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Question Number: 31084

Law 3 - The Players 12/4/2016

RE: Competitive Under 17

Aaron Speca of Virginia Beach, VA United States asks...

So this happened in this weekend's tournament. Team gets a breakaway, and the keeper comes out to challenge. Shooter slips the ball past the keeper and it is headed toward the middle of open goal with no defender in position to get to the rolling ball (which I will now call the 'game ball').

In the meantime, unnoticed by just about everyone, a ball from an adjacent field has found its way onto the field of play about seven yards in front of the goal (we'll call this the 'intruding ball'). The game ball strikes the intruding ball nearly squarely, driving the intruding ball into the net, while the game ball severely changes trajectory and trickles slowly over the end line just outside the post.

The CR and AR confer for about 30 seconds and the CR signals goal. It turned out to be the deciding goal in a 2-1 match.

I know that the losing team never complained about the call, but I was wondering what the Law would have to say about this, since I've seen responses to other questions on the site that basically state that a goal cannot be awarded if the ball never crosses the line - that basically nothing can be assumed. Thanks for answering my curiosity on this!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Aaron
A goal cannot be awarded as the *game* match ball never entered the goal. That is a fundamental of any goal. In this case the intruding ball entered the goal so that can never be a goal.
Now the Law has been changed here in June and I wonder if the officials got that new law wrong. Had the *game* ball entered the goal after making contact with the intruding ball and the game ball was destined for the goal anyway then the goal can now be awarded. In the past it had to be a dropped ball. I know from some colleagues that they did not read the new Law correctly in that they missed four important words in this sentence * If a ball is going into the goal and the interference does not prevent a defending player playing the ball, the goal is awarded if the ball enters the goal (even if contact was made with the ball) unless the ball enters the opponents’ goal.*. The four words are *ball enters the goal*. Some thought incorrectly that it was the introduction of a penalty goal which is plainly not part of the Laws nor is it likely to be.
The final point I would make is to ask whether there was a chance that the officials mixed up the balls in that they thought the game match ball entered the goal rather than the intruding ball in which case a goal can be awarded?
Only the CR and AR can explain their actions which based on what is described was incorrect in Law. The only possible restart is a dropped ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Arron
ROTFLOL oh my did they just almost duplicate our you call it of Oct 2016?
MAYBE the officials think the ball that scored (completely crossed the goal line under the crossbar between the posts) WAS the game ball, as such one CAN award the goal. Yet it is also conceivable the officiating crew have embarked on a discerning journey choosing a CREATIVE solution based on their idea of acceptable fair play, thinking this decision will be accepted as reasonable by the parties playing the match if not truly a legitimate goal by the LOTG. This was a drop ball situation IF the ball that entered the goal was NOT the game ball but the INTRUDER ball lol good word choice! In a recreational match of fun such a decision is perhaps convenient but if a compettive tournament or league the outcome could likely be challenged as the referee can not award a goal if the match ball has not entered the goal thus possibly grounds for protest
Cheers and Merry Christmas

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