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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33970

Law 5 - The Referee 7/31/2020

RE: competitive Under 13

Jeff of Richmond, VA USA asks...

Can a soccer goalkeeper place a water bottle in the goal?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jeff
Yes he can although it should not be placed in a way that could prevent the ball entering tne goal at say a goalpost. The LotG deems that an object such as a bottle is an outside agent and the laws have rules on outside agents interfering with play.
Most referees would not bother about this yet perhaps a few might see the risks of the water bottle causing a problem.
Although not in a game what has happened here?
If a referee asks for a bottle to be moved he is ensuring nothing untowards happens that causes a dispute about a goal. A referee will not bother about a bottle laying on the ground in the back of the goal.
It may be an issue for the coaching staff though when this happens lol

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Jeff,
He can, but it needs to be right back from the line. Sometimes keepers will leave the bottle upright and partially behind the post just off the line - there is an extremely unlikely possibility that this could stop a ball that is rolling slowly across the line. So just chuck the bottle to the back of the goal - or keep it well more than a ball's width back from the line (a big step back could be a rule of thumb that works).

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jeff,
Yes they can but as my colleagues have stated, it should be placed far enough back into the goal that it could not provide any impediment to the ball crossing the line.

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