Blog,  case study

Shot on goal blocked with hand

Shot on goal blocked with hand: a new case study is live. In this blog story you’ll learn more about the considerations for the correct disciplinary action.

The video below starts at 2m42s. You’ll see an incident of a shot on goal being blocked by a defender. As always I advise you to watch it and decide for yourself if it’s a foul and what disciplinary action you’d take (plus reason for it).

Is it a deliberate handball or not

First of all you have to determine whether it’s a deliberate handball. It’s interesting to hear the VAR talk about the position of the arm. Is it close or far away of the body? When they got that clear, that is what they show to the referee. As the referee arrives at the monitor he can clearly see the point of contact. In this case the arm is sticking out of the body and the player makes himself unnaturally bigger.

Shot on goal blocked with hand (example of VAR)

What disciplinary action to take?

Not much debate about the handball itself, I think. Handball box ticked. But how do you deal with it then? The most crucial consideration is: Does the player prevent an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball?

The Laws of the Game do not specify when a shot on goal is denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) or stopping a promissing attack (SPA). The LOTG do say this:

“There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for
unsporting behaviour, including if a player handles the ball to interfere with or stop a promising attack.”

But is do we consider this DOGSO or SPA, that’s the question.

Shot on goal blocked with hand is mostly SPA

In this case there is a goalkeeper in the goal. If there’s one in the goal, there a huge chance that the goalkeeper is able to save the ball. So DOGSO is off the table here.

Greg Barkey from PRO says in the video a yellow card is a correct decision. That’s in line with general guidelines about this. At Uefa is taught that Stopping a shot at goal should normally be deemed as stopping a promissing attack, therefore the offender must also be cautioned.

Actions when it’s not a shot on goal

But sometimes situations are not so clear as in this clip. Then you should keep this in mind for actions when there’s no shot on goal:

  • When it’s a cross into the penalty area, normally a yellow card is not required.
  • The exception is when the ball clearly stops a promising attack, for example as the pass goes to a team-mate in a promising attacking position.

I hope you learned something out of this. I do recommend to watch PRO’s Inside Video Review more often.

More inspiration via Man in the Middle

And if you want to know more about top level refereeing? Make sure to watch Uefa’s documentary Man in the Middle (with lots of subtitles as well).


  • Zein dein

    نتائج الترجمة
    Is it possible to post videos about cases within the game, similar to the blog test, and as a judge, I can answer the status of the video and then know my result. Or increase the number of test questions every week

    • Jan ter Harmsel

      Hi Zein, I publish a quiz every week. The blog is something I do besides a job, so can’t do more questions time-wise. Thinking about a LOTG database where you can randomly do the questions. For video questions it’s more difficult with copyrights, so I embed videos that are available for sharing.

  • Ephraim W. Grant

    The issue of (SOG) handball is very important as it causes confusion for officials often.
    Hope to have questions relating to this topic in next quiz.

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