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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.



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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.



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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.



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