Trautmann (original title: The Keeper) was released in cinemas on 14 March 2019. The film tells the life of Bert Trautmann, who became famous worldwide as Manchester City goalkeeper and was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 for his merits as a footballer for Anglo-German understanding. He passed away in 2013.
Bert Trautmann played for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964. Anyone expecting me to write about the changes in goalkeeping during those years will have the same train of thought as I did and will be sobered to find out: During those 15 years, none of the rule changes affected the goalkeeper’s game. It is also the second longest phase in which nothing changed for goalkeepers. In third place is the phase between 1980 (goalkeeper allowed to move on the goal line when taking the penalty kick) and 1992 (prohibition of the back pass). The longest phase is the current one, because nothing has changed for goalkeepers since the four-step rule was changed to the six-second rule (2000). However, a certain change awaits them from the 2019/20 season: When they take the kick, the ball only has to move to be in play and no longer has to leave the penalty area.
So there is a three-part article: part 1 deals with the article title: Which stipulations applied to goalkeepers, which have since been revised or not even valid by the required majority in the IFAB? Part 2 deals with the rule changes between 1949 and 1964 in general and Part 3 summarises which rule changes for goalkeepers have followed since 1965.
How Trautmann played
- He wore different coloured jerseys than the field players of both teams and the opposing goalkeeper (introduced in 1909).
- His shirt number was 1, provided he was in the starting eleven. His name was not on the jersey, as the back numbers were position-specific but not personal (introduced in 1939).
- He was allowed to catch the ball with his hand in the penalty area (introduced in 1912) and, from 1920, to take two steps carrying the ball. (For the introduction and previous development of the allowed goalkeeper hand play, see footnote In 1870, Civil Service’s proposal in the FA to allow the goalkeeper or the player closest to his own goal to touch the ball with his hand to protect his own goal was rejected. A year later it … Continue reading)
- The kick could be taken by him or one of his team-mates from any point in his own penalty area (introduced in 1901, it was added in 1936 that the penalty kick was not in play until it had left the penalty area). Already since 1892, no offside was possible at the kick. (For the development of the kick and its predecessors in the school rulebooks, see footnote In Harrow School (1858), the ball had to be kicked back onto the field in a direct path by the first player to reach the ball. Then first a player of the attacking team had to touch the ball before a … Continue reading.)
Rule changes during Trautmann’s stint with Manchester City
While Trautmann was in goal for Manchester City, there were few changes to the rules of the game: The whistle had to be blown for a broken crossbar from 1962, the ball could only be exchanged with the referee’s permission from 1954, and clearly gesticulating or dancing to confuse the opponent has been penalised as unsporting behaviour since 1963 (there were no cards during Trautmann’s playing career). There were some changes in the rules on footwear: a general obligation to wear shoes was introduced in 1950 for all FIFA member countries and in the British Empire. Metal pieces in shoes, even if they were sufficiently driven in, were banned in 1951 at the suggestion of the FA. Cleats must have a maximum diameter of 12 mm (1955), be made of leather, rubber, aluminium, plastic or a similar material (1959) and be stable (1961). The bottom of the shoes must be made of leather or rubber and rounded at the corners (1959).
Rejected were the Scottish FA’s proposal to widen the penalty area to a semicircle of 20 yd (= 18.29 m) radius and some proposals on the still prohibited substitution of players at national matches from the Scottish FA and FIFA. All five proposals between 1948 and 1957 related only to the substitution of an injured goalkeeper, but they were either postponed or rejected by the majority in the IFAB.
Changes in goalkeeping since 1965
After Trautmann’s active playing career, it was banned for the goalkeeper to throw a ball or anything else into a player’s face. The proposal for the ban was submitted during Trautmann’s active career, in 1963 by the Scottish FA, but was not introduced until the 1965/66 season. If disregarded, the goalkeeper would be sent off and a penalty kick would be awarded. On the other hand, the IFAB left it up to the national associations to decide whether and to what extent they allowed the goalkeeper to be tackled (1967).
Also since 1967, time play has been punished by an indirect free kick from the spot where the goalkeeper has held the ball longer than necessary. However, the six-second rule was only introduced in 2000, before which there was the two-step rule (1920-1967) and the four-step rule (1967-2000). To the latter, it was added in 1968, at the suggestion of the FA, that the goalkeeper may not take another four steps carrying the ball after having bounced it once.
Furthermore, in 1980 the goalkeeper was allowed to move on the goal line during the execution of a penalty kick and in 1992 he was forbidden to pick up a back pass with his hands.
The last changes were, as already mentioned at the beginning, the introduction of the six-second rule and, in addition, the indication of the assistant referees if a goalkeeper moves in front of the goal line during the execution of the penalty kick (both in 2000).
Contributed image: Sculpture of Trautmann at Manchester City Museum (photograph by Oldelpaso, was posted online 21.09.2008 („Sculpture of Bert Trautmann at the Manchester City Museum, Manchester, UK„).
|↑1||In 1870, Civil Service’s proposal in the FA to allow the goalkeeper or the player closest to his own goal to touch the ball with his hand to protect his own goal was rejected. A year later it was then permitted for FA member clubs and thus became binding. It was added that the goalkeeper could not carry the ball (1873, Queen’s Park), but could strike and throw it (Cale of Leven FC, 1875). In Sheffield FA, goalkeeper handball was allowed in 1875, carrying banned, but throwing and hitting then allowed in 1876. After the amalgamation of FA and Sheffield FA, the area of the pitch in which handball was allowed was then added to and changed: until 1882 it was allowed on the whole pitch, provided it was to protect one’s own goal. Attempts in the 1870s to restrict it in the FA to 5.5 m (Nottingham Forest FC, 1874) or 9.15 m in front of one’s own goal (Royal Engineers, 1875) failed in advance. From 1882-1903, handball was then only allowed in one’s own half, from 1903-1912 even only in one’s own goal area, and then extended to one’s own penalty area in 1912|
|↑3||1891-1906 all players were allowed to move within 5.5 m of the ball during the taking of the penalty kick, i.e. the goalkeeper was also allowed to move 5.5 m out of the goal towards the ball. In 1906-1929, the goalkeeper was still allowed to move between the posts on the goal line, as is the case today. This was then banned in 1929|
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