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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34978

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 5/10/2023

RE: competitive Under 14

charles of grayson, ky usa asks...

Two scenarios for the same situation.
An offensive player shoots the ball on a high arc. The goalie looking up positions himself to deflect the ball. The goalie actually backs across the goal line. The goalie jumps to block the shot. The ball goes over the top cross bar and the jumps still makes contact with the ball. scenario 1: the goalie initiates the contact through the net. Is it a corner kick?
scenario 2: the ball hits the net first, then goalie makes contact. is this a dead ball followed by a goal kick?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Charles
Thanks for the question.

Law 1 tells us that the the goal lines must be of the same width as the goalposts and the crossbar. In effect that is saying that if the ball crosses over the frame of the goal fully the ball is out of play the same as it would be on the ground.

The answer to both scenarios is that if the ball fully crosses over the cross bar it is out of play and any contact on the ball after it is out of play does not change the restart. The restart is dependant on who touched the ball last when it was in play in these case a goal kick.

Now conceivably yet I have never seen it happen that a goalkeeper could put a hand through the net and touch the ball before it fully crossed the bar or post. That could keep the ball in play or touch it out for a corner kick. A goalkeeper would rarely if ever reach through a net to do that and as I say I have never seen it happen ever. Perhaps if there was some fooling about by a goalkeeper it might be done. I have heard stories of hands getting caught on hooks on the frame of the goal including the cross bar yet never reaching through the net.

Goalkeeper generally do not know the exact location of the frame of the goal when making saves and rarely if ever do they risk not touching the ball that is goal bound and they do that in front of the goal frame never behind it. I have seen endless goalkeeper touches over the bar but never from behind the bar.
Playing experience tells a goalkeeper that if they are touching the ball behind the frame of the goal there is no point in doing that and nothing to be gained other than a lark. Perhaps a goalkeeper could misjudge his or her location under the crossbar and reach up yet the moment they touch the net they know that the ball is over the bar and out of play.
In this video is it likely that the goalkeeper would never reach under the cross bar?

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Charles,
In both scenarios, the answer is the same. If the whole of the ball was over the whole of the line before the goalkeeper touched it, the correct decision is a goal kick. If the ball was not fully over the line when the keeper touched it, then it's a corner. It doesn't matter whether the ball touched the net first, or not. The only thing that matters is where the ball was when the keeper touched it.

I would also have to agree with my colleague ref McHugh that this is an extremely unlikely scenario and not one that any referee is particularly likely to face. I have been playing, watching and officiating football matches for over 60 years now and I can honestly say I have never seen this happen.

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