Date: 30th June 2019 at 6:17pm
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With the new rules (article on sister site, Vital Villa) in place for the upcoming season, I thought I’d ask our Vital Spurs readers their opinions on the handball issue.

Goalkeepers are allowed to handle the ball inside the penalty box. That’s a logical rule. Outfield players are not allowed to handle the ball anywhere. That’s a logical rule, too. At least it’s logical if the rule applies only to the ‘hand’.

But the rule does not only apply to the hand. It applies to the arm and, often, the shoulder. So why is it called ‘handball’ instead of ‘arm ball’? Most players have the ability and instinct to avoid hand contact with the ball. But, often, they don’t have the same ability to avoid contact with the arm.

The body works in certain ways designed to maintain balance and avoid injury in all sports. The body uses the arm as part of this process. When a player leaps for the ball, the arm works unconsciously to maintain balance. When a player twists and turns while at full (or close to it) speed, it’s the arms that keep him on his feet. And if the movement is unconscious and natural …. why is it deemed illegal according to the rules?

It seems to be this unconscious movement to maintain balance that is penalised by current ‘handball’ interpretations of the ruling by officials.

Maybe a way to reduce the confusion would be to actually make the rule more appropriately fit its name. That would mean allowing players to use their arms and shoulders to play the ball. But deliberate contact with the ball by hand would be penalised. Decisions would still have to be made as to whether any contact with the hand was deliberate or not but it would eliminate so many other current controversies concerning any decision. A compromise rule could be that contact below the elbow is an offence. At least that would give the player more opportunity to maintain his natural balance.

I also believe the rules relating to simulation should be adjusted for the same reason. When playing the game I would sometimes roll out of a tackle to avoid a bad fall and possible injury situation. Players do that today and the whistle blows for an infringement. I believe that a simulation ruling should only apply if a player CLAIMS a foul … not if he simply gets up and plays on.

What do Vital Spurs people think?

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91 Replies to “Is It Really ‘Hand Ball’?”

  • Tq, thanks…. I’ll try an ad blocker.
    Danny winter just to clarify.
    There’s a six hour time difference where I am so sometimes I have to read all comments at various times to keep up while you guys are off to sleep.
    So may miss a few.coys

    • Not a problem mate, was just pointing it out. Sorry if it sounded harsher than I actually meant it.

      As said if you want to bang me an email with a screenie I’ll happily forward on in case it’s a quick solve.

  • On reflection, how often does a forward bounce the ball off of a defender for a corner when he has nowhere to go. I’ve done that many times. Same difference when aiming for the arm, despite it being a smaller target.

  • Sorry to those that don’t care or are not English but I’m really looking forward to watching our ladies play tonight…

    Not only do they play some neat football (as do their opposition, USA). They are refreshing in their approach to the game. As are most women’s teams. There is a lot less cheating, feigning injury and moaning to the ref. It happens but not as much as in the mens game. They are also admirable in their physicality and strength. There get stuck in and do not make the most of a bad tackle or injury. They mostly just get up and get on with it.

    Up the England!

  • I’m looking forwrd to the game also HT, I have watched many of the games during the WC and like you have found it very refreshing and, as you say, still untainted by the cheating etc. that is found it the top level of the mens game where so much dosh is at stake.

    I am also looking forward to seeing our own womens team in action in the super league next season, quite a few of the games get shown for free by the BBC on red button or on BT sport which I have the mobile app for and can cast to my TV. Considering the huge success the BBC have had with viewing figures for the WC I wonder if they will consider showing more on mainstream channels in the coming season or whether the popularity will mean that Sky and the new players such as Amazon Prime and Netflix will nick the rights.

  • Tottenham fans go wild as Spurs make Tanguy Ndombele second signing in less than 12 hours.
    Daily and Sunday Express – Tottenham Hotspur 17:19:04

    Not all of them apparently! lol

  • N’Dombele is the kind of signing we needed – boss the midfield like Dembele used to. Now if Eriksen is to go – hopefully will be replaced by the likes of Fernandes/Lo Celso. Also hoping for Sessegnon, a back-up striker and ideally a new RB.

  • Things are starting to look up – N’Dombele, Clarke, more to come – let Eriksen go his way for once even selling a world class player is hopefully not going to hold us back – bring on more talented stars to become world class players in their own right of the future.

  • What’s wrong with Levy. How can you run a viable business if you waste an obscene amount of money on one footballer? Peter Crouch or Defoe would have been a much more sensible option …. as we have seen in the past. And they both have PL experience. I’m sure this will lead to a financial collapse of THFC, especially after throwing all that money away on a new training facility and stadium. I’m gutted!! I’m sure HT is, too.

  • I am gutted Geof…

    I’d rather we still had the old WHL… and for the money spent on Tanguy, we could’ve bought almost 5 Eriksen’s or just over 10 Dele Alli’s! Wot A Waste!

    Shopping in Waitrose for just the one single item? With the same outlay, we could’ve filled an entire trolly at Lidl’s!

  • To be serious…

    I hope that Ndombele can now live up to his hype. Because the over-reaction from Spurs fans , all over the social media, is bordering on hysteria.

    He is just 22 and relatively inexperienced, of course. Lets not build the young guy up so high already that we are way too unrealistic in our expectations of him…

    I mean I’ve read one supporter say he is the only decent signing we have made in 10 years. Another supporter say he hasn’t been as excited about a player at Spurs, since Glenn Hoddle! Really?

    Real Deal tells me he’ll be the best CM in the league next season… Wow!

    I’m not being a kill-joy here but talk about setting the young man up for a fall.

  • Let’s just hope the supporters give him time to settle in. I’m sure MP will in any case.

  • HT- you’ll start getting a reputation for being negative if you carry on with those sort of comments!
    Personally, I think he is an outstanding signing but we do need to give time time to settle in. As you say, he is young and coming to a new country. COYS

  • Geof – “On reflection, how often does a forward bounce the ball off of a defender for a corner when he has nowhere to go. I’ve done that many times. Same difference when aiming for the arm, despite it being a smaller target.”

    It’s the massive difference for me. As HT has also said, players aim at other players all the time, hitting some part of their body. But to be able to hit the hand specifically, when most opposing players actually put a lot of effort in avoiding handling the ball, that’s where I completely disagree with you. And I was merely saying that if it’s as easy as you imply, we would see it attempted a lot more often than we have (the original premise you argued is that attacking players could do it to get penalties). As an opposing player, you’re not going to care too much about conceding a throw-in. If the risk is conceding a penalty however, players usually put a lot more effort in avoiding giving those away. It’s comparing apples and oranges.

    Anyways, you’re not going to change your mind, and you haven’t really put a compelling case forward for me to change mine, so we’ll leave it at that.

  • HT – “Kind of ironic that you didn’t mention Eriksen himself was also one go those players bought with the Bale money…”

    I doesn’t change the point I was making. We bought several players (good and bad, but that’s irrelevant here) because we knew that we’d be selling Bale. Likewise, if we are signing players like Tanguy in anticipation to losing Eriksen, Toby… we’re not building on what we have, we are just replacing talent for talent. It isn’t going forward, it’s standing still. The ambition the club should be showing is doing its best to retain its star players AND add to that promising core.

    “You were also against Levy the last time we broke our transfer record with Sanchez. That time it was because you thought we had wasted our money because he wasn’t good enough… There really is no pleasing you is there?”

    And what has changed since? After a decent first season, Sanchez spent most of last season warming the bench, because contrary to what you argued at the time, Toby was still and still is a superior option when both are fit and performing to the best of their abilities. My point was that the 42 million could have been spent on an attacking player who could have contributed more in the short term. And given that Toby is still starting, that point still stands.

    Listen, Sanchez is probably going to be a good player for many years. I am not disputing that. But when you buy a new player, for a transfer record no less, you kind of expect him to be “plug and play” from day one, and Sanchez hasn’t been a mainstay in the team over the course of his 2 years at the club. That’s all.

    At least, NDombele should be an immediate starter, replacing what we lost when Dembele left. That’s very positive. But I just hope it doesn’t come at the cost of losing a perennial match winner in Eriksen.

    If at the end of the window, Eriksen has extended his stay, we haven’t lost important players, and we have added NDombele, I will be the first person to praise Levy. You can mark my words. But we are July 3rd and there are a lot of things that can still happen.

  • Welcome to the home of football – Tanguy Ndombele and Jack Clark, ok your back off to Leeds on loan but hey! your a Spurs kid now.

    Geofspurs….haha isn’t that what Vital is for – agree to disagree, well some anyway. COYS

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