What is a Goalie in Soccer?

what is a goalie in soccer

Goalies play a unique and crucial role in soccer (football) games. They control the defense, make saves, and even punt the ball towards the midfielders to move the ball away from the goal. The goalie’s role is the most different from the other field players since they protect the net. Let’s take a closer look at the role of a goalie in soccer, what rules they must follow, and more!


How Many Soccer Goalies can a Team Have on the Field?

how many soccer goalies can a team have on the field

Each team starts with 11 players, and one player from each team must play as the goalie throughout the game. If a team’s goalie gets hurt or receives a red card, another player replaces them on the field. This player can either be a substitute or another player from the pitch who must switch positions. There can only be one goalie playing on each team.


What Makes for a Good Soccer (Football) Goalie?

what makes for a good soccer goalie

Being good at goalkeeping is not easy; it takes a lot of skill, strength, training, focus, and good leadership. In addition to being the last line of defense, goalies have an excellent view of the field to position the other players better and lead the team to victory. For example, they can instruct defensive players to defend against corner, free, and indirect kicks.


Can a Soccer Goalkeeper Use Their Hands to Touch the Ball?

can a soccer goalkeeper use their hands to touch the ball

A goalie can use their hands to touch the ball but only within their own penalty area. Penalty areas, or penalty boxes, are marked boxes situated at each soccer field end. A penalty box is 18 yards on either side of a goal and extends 18 yards into the field.


Goalies can leave the penalty area, but they are no different from any other player on the field once they do. Hence, they cannot touch the ball with their hands outside this box. It is, however, permitted for a goalie to dribble the ball back into the box and then pick it up to punt it down the field.


When Can a Goalie Not Use Their Hands?

  • When a player on their team kicks the ball back towards them (also known as a back pass rule)
  • If a player on their team throws the ball directly to them during a throw-in,
  • Before any other player touches the ball after the goalie releases it from their hands.


How Long Can the Goalie Hold on to the Ball?

how long can the goalie hold on to the ball

A goalie must release the ball within 6 seconds of controlling the ball, or the referee will stop the game to warn the goalie for wasting time. In this case, the opponent receives an indirect free kick.


Other players aren’t allowed to head or kick the ball when it’s in the goalie’s control, and so this rule prevents the goalie from holding on to the ball for the entire game. Goalies also can’t drop the ball and pick it up again.


Can a Goalie Score a Goal in Soccer?

can a goalie score a goal in soccer

A goalkeeper can score a goal without using their hands or arms. Here are certain circumstances during which a goalie can score:


  • Goal kick- Similar to a free-kick, corner, or penalty, a goalie can score from a goal kick.
  • Dropkick- A drop kick or a kick out of a goalie’s hands, which results in a goal, is valid.
  • An own goal- Like any other player on the field, a keeper may accidentally kick or pass the ball into their net, resulting in a legitimate goal for the opposing team.


Who Has the Most Goals as a Goalie in Soccer History?

According to sportzpoint.com, Rogério Ceni has 131 goals from 1990-2015. In the second place, you have José Luis Chilavert with 67 goals. In third place, José Luis Chilavert has 45 goals made.


Can a Goalie Use Their Hands to Score a Goal?

Like any other player on the team, scoring a goal using hands or arms is considered a foul for goalies. So even if a goalie managed to throw the ball from their end of the field into the opponent’s goal, it wouldn’t count. Immediately after that play, the other goalie now resumes the action with a goalie kick.


What Does the Goalie Do During a Penalty Kick?

what does the goalie do during a penalty kick

A goalie must stay on the goal line during a penalty kick. If the opposing team is taking a penalty shot, a goalie must


  • Remain on the goal line
  • Face the player shooting,
  • Remain between the goalposts
  • Not touch the goalposts, crossbar, or goal net until the shooter kicks the ball


Can Another Player Swap Positions with the Goalie?

There is usually a substitute goalie on every team; however, only three substitutions can occur per game. If a goalie cannot continue playing after the third substitution, any player already on the field can exchange positions with the goalie after informing the referee.


How Do you Calculate a Goalie’s Save Percentage in Soccer?

how do you calculate a goalies save percentage in soccer

To calculate the soccer goalie save percentage, you divide the number of saves against the total number of shot attempts. For example, a goalie had 225 shots against them during a season and 165 saves. That save percentage comes out to 73.33%.


Who Has the Most Saves During a World Cup Match?

Tim Howard has the most saves during a World Cup match with 16.


Why Do Goalkeepers Wear Different Colors?

Goalies must wear jersey colors that are different from their teammates’ jerseys and distinguishable from the referee, others officiating the game, and the opposing players on the field. This rule is in place because goalies have a unique role during the game and different colors make it easier for the goalie to be identified and stand apart from other players.


Why Do Goalkeepers Wear Long Sleeves?

why do goalkeepers wear long sleeves

Goalies wear long sleeves mostly to protect their elbows and forearms. The sleeves are have padding, providing support and protection from bruises. Additionally, when a goalie makes a save, there’s a higher chance for the ball to bounce further away from the goal when rebounding off jersey materials than the goalie’s skin.


Long sleeves can also make a goalie appear marginally larger, having a psychological effect on the opposing team’s striker and intimidating them. In addition, the long sleeve material usually absorbs sweat well and can hence be helpful to wipe sweat and stay fresh through the game.


Why Do Goalkeepers Spit on their Gloves?

Few people know that there is no actual requirement for goalies to wear gloves in soccer, but it is beneficial. Most of the gloves worn contain synthetic foam, latex, or similar materials. The cellular structure of this material forms microscopic dents on the surface that act as suction cups. Wetting a suction cup increases its adhesive qualities.


Therefore, spitting into their gloves makes it easier for goalies to grip the ball as saliva can be an excellent adhesive and acts as a constant source of moisture throughout the game. Before wearing gloves was popular amongst goalies, some goalkeepers like Gordon Banks would chew gum and use their spit to make their hands sticky.


Conclusion: What is a Goalie in Soccer?

In summary, a goalie is one of the eleven soccer players on the field. They play in front of the goal area to protect the net from the attacking team trying to score, and they become even more critical during a shootout when it is up to them to stop the ball from going into the net. While rare to see, goalies can also score goals during a soccer match.


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