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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 28582

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 7/7/2014

RE: Rec Adult

Rupinder gill of Gold coast, Qld Australia asks...

If the ball crosses the line & still in air, then the goalkeeper sends it back. Is that a goal or not?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rupinder
If all of the ball crosses all of the goalline then a goal is awarded. It makes no difference if the ball is still in the air. Once it fully crosses the plane of the goal line the goal is given.
Making this call has proven difficult for match officials and as a result FIFA has now allowed technology to be used to assist in making the call
Have a look at this video which gives an insight into the technology and the way the system must work which matches the requirements of the Laws of the Game.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Rupinder,

Some sports have rules where the ball can cross the line but still be in, unless the player touches the ball and the ground outside the line.

Soccer is simpler. The ball is either in or out - there are no further conditions.

The boundary lines form part of the field - so if any sliver of the ball is above the line, it's still in play. The moment the ball has wholly crossed the line, it's out. Any sliver on or above the line, it's in. What you'll find is that from the wrong angle, the ball can look like it's a long way out, while still actually being in play.

So naturally, if the ball wholly crosses the goal line into the goal, before the keeper swats it back out, it's a goal.

These are extremely difficult decisions to get right, even with a neutral assistant. Without a neutral assistant it's even tougher - the referee must not award a goal unless he is certain the ball has wholly crossed the line.

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Answer provided by Referee richard dawson

It helps to think of the lines that surround the field as 5 inch invisible walls that go straight up, in the case of the goal line, between the posts up to 8 feet under the crossbar lol. At the world cup level they use technology now to determine electronically via sensors if a ball has in fact completely crossed the goal line under the cross bar between the posts. It takes as my colleague states, a greater degree of difficulty to be accurate when it is a close call unless you as AR or referee are in the perfect position to truly know. In this as in any decision you call it in only if you are 1oo% sure! The ENTIRE circumference of the ball must be completely over the goal line! I have seen balls go in and out and be missed at ALL levels of play! lol

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