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: 25652

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 10/23/2011

RE: Under 11

David Aronson of Goleta, Ca UAS asks...

I was the center ref when the ball went out of play, but I didn't see it. The Line ref saw it got out of play pass the goal line and he raised his flag, but i did not see it until the attacking team scored. at that point I noticed the Line Ref's flag. He said that the ball pass over the goal line and was out of play. I discounted the goal and awarded a goal kick.

It that the correct call ??

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

That was the right decision - you had no choice but to disallow the goal.

If, however, play had restarted since the ball had gone out of play (say, you allowed the kick off - or there was a free kick that occurred after the ball had gone out of play) then you can't go back to the goal kick, but up to then you can go back.

Try to get into the habit of glancing over at your assistant when it looks like it may be a close call on the ball being in or out of play. If you position yourself wide so that you're roughly looking through the ball towards your assistant then this will help ensure that you can see the assistant raise his flag without having to take your eyes too far off play.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
You made the correct call. Once the ball goes out of play then play has stopped and no goal can be scored. The fact that you missed the flag does not change that. Indeed the AR must maintain the flag on all occasions the ball goes out of play.
The only way that the referee cannot go back on a decision is if he allows a restart such as a kick off.
Just as a learning point here. When you are working with assistants you should position yourself on a diagonal that places play between yourself and your lead assistant. That means that most times you are facing the AR and any flag can be seen without much difficulty. The problems arise when you have your back to the AR and you miss a flag. It does happen at all levels particularly deep in the referee's diagonal and it is one of the reasons why 'buzzer' flags were introduced.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

It was the right call. The assistant referee should keep the flag up until you notice it. The ball is out of play, and a goal should not be awarded.

FIFA has ruled, however, that if so much time expires (between the original flag and the referee noticing) that the ball has gone in and out of play more than once, it is too late to go back. Another reason why the referee should make eye contact with the assistant referee every time the ball goes out of play.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 25652
Read other Q & A regarding Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 28276

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.