Recently, we confronted those who follow us on Twitter with a rather thorny question regarding outside interference. So, without further ado, here’s the question that we asked: Goal Kick is taken by the goalkeeper. The ball leaves the penalty box and then hits an overhanging tree branch. The ball bounces back into the penalty box and the goalkeeper catches it with his hands. Decision?
Now, before we provide a correct answer to this question, we have to admit that we posed this question being fully aware that it would cause some difficulty, because the Laws of the Game do not specifically deal with the situation we described. We also posed this question because we knew that your first reaction would be to call for the restart by dropped ball since there was “interference” when the ball contacted an object that was not part of the field of play. Finally, we wanted to examine more closely the USSF’s analysis of what constitutes “outside interference” and what a proper restart is when it occurs.