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Question Number: 27696

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 8/26/2013

RE: rec Under 9

Alex Rocha of Toronto, Ontario Canada asks...

Recent tournament, my team took a corner kick, and the defender attempted to stop, howver he used his hands and the ball went in the net, creating an OWN goal. Ref awards the goal,and motions to centre, however other coach, argues it should be penalty shot, since his defender touched the ball in the box.
Ref leaves the field to review her notes, and arrives back that a goal cannot be scored using your hands. Which I agreed, if it was an offense goal, and not an OWN goal, she disagreed and motioned for penalty shot. Our player's shot hit the post and then hit the goalie who was sprawled on ground, and he rolled on top of it.
So, if the defender uses his hands to defend, and it goes in the net creating an OWN goal is it a goal or not counted and set a penalty shot?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

When the defender handled the ball inside the penalty area, the referee could have stopped play and awarded a penalty kick. The referee would also then send off the defender for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity by handling the ball. If the referee blew the whistle as soon as the defender touched the ball, the referee lives with this answer.

Or, the referee could have allowed advantage -- not stopping play because it was in the interest of the victim's team to let play continue and see what happens. Applying advantage would have resulted in a lawful goal. Applying advantage also would mean that no goal was denied, and thus, no red card required. Applying advantage would also allow the referee to go back (if a goal is not scored immediately) and award the penalty kick and send off the defender.

So, the issue is whether the referee decided to stop play or to allow the advantage. It is a complex decision for the referee, and one that referees at the highest level can mess up.

If the referee in your case stopped play, she cannot allow the goal. If she let play continue, she should have allowed the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Alex,

The laws don't specifically state that a goal cannot be scored from the hand. What's relevant here is the law that states it's an offence to deliberately handle the ball, and the law that instructs referees to allow play to continue when that's a greater advantage than stopping play.

So if the defender carried the ball into his own goal and the whistle has not been blown, then the referee should apply advantage and allow the goal.

If the whistle was blown before the ball crossed the line then a goal cannot be awarded - but if the deliberate handling prevented an obvious goalscoring opportunity, then the player must be sent off (not if advantage is applied though).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Alex
If the referee had to leave the field of play to consult her notes that says to me that she did not know what the correct decision was or there were local competition rules for under 9s
We all know that deliberate handling is a foul but we also know that the referee can play advantage. The referee as Law 5 states "can allow play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time". Clearly that means that a goal should have been awarded as it is the best advantage a team can have.
I would like to think that the confusion may have arisen through some local competition rules for Under 9 which perhaps was the reason the referee left the FOP. I also think that any decent coach would know that an own goal is allowed when the only offending team is the defending team.
Some of those local rules are poorly written and if taken literally can result in all sorts of decisions.
In the absence of a local rule the referee got the decision 'wrong' based on what has been described.

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