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Question Number: 34788

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 12/1/2022

RE: Under 19

Nick of LA, USA asks...

Did the ball go out of bounds in Japan vs Spain at the moment of the second goal?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nick
Impossible to say from the way it is viewed on TV
Match video evidence was inconclusive due to the fact that players got in the way of the match camera views. One video angle which was looking from downfield seemed to suggest that the ball may have looked out of play. That angle though was of limited help.

FIFA is using Hawkeye technology at all stadia with 12 cameras at each game plus a new ball that has sensor technology in it. I am unsure if it is as accurate as goal line technology which is inside the frame of the goal yet one would expect that it may be or at least a big help.

This image was made available in the aftermath of the game which shows that not all of the ball crossed all of the line as there was a sliver of the ball still touching the goal line

That information may have been available to VAR and had the ball been seen to be out of play by either camera view or technology the goal would have been disallowed.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Nick,

If the thinnest sliver of the ball is still above the line, it's in. So, even if there is grass between the line and the base of the ball, you can still have the curve of the ball above the line.

It looked marginally in from the overhead angle, but even that angle was slightly off. I'm not sure if hawkeye helps out with these ones. If not, I would say the footage was inconclusive, but I'm pretty confident it was just in.

Good officiating by the AR as it takes courage to keep your flag down when everybody is screaming that it's out, and it is 99% out.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Nick,
I believe inside the netted area of the goal there is a sensor network that identifies if the WHOLE of the ball completely crosses the goal line under the crossbar between the posts. to assist with proof that a goal is scored or not.

No Hawkeye overhead cameras in our real world to determine if a ball is in play or has COMPLETELY left the field of play to go - into touch (out of play where you can pick the ball up with your hands to initiate one of the three restarts that are exempt from offside.!
Throw In , Corner Kick or Goal Kick
PLUS, if a legal GOAL is scored
a KICKOFF restart.

Officials contend with many variables including line of sight being blocked from the angles of view. Dealing with 5-inch parallel and perpendicular lines that form the field layout designating whether a 12-inch-wide round CURVED ball is in or out of play and the ball is not only on the ground rolling but in the air above flying about at speed, it is hard at times to determine if the ball is fully OUT OF PLAY.

Much like the old offside motto when in doubt do not wave it about, we tend to advise ONLY raise the flag for a ball out of play when 100% SURE!

To give you a way of thinking if the ball is in or out: Imagine all the boundary lines as 5-inch invisible WALLS OF WATER stretching straight up into the sky and if any portion of the ball is the LEAST, tiniest bit wet that ball is IN PLAY within that area those lines encompass! That includes the penalty area boundary lines as well. I might add this barely wet aspect includes delivery of the ball BACK into play on a throw in, even if most of the ball has yet to cross into the FOP it brushes the line, its wet, thus IN PLAY! .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Nick,
It's difficult to be absolutely 100% certain because we don't have the same technology in place for the line outside the goal frame as we do for deciding whether a goal was scored. Having said that, based on a number of different replays and freeze frames that I have seen I am fairly certain that the ball was still in play and so the goal was good.

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