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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33930

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 4/5/2020

Petr of Prague, Prague Czech Republic asks...


one situation, please.

Ball crosses goal line and touchline at the same time. (The ball is leaving the field at the point of the corner flag.)

What is the restart? (free throw or goal kick/corner kick?) Do the rules remember this exceptional situation?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
It is up to the referee to decide. If he feels it is more on the touchline side then a throw in.
In reality the *best* decision is the one less likely to cause a furore which is the throw in to the attack or a goal kick to the defending team. A corner kick is a much more attacking situation than a throw in and can lead to an immediate goal opportunity whereas the throw in is not

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
No, the laws do not contain anything specifically designed for this situation which as you say, is a fairly exceptional occurrence.

I think this falls within the purview of the following section of the laws:

''Decisions will be made to the best of the referee's ability according to the Laws of the Game and the 'spirit of the game' and will be based on the opinion of the referee, who has the discretion to take appropriate action within the framework of the Laws of the Game.''

So in this case, the referee (or AR) must make a decision based on their best judgment of the correct restart.

Looking back on it, I would say that in the vast majority of my games, there would be an AR who would normally indicate the decision and I would go with that but on the very few occasions I can recall that it was up to me, there actually wasn't really a question in my mind and I just went with what I thought was the correct call, based on the balance of probabilities.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Petr,
Fortunately this is a rare scenario, however it does happen in the air occasionally.
I tend to go with the direction the ball is 'more 'travelling in.
The worst case scenario is directly above the corner flag, at 45 degrees between the touch and goal lines. Well, sometimes we get stuck playing a game with no corner flag....
If the ball goes out more or less directly above the corner flag, chances are it's at greater or less than 45 degrees - that is, it's either heading a bit more down the touch line, or a bit more along the goal line. So, go with that.
If it's heading down the touch line a bit more and appears to cross both lines right at the corner, I'd probably just go with a GK/CK. If it's heading more towards the touch line than along it, then I'll probably go with a TI. This seems to make sense - and it's probably what the players will be expecting as well. So unless you're absolutely certain that all the players are wrong, there's no sense making a surprise decision that frustrates everybody.
If you see this scenario start to unfold, then some quick movement to one side will often help to show where the ball is in relation to the corner flag.
Similarly, if you have an AR, then this is when they really need to start moving quickly to get right to the corner for the best view of where it passed.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,
this would be an air ball as the 5 ft post would deflect it one side or the other .
In cases where you are unsure best to go with least harm if doubtful .
I tend to favor the throw in or goal kick as the throw-in is advantageous for attack but perhaps not quite as good as the corner where as the throw in for the defense is definitely not as good as the goal kick.

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