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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 31064

Law 1- The Field 11/29/2016

RE: Under 14

Filippo of Palermo, Italy asks...

Reading the 2016/17 Laws of the Game, I found this definition of 'field of play' in the Glossary (p. 163):

'Field of play (Pitch)
The playing area confined by the touchlines and goal lines and goal nets where used'

The 'and goal nets where used' part bugs me: does that mean that the area enclosed by the goal nets (i.e. the 'inside' of each goal) is part of the field of play? Is it a mistake on The IFAB's part? Or is it just me reading it in the wrong way?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Filippo
Do not read too much into this. I suspect that the nets have been included so that they are technically part of the field of play so that advertising etc cannot be attached or placed on the nets or that if something untowards happens with the nets they are considered part thereof.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Filippo, agree with my colleague ref McHugh the netted areas are as much a part of the field as say the technical areas in they are part of the surroundings but nets are not actually part of the LOTG. A match can occur without goal nets but NOT without posts and crossbar. It can occur without a technical area but it is better that it does. Same for nets. They are part of the rules of the competition as to the mandatory usage. Players are now held accountable for actions outside the FOP as IF they occur inside.

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