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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 24041

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 9/29/2010

RE: Other

Nicholas Broderick of St. John's, Newfoundland Canada asks...

I was in an argument with a friend (and fellow referee) recently about goalkeepers and whether or not they can score from a drop kick. He argued that a goal could only count from a drop kick if it touched the ground first before crossing the goal line, under the cross bar and between the goalposts. I argued that it would count whether it touched the ground first or not. Nothing in Law 10 would prohibit this goal, and the goalkeeper has not infringed the Laws by handing the ball inside his own penalty area and kicking it out of his own hands.

Anyway, I'm about 99.9% on this and once he reads the Laws he'll figure out that I'm right, too! But my question for you people is: Was it ever the case that goalkeepers could not score from drop kicks, either entirely or with some conditions attached, like the one my friend insists still holds today? Is there a previous version of the Laws in which my friend wins the argument?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nicholas
Absolutely no need for a drop kick to touch the ground for a goal to be scored.Ever since the game began there has been no restriction on the goalkeeper scoring from a drop kick/punt.
As long as all the ball crosses the goal line between the goalposts and under the crossbar is all that matters.
Prior to 1997 a goal could not be scored directly from a goal kick but that was changed in the great rewrite of 1997/98 season and it is now allowed.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

In my studies of the laws and the history thereof, I have never heard of something like this. There are some indoor soccer rules variations, as well as Futsal laws which do not allow the GK to score goals after releasing the ball from their penalty areas.

Under the FIFA laws of the game, a goal may be scored even if the keeper were to throw the ball into the opposing teams goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The only thing I can think of that is similar to this is some U-Little rules that prohibit the goalkeeper from kicking the ball 'too far'. My regional league says that in U10 and below, the punt or drop-kick must touch the ground before crossing the half line. Perhaps your colleague is remembering some other similar youth rules.

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