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Question Number: 31843

Law 5 - The Referee 9/29/2017

RE: Competitive Under 19

Salvador Flores of Indianapolis, IN USA asks...

What would happen if a goal is accidentally scored by a referee? Is the goal disallowed or allowed? for example it hits off the referee and goes into the goal, what is the correct restart?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Salvador
The answer is that the goal must stand. The referee is just part of the field of play so if the ball hits him the game continues.
Now that is why referee positioning is very important and the referee should not put himself in such a position. Awarding the goal will be difficult and cause red faces all around yet there is no remedy in Law with the one exception that if it hit the referee so hard and he was on his own that he can cite that he was incapacitated and that he did not see the goal cross the line to award it.
Have a look at this video
The goal was awarded. The referee thought he would move into that position to get a between view of play. It had poor consequences for him
Even *assisting* by inadvertent contact is not a good place to be

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Salvador,
If a goal is accidentally 'scored' by a referee it would be counted as a legal goal (although of course, it would not be attributed to them in the record books).

As referee McHugh says, the referee should avoid ever getting into a position where this is a possibility but of course, mistakes happen.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

If you also referee high school games, the goal is also to be allowed.
NFHS Rule 9-1-2b covers this situation. This rule states: The ball is in play when it touches an official on the field of play.

Also, NFHS 9-1-2, Situation C gives a similar example: An official while in the field of play, is struck by a direct free kick which rebounds into the opponents goal. Ruling: Goal. The ball is in play when it rebounds from or strikes an official in the field of play.

I hope that you are having a successful season.

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