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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34636

High School 7/4/2022

RE: High School

George Ayoob of Biddeford, ME United States asks...

A goal is awarded to Team A by virtue of an own goal by Team B. Before the kickoff restart by Team B, it is discovered that Team A had 12 players on the field when the ball entered Team B's goal. The goal should be disallowed, but what is the restart? AR 3.1.1 Situation B states that the match should be restarted with a goal kick for Team B, but would an own goal change that restart?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi George ,
it is true if it was KNOWN there were 12 men on the FOP for the attackers you can take away the goal as they can not benefit from any mistake while playing illegally & you have not yet restarted the match ! The fact the ball was last touched by the defenders before it crossed the goal line you can be forgiven for thinking it is now corner kick restart for why play was stopped given no goal occurs. Yet imagine if they were to score on that corner hmmm? But the INDFK out from within the goal area is the sensible restart to deal with too many people on the pitch at the time of the stoppage !
If it could be determined where the extra player entered from or if the 12th player was identified as the player kicking the ball one could make an argument for a free kick from that point on the FOP. There should be a caution for that player if identified.

Just a fun fact. There was an actual incident in a u-12 match a goal scored by blue with too many on the pitch well it so happened the red defenders also had too many on the pitch. What to do then ? lol In your case we could go with corner after both teams were reduced to proper numbers lol I recall at the time they counted the goal since it seemed even, lol Not correct but it was accepted!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
There is a fundamental premise in all sports that the offending team should not benefit from a restart of play. In this case Team A should not get any restart.

Team A, the "scoring" team has infringed the rules of the game so that team cannot be awarded the restart.
The correct restart in a NFHS game as outlined in your question is a goal kick no matter who scores for the team with an extra player.
The restart is an IDFK when the offending player is identified during play and removed from the field of play after being cautioned.

In a FIFA game the restart after the caution is
# with a direct free kick from the position of the interference by the *extra* player
# with an indirect free kick from the position of the ball when play was stopped if there was no interference.

As a goal has been scored with maybe no interference the game would have to be stopped before the ball crossed the goal line to disallow it so the IDFK would be in the goal area.

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