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Question Number: 31873

Law 5 - The Referee 10/7/2017

RE: 5th 6th grade upward soccer Under 11

David of Valley Grande, Alabama USA asks...

If the offense kicks the ball into the opponent's goal - but on the way to the goal the ball is touched by an opponent, (the defender's hand), is the goal scored, or is it considered a handball, and not a score?

In other words, can the defense benefit from their own foul?

Which rule indicates this?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dave
The referee can and should play advantage as the scoring team would clearly benefit by the award of a goal. The player that tried to stop the ball with his hand and failed should be cautioned.
If advantage is not played the player is dismissed for denying a goal by deliberate handling and the restart is a penalty kick if tne foul happened inside the penalty area.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi David,
First off it's worth pointing out that if the handling by the defensive team was completely accidental and unavoidable then no offence has occurred, even if it stopped the goal. So play shouldn't be stopped either way.
But assuming it was a foul by the defensive team and the ball went in the goal anyway, then yes, the advantage law dictates that play continues and the goal is awarded. If the defender would otherwise have been sent off, the referee still needs to award the goal and not send off the defender, rather than award a penalty kick and send off the defender (a goal is the ultimate advantage).
Advantage law requires referees to allow play to continue when doing so benefits the team infringed against more than a free kick would. Clearly that would be the case here.
However, if the referee blows the whistle a bit too quick and has blown it before it enters the goal cannot be awarded, even if it was being kicked into an open goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI David,
the use of advantage permits a team that has been disadvantaged by an illegal action possibly not suffer if events turn out well or better than expected.

Here if the action was deliberate but failed then the goal IS awarded the action cautioned as USB.

IF the deliberate action was successful with No goal then the action is a DFK /PK and red card send for DOGSO.

If the ball simply hit the hand or arm accidently then the result stays the same as nothing illegal gas occurred!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi David,
My colleagues between them have already given a full and clear answer to your question so I'll just address the issue of which law/rule indicates this (and the actual wording). If using the IFAB Laws, this is addressed under Law 5 - The Referee, as follows:

''The referee: [...] allows play to continue when an offence occurs and the non-offending team will benefit from the advantage ...''

Under NFHS rules, rule 5 section 3 Art. 1d says that the referee should use a verbal and hand signal to ''indicate a foul which was observed but shall go unpenalized because penalizing the offending team would give an advantage to the offending team.''

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