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Question Number: 33706

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 10/12/2019

RE: Competitive Under 11

Andrew Brand of Overland Park, Kansas United States asks...

In a U-11 game a goalie had her water bottle on the goal line next to the outside of the post. The opposing team hit the water bottle as it hit the outside of the post. The ball bounced back into the field of play and another opposing player knocked it in. The ref said given that the water bottle was knocked backwards the ball most likely would have gone out bounds, regardless of fact it hit the goal post almost simultaneously. Since it probably would have gone out of bouds he called off the goal and awarded a goal kick. Correct call?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Andrew,
Personally, I think the goal should count unless the ball completely & clearly left the FOP. I think the ball hit the post & rebounded back into play. I do not believe a water bottle has the mass to stop a ball shot firmly at goal, a slow roller MAYBE?

If the referee wanted to stop play due the water bottle having an effect as outside interference then blow the whistle immediately when the ball hits it. ANY Drop ball inside the PA becomes a free ball to the keeper under the new guidelines . So its even better than a goal kick but why do we give the benefit here to the keeper?.

I was not the referee of that match, so as my esteemed colleague Ref McHugh alluded to, one would hope the referee made the best decision, based on his integrity and knowledge of the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
The answer depends on whether all of the ball crossed all of the goal line.
There is no conclusive proof that it did either way so in the absence of certainty I believe the referee made what he believed to be the best call in the circumstances. Had he awarded the goal the defending team may have complained that the ball had gone out of play. Also it makes no difference what the ball might have done. It's like the ball hitting an AR on the field of play. Yes the ball may have been destined for out of play yet the fact that it does not requires a different decision than a throw in. In that case a DB is the correct call.
So the referee could have decided that the water bottle was interference in which case play can be stopped and restarted with a dropped ball. As the DB will be inside the penalty area it is not contested so the result would be somewhat similar, no goal awarded and the defending team get the ball.
Now if I was asked to guess I would say that the most likely event was that the ball hit the bottle and the post together. In that scenario I could not really see the bottle being firm enough to knock the ball back into play so it never really did fully cross the goal line as they key contact was hitting the post and staying in play.
The learning point for referees is to ensure objects such as bottles, balls etc are not near the goal area. If it hit the post only the question does not arise.

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