The goalkeeper may pick up the ball whenever they want in the penalty box after an opponent last touched it, but they need to be wary when the ball comes back to them from one of their own teammates... If a teammate uses their head or chest to send the ball back, then the keeper is allowed to handle the ball.
Back-pass. The goalkeeper can handle a pass only when it is delivered by a header or off the passer's chest, or the pass is deemed accidental. If she picks up or touches the ball with her hand in any way when her teammate has kicked it to her, then it is ruled a back-pass and a free-kick is given.
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After holding on to the ball a soccer goalie cannot just drop the ball and pick it up again immediately. The rules of soccer say that once the goalie has released the ball from their hands, the ball must touch another player on the field before the goalie can again handle the ball. If the goalie does pick up the ball again before another player has touched the ball then an indirect free-kick is awarded to the opposing team.
Soccer Goalkeeper Rules Simplified. Using any part of the body, including hands, is ALLOWED to stop the ball from crossing inside the goal line. Once the keeper drops the ball on the ground, he cannot pick it back up using his hands. Goalkeeper is NOT ALLOWED to pick the ball up, after its passed back by a teammate or received from a throw-in.
Field players would often pass the ball back to their goalie just so they could pick up the ball and slow the play of the game. Both FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation, or USSF laws of the game instituted the back pass rule. The rule stated that a goalie may not handle the ball after an intentional pass from a teammate (using the foot).
If the goalkeeper receives the ball directly from a deliberate kick by a player on the same team as them, the goalkeeper cannot use their hands to touch the ball. If they did this would result in an indirect kick to the other team from the place where the goalie touched the ball.
The goalkeeper is just like any other player, except when he/she is inside the penalty box. The number one main difference is that inside the penalty box the goalkeeper can touch the ball with any part of their body, most importantly their hands.
For completeness, when the ball is wholly outside the penalty area, the goalkeeper, like any other player, may not deliberately handle the ball as also noted in 12.1: The goalkeeper has the same restrictions on handling the ball as any other player outside the penalty area.