Encyclopedia > Goalkeeper

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In many team sports, the goalkeeper (sometimes goalie or keeper) is the player that is charged with preventing the opposite team from scoring by defending the goal. Such players occur in football, handball, field hockey, ice hockey and a number of other sports.

Usually special rules apply to the goalkeeper that do not hold for the other players. These rules are often instated to protect the goalkeeper, being is an obvious target for dangerous or even violent actions. In addition, in certain sports like ice hockey, they are required to wear special equipment like heavy pads and a face mask to protect their bodies from impact from the play object like a puck.

In football, the goalkeeper defends their team's goal and has special privileges within the game. The goalkeeper may use their hands and arms to control the ball. Opponents may not enter the goalkeeper's box: an area in front of the goal. Once a goalkeeper has picked up the ball or has two hands firmly on it the ball is out of play and the opposing team must leave the goal area. Play then recommences when the goalkeeper passes the ball to another member of his team or kick's the ball clear of the area.

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