Handball in soccer is a foul where a player intentionally touches the ball with their hand or arm, between the tips of their fingers and the bottom of their shoulder. Touching the ball with the shoulder is not a handball and unintentional contact between the ball and hand is not handball.
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As long as the player is not clearly trying to handle the ball and the ball doesn’t immediately move into a goal-scoring situation, then an unintentional handball will not be considered an offense. Also, you should be aware that an unintentional handball in the penalty area will not result in a penalty.
Summary: The IFAB Laws of the Game defines handball as “the deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with the hand or arm”. The goalkeeper is exempt from this rule inside their penalty area, but has the same restrictions as any other player outside their box. A ball off the shoulder is not handball.
The following handball circumstances, even if deemed unintentional, are punishable by free-kick or penalty. The ball goes into the goal after touching an attacking player’s hand/arm A player gains control/possession of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then scores, creates a goal-scoring opportunity or gains a significant advantage
The referee ruled it as unintentional and unavoidable, and so didn’t penalise him for it.
The re-wording follows a number of principles: – [soccer] does not accept a goal being scored by a hand/arm (even if accidental), – [soccer] expects a player to be penalized for handball if they gain possession/control of the ball from their hand/arm and gain a major advantage e.g. score or create a goal-scoring opportunity, – it is natural for a player to put their arm between their body and the ground for support when falling, – having the hand/arm above shoulder height is rarely a ...
It was also clarified that an "accidental" handball by an attacking player is only penalised if it occurs "immediately" before a goal or clear goal-scoring opportunity.
If the ball touches their hand or arm directly from another player who is very close. If their hand or arm is close to their body in a natural position and does not make their body unnaturally bigger. If the player is falling to the ground and their hands and arms are beneath them to cushion the fall.