Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 29217

Law 1- The Field 3/1/2015

RE: rec. Under 13

addie dusseau of holly, michigan america asks...

Is it legal to pick up the soccer net and move it?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Addie,
what that it is, is SCARY!
Deaths from portable goals being tipped over is a dreadful fact and everything should be done to prevent these terrible, senseless situations from occurring. The Goals MUST be fastened to the ground to NOT tip over or move. If a goal and net combo is in place that is portable it simply is a priority it is fasten down in a SAFE manner. You can move portable goals to different locations (it is what they were designed for) but safety must always factor in their use. If you as a player/keeper were to be able to move them by leaning or pushing them you NOTIFY the referee at once and get out of the way. The referee should already be on top of that by suspending the match until the matter is properly addressed.

Please be careful this is a truly deadly serious situation!

My initial reaction was this was a goal tipping scenario and as you can glean it was most disconcerting but if it simply is loose netting or improperly hung netting that is interfering by not being attached to the GOAL again the referee should intervene to ensure safety I have seen bunched netting and billowing netting not tied down well that wrapped around the posts that could easily entangle the keeper's movement. Common sense dictates these situation be corrected BEFORE play begins!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Addie,

The nets themselves aren't even mentioned in the Laws of the Game, so there's nothing specifically mentioned about moving them.

But a player could potentially be cautioned for interfering with field equipment.

Referees should manage the situation though and only caution if it seems like the player is clearly doing the wrong thing. The only reason I could imagine for moving the net is to fix up a hole or if a loose part is on the ground and potentially in the way.

Unless you're talking about the entire goal when it's a portable goalpost - then there's no reason to move them unless it's moving them back after they've moved.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Addie
If the goal posts are properly anchored this is not possible. Referees are asked to ensure that the goalposts and nets are properly anchored in line with the manufacturers instruction as to not do so is a huge safety risk. Players have been seriously injured and indeed there has been loss of life from players getting struck by goal frames.
In 2009 a goalkeeper for the top-flight Swedish team IFK Gothenburg, was caught on camera moving the two posts a few inches closer together.
Kim Christensen was pictured nudging the goalposts out of position before the game to make his goal less than the regulation eight yards in width. The action was not seen by the referee at the time yet he did intervene to replace the posts in the correct position. Had the referee seen the unsporting behaviour of the goalkeeper he would have been cautioned.
Associations takes goalpost safety very seriously since there has been a number of fatalities. This is what my association has to say on this safety matter along with UEFA the European Soccer Federation

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 29217
Read other Q & A regarding Law 1- The Field

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The free opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>