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Question Number: 32598

Law 1- The Field 7/18/2018

RE: Select Under 19

Ron of Minneapolis, Minnesota USA asks...

The goal posts are positioned 6 inches behind the goal line, and can not be moved to the correct position on the goal line. For a penalty kick under these circumstances, should the goalkeeper be required to remain on a line between the goal posts, or on the actual goal line.

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Obviously you must abandon the game. That's the only solution contemplated in the Laws.

But of course in a youth game we're not going to do that. We make do. What are you considering a valid goal in this game? What does 'completely across the line' mean? (It would sure be nice if a line could be painted between the posts, and you use that as your reference, even though it's 'wrong'.)

When you decide that - and communicate it to the teams and coaches - the position for the keeper at a PK will have been decided.

Don't forget to write it in your game report. Not that the powers that be actually read them. But when you told both teams that this is how the game will be played, or we go home, you need to document that because one of the teams might decide to appeal the game results. 'I know we lost 8 to 1, but we could'a won if only the lines were painted correctly.'

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ron,
For me, a game cannot be played in these circumstances. If the goals are truly and definitely immovable then the lines have been marked in the wrong place and must be re-marked. I would not want to allow the game to continue until this could be done. Whether this is a club ground or is controlled by someone else (municipality, local authority etc) whoever that has the equipment to mark the lines needs to get that equipment out and mark new lines in the right place. You might end up with two lines which would be slightly confusing but at least you will have a line in the right place

If for some reason this cannot be done in a timely enough fashion, as far as I am concerned I would be leaning strongly towards abandoning the match, at least as far as an official entity is concerned. I might ask the teams if they want to play a friendly match but I don't really see how an official, competitive match in any kind of official competition could be played in circumstances where the referee can't judge whether a goal has been legally scored. The result of any such match could be challenged and the game would almost certainly have to be replayed anyway.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ron
A penalty kick would be the least of my concerns. In effect the goal line is not there as it is in the wrong place.
I would not allow the game to proceed and ask the home team to correct the field markings. It is then a call for the referee to make if that cannot be done in time whether to proceed or not.
My first thought in the circumstances would be to not allow the game to proceed as it is a significant marking to get wrong. Depending though on the circumstances such as the importance or otherwise of the game, the fact that teams may have travelled a significant distance, the opinion of both teams and other factors I might proceed maybe with a call to the League explaining the circumstances.
As to the PK the line is there as a reference point. Difficult to decide if the line is not correct whether the ball crossed the line or if the GK stayed back on the *real* line.
One would hope it would get corrected before kick off.

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