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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 28496

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 6/13/2014

RE: Adult

Zed of Miami, Fl USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 25947

If a ball hits the referee and goes in to the goal, is that considered a goal?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

The referee is basically considered a part of the field. So, it's the same answer as 'if a ball hits the goalpost and goes into the goal, is that considered a goal?'

You simply ignore the fact that the referee touched the ball, and decide from there. So, for instance, if the last attacking touch was an indirect free kick (which requires a 2nd player to touch the ball) and no other player touched the ball, then no goal. Similarly, if a defender had taken a free kick and it deflected off the referee and straight into the goal then no goal, as a player cannot score against himself directly from a free kick (and no other player touched the ball, so it's still 'directly').

If it's normal play though, then yes, a goal can be scored after the ball hits the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Yes it is. Provided no infraction was committed by the scoring team. The referee is a large blade of grass.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Zed
The referee is just part of play same as the goalpost etc. When the ball hits him it is play on.
Should it happen? No but it does. Referees are advised to take up positions that makes it difficult for it to happen.
Here is a clip of such an incident:
Very serious error here by the referee in his positioning. He should not have been in that position but unfortunately he was and the goal was awarded. Thankfully it is extremely rare. That incident goes back to 1986.

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