US Soccer is mandating that the Build Out Line (BOL) be used. Below is a clarification of the rule:
Build Out Line
- The build out line promotes playing the ball out of the back in a less pressured setting.
- When the goalkeeper has the ball in his or her hands during play from the opponent, the opposing team must move behind the build out line until the ball is put into play.
- The ball is in play when:
- On a goal kick – the ball leaves the penalty area (the big box).
- The goalie releases the ball from his/her hands to the ground or to a player.
- Once the opposing team is behind the build out line, the goalkeeper can pass, throw or roll the ball into play (punts and drop kicks are not allowed).
- After the ball is put into play by the goalkeeper, the opposing team can cross the build out line and play resumes as normal.
- The opposing team must also move behind the build out line during a goal kick until the ball is put into play.
- If a goalkeeper punts or drop kicks the ball, an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposing team from the spot of the offense.
- If the punt or drop kick occurs within the goal area, the indirect free kick should be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the nearest point to where the infringement occurred.
- The build out line will also be used to denote where offside offenses can be called.
- Players cannot be penalized for an offside offense between the halfway line and the build out line.
- Players can be penalized for an offside offense between the build out line and goal line.
Build Out Line Practical Applications
- Ideally, the goalkeeper will wait to put the ball into play once all opponents are past the build out line.
- However, the goalkeeper can put the ball into play sooner but he or she does so accepting the positioning of the opponents and the consequences of how play resumes.
- To support the intent of the development rule, coaches and referees should be mindful of any intentional delays being caused by opponents not retreating in a timely manner or encroaching over the build out line prior to the ball being put into play.
- Coaches are responsible for addressing these types of issues with their players.
- Referees can manage the situation with misconduct if deemed appropriate.
- Referees should be flexible when enforcing the 6 second rule and counting the time of possession should only begin when all opponents have moved behind the build out line.