Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 21754

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 8/7/2009

RE: Rec Under 11

Will of Corona, California USA asks...

I'm studying the laws of the game and these question popped in my head and I haven't found the answers to my questions.

At any point in the game of play, is it possible a defender score a goal for the opposing team? An example: A defender on the right side of the pitch attempts to pass the ball to the defender on the left side of the pitch, however, the ball curves and surpasses the goal line into the net. Is that a goal for the opposing team or is it a corner kick for the opposing team? Another scenario is an attacker kicks the ball on goal and the ball first hits an unsuspecting defender(did not attempt to deflect the ball) and bounces into the goal. Is that considered a goal?

Thank you for your time and response.

Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

Will, in soccer as in other team sports, it is indeed possible to score an own goal. Perhaps the most infamous own goal was scored in a World Cup match on June 22, 1994, by Colombian player Andres Escobar. Sadly on July 2, 1994 he was shot dead outside the El Indio Bar possibly as a result of gangsters' activity who lost a lot of money betting that Colombia would make the second round.
In 1997 FIFA came up with these guidelines for defining own goals:
If a goal-bound shot accidentally bounces off a team-mate into the opponent's goal, the goal will be awarded to the player who struck the ball towards the target in the first place.
If a goal-bound shot is intentionally redirected into the opponent's net, the goal will be credited to the player whose action produced the change of direction.
If a shot is going wide and is then deflected or redirected into the opponent's goal by a team-mate, this player will of course be credited with the goal.
There are prestigious awards for goals in the world finals competition and therefore it became important to define who gets credit. To date 24 of the 644 goals in World Cup Finals have been own goals. The credit Escobar got was the most extreme.
There are several instances when a player may NOT score on his own net. These are all from set plays. You may not score on your own goal from a DFK, IDFK, CK, GK and PK. If the ball in play and the ball goes directly into kicker's own net from one ofthese set plays then it becomes a CK. Don't forget, on a GK the ball is not in play until it goes BEYOND the penalty area. This means that if it crosses the goal line BEFORE it leaves the area, it is not in play and it is simply a retake.
Both the examples you quote are from active play and they are both goals.
I recommend that you study the Laws especially Law 13.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gene Nagy

View Referee Gene Nagy profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

A goal is be scored when a defender kicks or deflects the ball into his own goal. It is usually recorded an an 'own goal.'

Note: a own goal can not be scored directly (without touching another player) from a indirect or direct free kick, kick off, penalty kick, corner kick, or goal kick. On a free kick (other than a goal kick), the restart would be a corner kick. (A goal kick that goes directly into her own goal would restart with another goal kick because the ball never went beyond the penalty area and thus was not in play.)

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

first example is an own goal. Second example is a regular goal even though it touched an opponent.

Read other questions answered by Referee Keith Contarino

View Referee Keith Contarino profile

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Law 10 says, 'A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the Laws of the Game has been committed previously by the team scoring the goal.'

A goal is scored for Blue's team if the ball ends up in Red's goal. Nothing in the Laws about which team propelled the ball over the goal line and into the goal. (With the exception of not scoring on oneself on any restart.)

When statistics matter, a determination of who scored the goal becomes important. That is seldom the referee's concern though. In leagues that require the ref to mark goals per individual players, it is common practice to credit the goal to the last attacker to touch it. That puts the goal in the correct column on the gamesheet - else you'd have to explain how the final score is 2-0 Blue, but one Blue and one Red player scored goals.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 21754
Read other Q & A regarding Law 10 - Method of Scoring

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.