Laws of the Game

2020/21

2. Dropped ball

Procedure

  • The ball is dropped for the defending team goalkeeper in their penalty area if, when play was stopped:

  • the ball was in the penalty area or

  • the last touch of the ball was in the penalty area

  • In all other cases, the referee drops the ball for one player of the team that last touched the ball at the position where it last touched a player, an outside agent or, as outlined in Law 9.1, a match official

  • All other players (of both teams) must remain at least 4 cm (0.04 yds) from the ball until it is in play

  •      The ball is in play when it touches the ground.

Offences and sanctions

The ball is dropped again if it:

  • touches a player before it touches the ground

  • leaves the field of play after it touches the ground, without touching a player

If a dropped ball enters the goal without touching at least two players, play is restarted with:

  • a goal kick if it enters the opponents’ goal

  • a corner kick if it enters the team’s goal