America!

Their praise wasn't unjustified. Howard showed experience, creativity, and composure to pull off that bit of improvisation. Sure he was in a nightmare position, but he saved the team by doing something unconventional yet completely legal. That takes composure.

If an outfield player did that, wouldn't it be obstruction? Why is the rule different for a goalkeeper?

There was an "Obstruction" rule but it hasn't been in the Laws of the Game for nearly twenty years. The actual rule now is "Impeding the progress of an opponent" which is defined as:

Impeding the progress of an opponent means moving into the path of the opponent to obstruct, block, slow down or force a change of direction by an opponent when the ball is not within playing distance of either player.

All players have a right to their position on the field of play, being in the way of an opponent is not the same as moving into the way of an opponent.

Shielding the ball is permitted. A player who places himself between an opponent and the ball for tactical reasons has not committed an offence as long as the ball is kept within playing distance and the player does not hold off the opponent with his arms or body. If the ball is within playing distance, the player may be fairly charged by an opponent.

Another rule that might be more relevant here as other have pointed out is "Playing in a dangerous manner" which is defined as:

Playing in a dangerous manner is defined as any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player himself). It is committed with an opponent nearby and prevents the opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.

A scissors or bicycle kick is permissible provided that, in the opinion of the referee, it is not dangerous to an opponent.

Playing in a dangerous manner involves no physical contact between the players. If there is physical contact, the action becomes an offence punishable with a direct free kick or penalty kick. In the case of physical contact, the referee should carefully consider the high probability that misconduct has also been committed.

Edit: added definition of playing in a dangerous manner

Expect Neuer to do this in the next Bayern game along with the bicycle kick save from a goalkeeper in Argentina.

how is that legal? it's a dangerous play. you can't go to ground with your chest on the ball.

Not a rule man.

I don't think anyone calling it obstruction actually knows what obstruction means.

And football would never be the same again

AM I BEING DETAINED

Or realizes that there isn't an "obstruction" rule anymore

They changed it to "impeding", and I think it's a decent shout for this incident.

He was playing the ball

How exactly? He was shielding the ball with his arms and upper body

If Neuer did that the internet would be demanding the Ballon d'Or be presented to him on a silver platter.

What a crazy son of a bitch.

Beard game is on point

Referee here. Nothing he did was strictly a foul. The only valid call here would be for dangerous play, which is difficult to justify against a keeper in the box falling on the ball.

Law 12:

Shielding the ball is permitted. A player who places himself between an opponent and the ball for tactical reasons has not committed an offence as long as the ball is kept within playing distance and the player does not hold off the opponent with his arms or body.

Because if you have the ball at your feet it's different to lying on top of it and shielding it with your arms and upper body.

It was a supremely dodgy piece of goalkeeping and he was fortunate to get away with it.

Why would be be called up for unsporting behaviour?

So majestic. He looks like a damn runescape character

Dave, ya see, I DID know I couldn't do that. "We're not gonna take it!"

Indirect for what? He was playing the ball and wasn't obstructing or impeding the offensive player.

Edit: Since I'm being downvoted here is the direct link from FIFA's Webiste: "Impeding the progress of an opponent means moving into the path of the opponent to obstruct, block, slow down or force a change of direction by an opponent when the ball is not within playing distance of either player."

why are people ignoring the actual rules and instead vaguely speaking about how "howard is on top of the fucking ball, that can't be legal!!!" and then getting upvoted for that? you make a great post here

Goddamnit, if parking the bus wasn't enough now teams will start turtling, literally ಠ_ಠ

I love the way he calmly drop and protect the ball. It's like he's been waiting all this time to do this trick.

How is that any different than standing up with that ball at your feet and blocking a defender with your body by outstretching your arms? He is playing the ball with a legal body part (his chest) and is using the rest of his body to shield away the other player.

The only thing Howard could have been called for is "unsporting behavior," and received a yellow.

At least someone is doing the research.

The "Howard Rule" will be enacted soon.

it can't be obstruction cause he's actively playing the ball. as for a dangerous play there is not set definition of it. at the minimum, it would have had to keep the offensive player from playing a legal play, as is the offensive player was coming from behind and then over ran him. basically the ref has finally call on whether it's dangerous or not.

Surely a case for obstruction, you can't just lie on the ball.

Coulnd't you then just put the ball under your body, move forward like a turtle and nudge the ball forward with your knees until you're at the other goal?

The folks screaming "obstruction" clearly haven't read the Laws of the Game in a loooong time, so they're simply out of date.

USB is certainly possible - almost anything can be considered unsporting if deemed to be so by the referee. However, I might offer a more likely scenario - Playing In A Dangerous Manner (an indirect free kick offense). If guilty of PIADM, the player has put themselves in a position where the ball cannot be safely played by an opponent. This is more commonly enforced at the youth level when kids fall on the ball and trap it (just like Tim Howard did here). At higher levels of play, it is more often enforced when a kick takes place near a vulnerable body part of an opponent (most who do not know the Laws of the Game commonly refer to it as a "high kick" although the offense is Playing In A Dangerous Manner).

Was talking about this: http://www.reddit.com/sub/soccer/comments/2lp276/amazing_bicycle_kick_save_by_goalkeeper_in/

I thought that was a scorpion, or am I thinking of something else?

I did know I couldn't do that!

"Im Tim Howard bitch"

It's very close. The ref almost certainly wouldn't have been able to tell, the AR might though.

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/5978/541442-south_park_the_losing_edge_latino_imagengrande.jpg

Incredible spot from the ref to see he didn't handle it.

I'm interested to see what pundits and stuff think about it.

I think it should be a free kick, if an outfield player did it in the centre circle then it would definitely be a free kick.

fuck,after 10 minutes I realized he didn't touch it with his hand lol

Should have been an indirect. I guess it worked but that was stupid.

That wasn't legal mate. That was clear obstruction.

The beard is whispering to him man

The fact that americans still want to argue that he is a top 5 goalkeeper boggles my mind.

Actually, you're in England ol' chap!

I think it's one of those situations where it all depends on the ref's interpretation of the rule. It was definitely unconventional, but I dont know if it was totally illegal given how little history something like this has within the game.

Edit: Tough call, even in hindsight.

Because that argument sounds dangerously like "I know I'm right, I just don't know why I'm right". If you're sure he should be sanctioned, you should be able to cite a rule that agrees.

Likely a foul but still a great play by the US Secretary of Defense

Yes it is... If an outfield player laid down on the ball it would be clear obstruction

I can't wait until Neuer evolves to the point where he just starts doing a FIFA and skinning 11 players and tapping it in.

But it's not in the box. He's equal to any outfield player when he leaves that box. If an attacker did that, got up and scored, there'd be uproar.

This will be his first act as the US Department of Defense

no results found

We still are.

If guilty of PIADM, the player has put them in a position where the ball cannot be safely played by an opponent.

Good spot, this makes a lot of sense.

Well, just not one guy with the ball under him. One teammate on each side, front, behind and the corners of the main turtle.

Stupid is as stupid does, sir.

if fletcher tried to get the ball, then it was a dangerous play. he didn't, so it was a good no call.

Top 5 of what? Top 5 of the world? Lol! Top 5 in the Prem? There's an argument for it, but it's definitely not a lock. Courtois, Cech, De Gea and Lloris are certainly better.

I agree, that is not the definition of obstruction.

(stupid is defined) (by stupid actions)

(stupid is)(as stupid does)

That is how it makes sense to me.

Maybe if Fletcher was kept playing the game instead of looking for a free kick he could have played the ball by kicking it out from under Howard or tackling him when he got up, instead of letting him easily get away.

The point I made about it being unsporting behavior is essentially what you were saying. I quoted the rules and by definition he did nothing wrong, but by using his whole body to cover the ball one could argue that he was being unsporting by exploiting a loophole in the rule book.

Idk I reffed for 10 years up to the U-18 level and thats my interpretation of it. Im guessing that FIFA will address this and change the wording to prevent something like this from happening again.

Oh shit, I missed that. Thanks for linking.

I played against a team regularly where their striker would pretend that he was about to pick up the ball (e.g., for a freekick) in front of the defending team's players when the game is on. He never touches the ball though. It happens really fast and the defender/marker would be stunned and suddenly the striker would speed off with the ball past him. That trick, unbelievable as it is, always worked.

He lay on top of the ball to stop another player playing it. And I think it's important to recognise a good recovery from a good piece of goalkeeping. If he fucks up something routine and then manages to scrap his way out of the situation, I'd be more than hesitant to call that 'brilliant'. It's no more brilliant than just playing the ball with his feet like every other keeper on the planet would have hoped to do.

It should have been "playing in a dangerous manner" on Howard and an indirect free kick. He put himself in a position where an opponent couldn't make a play on the ball for fear of causing injury. That's straight from the rulebook, and it's what would be called in any situation where a player sits or lies down on the ball.

Edited for clarity.

That's not allowed? But I've seen some sliding-diving saves from many keepers, especially in a fast-paced 1 on 1 situation.

Well, for one I can't wait for the next AS Roma match then. They should create phalanx and keep the ball in the middle, because technically the ball will be in playing distance.

I honestly can't see how this gif is not obstruction. What was forward supposed to do, kick the ball from under him? Worked well for Hazard.

Well, for one I can't wait for the next AS Roma match then. They should create and keep the ball in the middle, because technically the ball will be in playing distance.

I honestly can't see how this gif is not obstruction. What was forward supposed to do, kick the ball from under him? Worked well for Hazard.

eh HEH HAH HEH HA HA HAH HAH

Well if you think about it that way, then goalkeepers put themselves in dangerous places about every single game they play when they go diving at the feet of the opponent.

Well obviously it's not, but the situation is different if you're lying on the floor when you do it

I believe, though often called obstruction, it comes under 'playing in a dangerous manner' because, if one covers themselves with the ball, there is no conceivable way of the other player playing the ball legally.

EDIT: Guy off the parent comment has a better explanation.

no because usually they are within playing distance of the ball.

However, on corner/fee kicks if players move to intercept/block the path of an opponent, that obstruction often goes uncalled.

this is different though if both players are moving to get into position to play the ball though.

Referee here. Obstruction can only occur off the ball. Near the ball it is considered shielding, which is legal. On an outfield player I would have called this for dangerous play if there's no handball, but I'm not sure I would on a goalkeeper in the box.

Any weird shit like this can be covered under unsporting behaviour which is punished by an indirect freekick.

Here's

MLS used to be...really really strange. Bob Bradley used Tim Howard to exploit a rule. Judah Friedlander explaining the situation.

Drill Sergeant: Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army? Forrest Gump: To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant! Drill Sergeant: God damn it, Gump! You're a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. You must have a goddamn I.Q. of 160. You are goddamn gifted, Private Gump.

No it isn't, because the ball was within playing distance. If that were the case, players couldn't shield the ball from other players while it's going off the pitch for a throw in or goal kick/corner. You see that in literally every match and it's never called for the mythical "obstruction" foul (which is called impeding and only involves play away from the ball).

The law also requires that neither player is within playing distance of the ball (which they clearly both were) in order for it to be applicable.