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: 27337

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 4/22/2013

RE: rec Under 13

pete of vancouver, wa usa asks...

We've had two refs count a goal for a soccer ball deflected straight down off the top of the crossbar (but not in the goal). Can you point me to the rule on that? Thanks!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Pete
Law 10 states that ' 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.''
In your scenario both officials determined that the ball hit the underside of the crossbar and crossed over the goal line when it bounced down. In these situations the spin of the ball can bring the ball back into play.
Here is an example of a goal that was not awarded because it was 'unseen' by the officials

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Pete,

These are very difficult scenarios for any referee. Even with a neutral assistant referee who is directly in line with the ball these can be difficult to get right. Without that assistant, it's even harder.

A goal is scored when it has wholly crossed the goal line - and in your situation, the referee needs to make a decision. When the ball bounced down, did it wholly cross over the goal line then bounce back out?

This is something I've seen happen plenty of times. I believe it's because striking the crossbar often puts backspin in the ball, allowing it to cross the line then bounce back out of the goal.

Bear in mind the ball only just needs to cross the goal line.

The referee should not award the goal unless he is certain that this is what occurred. While I'm not necessarily stating that the referee has this one correct, keep in mind that from the technical area you're in a terrible position to try and make this judgement; the referee should be much closer to be able to make a judgement here.

No matter what he gives, somebody will say it's wrong here.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

World cup examples have shown errors by the referee crew in deciding whether a goal has been scored. The laws require that all of the ball cross all of the goal line, between the goal posts and below the cross bar.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 27337
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.