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Question Number: 31978

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/2/2017

RE: Under 19

Tom Schaller of River Forest, IL USA asks...

I was asked by a fellow ref what the call should be in a U10 game (no more intentional heading).
On a corner kick the defender, standing on his own goal line headed the ball into his own net. The ball was probably not going to go into the goal on its own.

I compared this new weird rule to a hand ball infraction. I personally would recommend if the ball was on his way into the goal and no whistle was blown that the goal stands - kind of like an advantage (if the ball was intentionally headed or handled by a defender).

But if the defender touches a ball with his hand (or heads it) intentionally and therefore changes the direction of the ball so it goes into his own net - what to do there?
That ball went into the goal by an illegal touch...

Would be interested to hear what you guys have to say. Thx

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tom
Interesting one. The new *no heading* rule was not meant for outlier events such as this.
Now the whole purpose of the rule is to prevent heading and to stop play in such cases. If it is deliberate it is an IDFK and if the contact was not deliberate, the referee should restart play with a dropped ball at the location of the ball when play was stopped, unless the location was within the goal area.
As play has already been stopped then the need to stop is mute so the best decision is to check on the young player and restart with a kick off. There is no point in giving the opponents an IDFK when its intention is to score after play has to be stopped.
On advantage the referee allows play to continue should it benefit the offended against team. As a goal is the greatest advantage that can be given the referee awards the goal and restarts with a kick off. If a defender tries to stop an obvious goal by handling and fails it is a caution not a red card after the goal is awarded. If the ball is going wide then it is at the discretion of the referee. Personally if he used his hand deliberately to stop a goal and was unaware of his position outside a post I would still caution for it although circumstances may suggest otherwise.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Tom,
Not being from the US I can't comment on the heading infraction, but I will comment on your comparison to when a defender deliberately handles the ball, redirecting it into the goal.

In that instance, the fact that the ball wasn't going into the goal is not relevant. The advantage clause requires referees to allow play to continue if that is more beneficial to the opposing team than stopping play. As a goal is clearly more beneficial than a penalty kick, you would apply advantage and allow the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Tom
the goal should stand. You apply advantage since the team which benefits did nothing wrong. No different then if said player had tried to punch the ball out of the goal with his arm failed to stop it from entering . While THAT is a DFK & PK Law 12 foul we would simply award the goal on the basis it is advantageous to do so. The need to caution for header is less than a deliberate attempt to parry the ball away but the safety stoppage of a possible head injury might preclude the goal IF you whistled it dead immediately

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Tom,
I would agree with my colleagues that the goal should be allowed. There is both the principle of advantage and the fact that the ball has crossed the goal line inside the frame of the goal without any offence being committed by the team scoring the goal.

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