Last updated on February 2nd, 2021
Some goalkeepers have an amazing throwing ability. They are able to throw the football past the half-way line on the pitch!
This may make you wonder, can a goalkeeper actually throw the ball into the opposing goal?
Can a goalkeeper throw the ball into the goal?
The Laws of the Game have been updated to prevent goalkeepers from throwing the ball into the opposing team’s goal. A goal kick will be awarded in this scenario.
However, if the goalkeeper throws the ball into his own goal, a goal will be awarded to the opposing team.
The law was recently changed before the 2019/20 season
Before the start of the 2019/20 season, the IFAB added this extra clause in Law 10 of the Laws of the Game:
If the goalkeeper throws the ball directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded.
Previously, it was perfectly for a goalkeeper to score a goal by throwing the ball into the opponent’s goal.
However with this rule change, the goal will not count anymore. Instead, a goal kick will be awarded to the opposing team!
Why was there a change in the rules?
In the 2019/20 laws of the game, there was a major change to the handball rules in Law 12 of the game.
The IFAB realised that greater clarity was needed to define what was a handball, and what is not. This was because there were many non-deliberate handballs which were ruled as offences.
As such, the IFAB needed to reword the rules. This makes it clearer when certain scenarios are considered as a handball, and when they are not.
One of the major changes to this rule was clarified with this statement by IFAB:
A goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental) and a player scoring or creating a goal-scoring opportunity after having gained possession/control of the ball from their hand/arm (even if accidental) will no longer be allowed.
If any player scored a goal after gaining possession with their hands, the goal is not counted. This rule ensures that no player can score with their hands.
This rule also applies to goalkeepers, and not just outfield players! As such, this clarification was given to why this clause in Law 10 was added:
Change to be consistent with re-wording of handball in Law 12.
Interestingly, the laws did not mention anything about goals being scored as a result of a keeper’s throw.
If a goalkeeper can throw the ball far enough, he may assist in creating a goal-scoring opportunity for his teammate!
Is it possible for a goalkeeper to throw the ball into the goal?
This rule change may seem a bit silly as there has been no recorded scenarios of a goalkeeper scoring a goal this way.
The longest throw that has been recorded to date so far has been by Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Biranvand. Biranvand managed to make a throw that measured almost 70 yards in an Asian Cup Game against Iraq!
However, there are no records to define which goalkeeper has thrown the ball the furthest.
It may be possible for a goalkeeper to throw the ball into the opposition’s net, especially on a windy day. If the ball flies high enough and gets carried by the wind, it may be able to travel a longer distance.
If the goalkeeper is lucky enough, the ball may fly all the way into the opposition’s net!
This is usually how goalkeepers are able to score from goal kicks too.
With this change in the rules, goalkeepers are unable to score by throwing the ball into their opponent’s goal.
As such, a common way we might see a goalkeeper scoring a goal may be when they score a penalty.
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