Arsenal News
Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News

Archives

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

The handball discussion

By Walter Broeckx

With the late winner from Koscielny against Burnley a whole lot of people felt the need to give their comments on the goal. There was the question of the offside that was a non-question as it was Koscielny who struck the ball and not Oxlade-Chamberlain. So that could be ignored.  But the fact that the ball went in coming from the arm or elbow if you like from Koscielny raised a big debate.

Now I do admit that I don’t listen to the pundits but I wonder if they ever mentioned the other handball decisions in this match. The cleared cross handball that could have resulted in a penalty. And then the most blatant penalty handball froul of them all when Keane (who committed the first handball I mentioned) just stopped Theo Walcott by sticking out his hand and stopping the ball from going past him. He had to stick out his hand to do this…. but the ref ignored it. And very strangely…. the media silence on this handball was…. well silent. Did you hear any discussion about this incident?  Strange….well you are lucky you have Untold as we pick up on those incidents. But apart from Untold? I haven’t heard much about it. Not even in the after match shows, MOTD, other referee reviewing publications…. they missed it completely. Did I ever told you Untold is the most complete of them all?

But going in to the handball rule in general there is one thing that makes the difference as opposed to other sports. That is that in the laws of the game they say that one has to make a deliberate handball to commit a foul. And that is a problem. As how do you know if a player commits a deliberate handball foul? As we can’t look inside his head to know his real intentions. So the ref has to make a judgement based on a few criteria. But even those criteria are not very clear in themselves. One such criteria is the distance between where the ball is kicked and the actual handball. So for the first not given penalty incident in the Burnley match you can say that the distance between where the ball was played and where he touched it with his hand was rather big so a penalty should have been given. But then on the other hand the distance between where Theo Walcott played the ball and the touch with the hand from Keane from Burnley was rather small.  And yet it was a more blatant penalty than the first. For other reasons I will mention later on. But so you see that even the distance criteria is not absolute.

The other criteria is : is there movement towards the ball with the arms or is it the ball that strikes the arm? In the case of Keane/Walcott you see Keane sticking out his arm towards the path of the ball. So a clear deliberate move from Keane. And that should have resulted in a penalty. It resulted not even in a mention in the media. On the other hand the Koscielny handball could not be considered as deliberate because of a few reasons. The distance rule is that it was close to from where the ball was kicked. But as shown that is not an absolute rule. But the fact that Koscielny surely didn’t intended to play the ball against his own arm is something that we can be sure of.  If he really did think and tried in that fraction of a second: “hey, lets kick the ball against my own arm and then score a goal like that” well… does anyone believe that?  Whereas Keane surely did think: “I got to stop Theo from going past me” and stuck out his arm to stop the ball.

Another criteria is are the hands in a natural position. Again the Keane/Walcott handball: his hands were not in a natural position. No he stuck out his arm to stop the ball. As for Koscielny… well a player jumping up tends to raise his arms and so in that case you could say that when Koscielny jumped up his arms were in a natural position.  And then we have the criteria about the hands being outside the body or not. In the Koscielny case they were not outside his body but were in fact in front of his body. So no handball. As for the Keane/Walcott incident his hands were clearly outside his body. The same goes for the other non mentioned penalty incident.

Now as you see lots of criteria and all those criteria have to be judged by the ref in a split second. To get that right each time is very difficult. I would dare to say neigh impossible. As the review of the Burnley match showed. 3 handballs and only 1 judged correctly. And given that those 3 decisions each could have deciced the match as they were key incidents involving penalties and goals…. that can be costly mistakes. Not just for the teams but also for the refs when they get their score from that match.

So what can be done about it? How can we make this simpler? How can we stop the discussion? If you are interested in stopping the discussions of course.

Well one option could be to get rid of all the interpretation and talk about deliberate. If the lawmakers would just say: a ball that touches the hand is always a foul. Intention or not. Deliberate or not. It just is a foul. I think in field hockey this is how the rule is applied to playing the ball with your feet. That is always considered and given as a foul even if the opponent plays the ball deliberate against the foot. You just have to make sure you get your foot out of the way. And that could be the same in football. Now you might say that some players might want to try and exploit this deliberately play the ball against the hand of a defender. That would result in more penalties and fouls. But at least the rule would be clear. It would demand a change from defenders so they have to go in with their arms behind their body and making themselves smaller. So in the end the attacking teams would gain an advantage.

Also the throwing yourself in front of the ball would be more dangerous because now referees tend to let those handballs go a lot but then if you touch the ball with the hand it is a foul. So it would make things much easier to judge. Players should be more careful in where their hands are as they could mis a kick or a control and hit their own hand. Then that would be a foul and now it is mostly considered not deliberate.

It would make live of the referees easier as they don’t have to judge anymore but just determine if a hand touched the ball or not. Much, much simpler. But then again… how would the pundits fill their air time to expose themselves as not knowing the laws of the game if we would make it simpler….

Recent stories from Untold Arsenal

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

How WHU changed from being the darlings of the media to being the most toxic of brands in the space of two months.

Style and Steel: the rise of the polyvalent player

Ref Review Burnley – Arsenal: at least he got that one right

The Untold Banner on TV, continuing the tradition of the club and our blog

Professional football: one of the last bastions of homophobia.

Burnley – Arsenal 0-1, The Paradox Curse has been broken

A goal or not a goal? Burnley v Arsenal – the first reactions.

 

23 comments to The handball discussion

  • GoingGoingGooner

    On my stream the 1st handball was mentioned in passing when the 2nd handball by Keane was committed. But then again the 2nd handball was only mentioned as a possibility as opposed talked about ad nauseum as Koscielny’s situation was.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter,

    The one sure thing is that as Arsenal were the beneficiaries of the points arising from the incident the chances of a change in rules is vastly higher than would have been the case had the goal been in our net!.

  • Mike T

    Afternoon all.

    Just back from some time of in the sun .

    Don’t you just love it when these sort of decisions create such a stir?

    I suspect that in 99% of instances supporters would cry for handball if were an opposition player but as Walter points out this is the one instance in the laws were the word deliberate appears but the assessor of such matters is the good old ref. I bet had it been at the other end most on here would be talking a different view!

    For what it’s worth I can fully understand why Burnleys supporters may well feel upset but for me no handball just a smack in the guts that they lost in such a manner.

  • laos gooner

    One in three correct? That’s quite good by pigmob standards. I felt there was a case for both the first and second incidents but only really saw what happened with the third on the replays. There was one very good camera angle which showed the referees line of sight obscured by players. A good example of what you don’t see, you can’t give. I would think the final decision correct as intent can not be in anyway suggested. Bottom line is we got the three points which is all that will be remembered once we get back to football after the interlull

  • Jeff F.

    Having defenders keep their arms behind their backs if your proposed new handball rule came into effect would result in farcical situations because that’s an unnatural position for players when trying to keep their balance. As a referee, I find that determining when it is deliberate handball is usually fairly obvious in 90% of the time. Yes, some decisions may be more difficult but refs are human and we cannot take that out of the game unless we bring in robot refs which would be able to analyse every issue within seconds to get it right! However, do we want machines running our wonderful game?

  • Leon

    I mentioned another handball situation recently which seldomly gets picked up by referees, and that’s goalkeepers not releasing the ball inside their area when kicking out. Sometimes they’re as much as a metre outside. This as far as I know is a red card offence.

  • Menace

    Walter – you are correct about the Hockey foot or karrot as it was in the past. Hockey, however is changed completely it has lost all semblance of what the game was when India was winning Olympic Gold. It has been hacked & butchered to suit the European physique & play. The Indian subcontinent is gradually changing to catch up with the physical requirements.

    Football has lost some of the benefits of change, particularly with the off side Law & the interpretation of officials. The handball may best be suited to foul for any touch of the hand. It is simple to interpret & will be more consistent in delivery. In a similar vein the off side Law needs to be simplified to allow for consistent interpretation. Watching Manure’s Zlatan use brute force & physique to win the ball also raises a question of interpretation of foul. The Laws say that physical contact with an opponent before contact with the ball is a foul. It is rarely interpreted correctly.

  • Tom

    Mike T
    I think that number would be a full 100% supporters, myself included.
    Walter would no doubt find the hand to be in an unnatural position seeing as the player wasn’t in the act of jumping and so and so on…
    People like Menace and a few others would have their heads explode in a million of tiny pieces, screaming bloody murder 🙂

    Hey Mike, what’s with your boy Cahill and his inability to pass the ball into a general direction of his keeper with his left. Instead, turning his entire body around with the quickness and radius of a super tanker for a right footer.
    On close to £100k per week, one might think he should be able to accomplish this feat.

  • Menace

    Walter – you are correct about the Hockey foot or karrot as it was in the past. Hockey, however is changed completely it has lost all semblance of what the game was when India was winning Olympic Gold. It has been hacked & butchered to suit the European physique & play. This includes the change of playing surface from grass to artificial surfaces. The Indian subcontinent is gradually changing to catch up with the physical requirements.

    Football has lost some of the benefits of change, particularly with the off side Law & the interpretation of officials. The handball may best be suited to foul for any touch of the hand. It is simple to interpret & will be more consistent in delivery. In a similar vein the off side Law needs to be simplified to allow for consistent interpretation. Watching Manure’s Zlatan use brute force & physique to win the ball also raises a question of interpretation of foul. The Laws say that physical contact with an opponent before contact with the ball is a foul. It is rarely interpreted correctly.

  • Menace

    Apologies for double post!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Tom,
    If you would like to dismiss our review, fine. What about all those others who also agreed it was a non-deliberate handball?

  • Mike T

    Tom

    I think what you are seeing from Cahill is a player that is in fast decline. I suspect this will be his last season at Chelsea . The writing was very much on the wall last season and whilst he may be OK in the odd game I suspect that if Zouma is able to regain both his pace, fitness and indeed confidence then Cahill could be gone as early as January to another PL club. Irrespective if Christensen returns from loan in 2017/18 there really isn’t a chance Cahill or indeed Ivanovich will be first choice having said all that when you consider the sort of money that we have spent on players then at £7 million each they both have turned out to be of fairly good value

  • para

    I’ve been postulating absolute laws for some time now, where there is no ambiguity at all.

    This could be extended to elbows. I’m sure that at least 75% of elbow challenges are deliberate, clearly aiming at the opponent’s head, neck or face.

  • porter

    When you do your round up with video please show both incidents. I was in the air and have not had the chance to see them . So can’t really comment until I have.

  • Usama Zaka

    Porter,

    Check the ref review for Burnley v Arsenal. We have included thw video links too.

  • Jerry

    Good work Walter and team, keep up the excellent work.

    @porter, the videos for the events can be found on the ref review of the Burnley-Arsenal game
    at

    minutes 71:58 – Keane’s first handball (2 links- darker red)
    Minute 89:45- Keane’s second handball (1 link “Keane deliberately stopped…”

    The goal video is also showed on it under the goals section
    92:06- the link from “There is a Burnley player who tried to stop…” shows it was Koscielny’s green boot that made contact with the ball

    The “Oxlade Chamberlain tries to kick the ball but…” link shows #21 Boyd playing both Koscielny and Ox on.

    http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/56601

    @Tom, you are aware that Dermot Gallagher also said the goal was a correct decision because it was not a deliberate handball. Graham Poll was 50-50, but said he only saw it 3 times and couldn’t tell if it was deliberate or not. Howard Webb has been unusually quiet or at least I haven’t seen his response

  • Menace

    Tom – I do not explode in many pieces when a handball is missed. I do get miffed when a handball is selectively ‘not seen’. The reality is that PGMO rule, & you & I do not have a chance to change already made decisions. We can bitch about them & get some mental relief but that is all we will get. There is the other aspect where a lot of money stands to be made or lost. That area is one that needs to be considered when reviewing an interpretation.

  • Tom

    Walter
    I don’t think it was a deliberate hand ball, but I do ,on some levels to least, have a general objection to scoring a goal with your arm or hand.

    I can understand the logic behind the tape analysis, yet still , had this goal been scored in such a manner against Arsenal, I would have felt aggrieved.
    Also, and that’s not a dig against you or anyone on here, but I’m fairly certain there would be a s..t storm on these pages, had that been the case.

  • Tom

    on some level at least

  • Florian

    Well, if we talk about hockey, in ice hockey the rules are stated a lot more clearly. With the help of the video technology (sic!) a player can be deemed to have scored a goal with his skate if he deflected the puck into the net rather than kicking it. The specific formulation is “there must be no evidence of kicking motion from the foot”. Now, there are cases when players simply keep their feet still and score, but these are relatively rare cases, mostly because of the high speed the game is played at. The majority of goals scored like this are legit.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes you win – *A Golfing Story*
    _________________

    John, who lived in the north of England, decided to go golfing in Scotland with his buddy, Chris.

    So they loaded up John’s minivan and headed north.

    After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard.

    So they pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.

    ‘I realize it’s terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I’m recently widowed,’ she explained, ‘and I’m afraid the neighbours will talk if I let you stay in my house.’

    ‘Don’t worry,’ John said. ‘We’ll be happy to sleep in the barn. And if the weather breaks, we’ll be gone at first light.’

    The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night.

    Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on their way. They enjoyed a great weekend of golf.

    But about nine months later, John got an unexpected letter from an attorney.

    It took him a few minutes to figure it out, but he finally determined that it was from the attorney of that attractive widow he had met on the golf weekend.

    He dropped in on his friend Chris and asked, “Chris, do you remember that good-looking widow from the farm we stayed at on our golf holiday in Scotland about 9 months ago ?”

    ‘Yes, I do,’ said Chris.

    ‘Did you, er, happen to get up in the middle of the night, go up to the house and pay her a visit ?’

    ‘Well, um, yes!,’ Chris said, a little embarrassed about being found out, ‘I have to admit that I did.’

    ‘And did you happen to give her my name instead of telling her your name ?’

    Chris’s face turned beet red and he said, ‘Yeah, look, I’m sorry, buddy. I’m afraid I did.’ ‘Why do you ask ?’

    ‘She just died and left me everything.!!’
    …………………………………

    And you thought the ending would be different, didn’t you ?…

  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Backfield Gunners if you kill me with laughter you will be Mummified.

  • look guys handball or no handball the universe governed under the natural law of justice is simply recompensing arsanal this season for years and years of untold biases and inexplicably bad officiating.karma works in mysterious ways sometimes good some times it goes butt biting.