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Defending a shooter who steps in

I need some clarification please. In the goal circle if GS steps in towards the goal post and lifts her grounded foot, where does the defender defend from if the shooter stepped in before the defender lifted her arms? Is the 3ft from where her grounded foot was or where she stepped in to?

My understanding is that the defender should take up her defensive position 3ft away from the foot nearest the post as soon as possible. If the shooter has grounded her back foot and the defender can adopt her defensive position (ie arms up) 3ft away before the shooter steps in then the defender has every right to hold her position and defend the ball (without touching it). If the defender is too slow in getting into position, then the 3ft is taken from the front foot and the defender must move back before actively defending. Hopefully clearer but I expect someone else can it explain better

Hi Nicole. In your example the defender has to be 3 foot from grounded foot regardless of whether the GS has stepped in/lifted grounded foot or not. It is not dependent on at what stage the defender has commenced defending the shot or the timing of the step in. Refer Rules 14 & 16. 


What happens when the defender has taken up position prior to shooter stepping in, arm in position legally.  Shooter steps, defender maintains her position and does not move arm in anyway & in the process of shooting, the shooter contacts the defenders hand with the ball.  I have many times seen the defender penalised for contact, even though the defender has had a legal position and not moved her arm at any stage.

As previously stated as long as defender has taken up position 3ft from the grounded foot of shooter she is not obstructing. As far as goalie pushing ball into hand of defender there has to be interference for contact to be called against them e.g. forcing defenders hand to move or putting them off balance = Contact. Touching defenders hand then readjusting ball away from hand with no interference = Not Contact. A defender may not place their hand down on the ball but may block its upward movement & goalie has to readjust to overcome the block. This is a frequent area of frustration with inexperienced or old style umpiring so best to raise with your association or club for clarfication.
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Hi, that's a great explanation. I now understand that the GS can touch the defenders hand with the ball & as long as it doesn't impede the defenders ability to defend or resposition the defender, it's not a contact.

I always thought it was contact with the ball if shooters pushed ball into defenders hand, but can see now it may or may not be, depending on the circumstances.  It's often difficult for an umpire to determine if the defender's hand as come down to contact ball or shooter has pushed ball into defender's hand, but that's just part of the game.

Thanks for clarification.

Thanks for this really informative thread.  Just going over a point raised before.  if a player shooter steps  in before the goal defence has taken position which foot does the 3 ft rule apply from the grounded foot or the foot that the goaler has stepped onto . Thanks for this. 

3ft is ALWAYS applied to the landing foot. So if your defender stands her 3ft from her landing foot and the opposition takes a step in, your defender does NOT move. If your defender has not taken her 3ft BEFORE she steps in, she will need to re-adjust her distance (3ft)

3ft is always from where the grounded(landing) foot is/was regardless of whether the player with the ball has stepped in or not & regardless of when defending action commences. If goalie steps in Defender can legally defend the shot from up close as long as they are 3ft from grounded foot but cannot contact in a way that interferes or move into the space of the step in if goalie has already committed to the space. If umpires not calling correctly get captain to ask for rule clarification.
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Hi sorry I just need some clarifaction on this question 

Can U please verify that if the shooter steps in but the defender was NOT yet in place with her 3ft and arm up she can now be as close to the shooter with her arm up as long as she is 3 ft from where the shooters grounded foot was before stepping in? 

as I always thought  if the defenders  arm was NOT  up before the shooter stepped in the defender then had to  step back to get her 3ft before putting her arm up 



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Hi Jac. Answer from maa & happymonster are incorrect on this point. Refer to my earlier answers which are in accordance with the Official Rules and not the unofficial misinterpretation of the rules.
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