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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 31987

Law 18 - Common Sense 11/4/2017

RE: Select Under 15

Chris Salmon of Dallas, Georgia USA asks...

Have there been any new rule changes or any rules in general, in regards to players retrieving a scored goal from the opposing teams net?

After a game today, I was walking with our coach when the AR from our game ran up to us and told the coach he had to submit a report within 48 hours that she gave him, for a violation of our teams players entering the net to retrieve the scored ball. She said it was a new rule and it was a red card offense. My coach was confused, as was I.

Just wondering.


Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Chris,
hmmm I suspect some sort of local bylaw policy in effect?
There is no LOTG that state this is a red card. It is not a foul!
It CAN be considered misconduct, ( the ball is now out of play) depending on how it is accomplished given the restart is FOR the opposing team. The retrieval issue can lead to conflict between the teams as often the team that scored is eager to get on with play if still behind or just tied the score whereas the other team is upset or perhaps the keeper angry and then a tug of war develops with opposing players struggling for ball possession which can cause confrontations of misconduct or VC . I suspect the local bylaws prohibit the team scoring to do this, perhaps in response to earlier ugly confrontational incident(s)? A red card for the ball retrieval player seems rather harsh even though technically he has no reason to get that ball for the other team's kick off. The referee needs to be aware of the time and although he understands the one team may wish to hurry up the other might not wish to accommodate content to follow the referees direction not the impatience of their opponents.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Chris,
No idea where your AR has gotten that one from! Sometimes new officials hear about things that have happened and misinterpret the key elements. Perhaps your AR heard about an incident where a player went in to retrieve a ball but then started a fight and was sent off for violent conduct, misunderstood/misheard the key elements and misconstrued that to mean retrieving the ball is a red card offence?

It isn't. The laws don't even come close to permitting a red card.

A few seasons ago FIFA made it a mandatory yellow card...for about a season. It no longer is, but if it causes conflict with the opposing team then it still is likely to result in a yellow card. But that's a card because a conflict has arisen from the attacker's actions (after all, they shouldn't be retrieving the ball here) - but that's a case by case basis.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Chris,
Absent some local rule of competition (which incidentally, would not be one of the modifications permitted by the IFAB) there is no such rule or law. It is certainly not included in the Laws of the Game. While the act of a forward in retrieving the ball after their team has scored is unnecessary, can lead to a confrontation and so is not particularly recommended, it is not necessarily an offence of any kind, let alone a mandatory red card.

As my colleagues have mentioned, the confrontation that could occur in such a situation could potentially lead to sufficiently violent actions so that one or other player might end up getting a red card but that would be a pretty rare occurrence and would be due purely to the violent conduct if it were to occur and not from the mere act of retrieving the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Chris
This is certainly not part of the Laws of the Game. It could be a competition rule yet I suspect not although there is nothing incorrect in a League asking referees to deal sternly with unpleasantness around ball retrieval after a goal. I am not even sure what sort of report form was suggested here that had to be submitted with 48 hours?
I think there are some wires crossed here as if it was a red card then the referee issues the cards and makes the report. Having said that I cannot see it ever being a red card except where violent conduct is used by players acting aggressively towards each other although that would be dealt with during the game. It could easily though be a caution around acting unsportingly towards players in such situations. Retrieving the ball on its own is nothing so Ai am at a loss to understand this.

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