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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35479

Law 18 - Common Sense 4/27/2024


Gene of Glendale, CA United States asks...

A goal kick was called for after the opposing team kicked the ball out of bounds. The ref tossed the ball to our goalie, and it bounced off the goalie into her own goal. A parent of the opposing team started shouting that it was an own goal. No one agreed, but the parent wouldn’t let it go, and finally said “well that’s an MLS rule, we should be getting these kids ready for that”.

Is that considered an own goal in MLS, when the ball is dead, but goes into the goal?
Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Gene,
Based only on the info you provided there is no chance of a goal being awarded!
If the ball, is into touch, aka a dead ball situation and a referee intervenes to grab the ball and offers it or tosses it to the keeper who mishandles it or it bounces off the foot /body into the goal. There has been NO restart! Thus there can be NO goal.
Even if it was a DB restart, not a goal kick, if a referee were to let the ball fall and it hit the keeper before it contacted the ground the ball is not yet in play.

The fact the opposition created a goal kick is not unusual, why the referee is involved directly seems a bit odd? The LOTG now state that a goal kick no longer has to leave the confines of the PA to be in play! The ball is supposed to be stationary within the 6 yard goal area and if a keeper/player then kicks it in any direction , the ball is in play. If he kicks it twice before anyone else, it is an indfk for a double touch. If he kicks it directly into the goal, it is a corner kick as you can not directly score on yourself from your own restart.

Perhaps just another goofy comment from the touchline windbags, sigh I wish they would just stick to yelling out "Handball!" every time the ball and hand make contact so they could at least be right about 25% of the time!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gene
Absolutely no way as described this can be a goal. It is just impossible.

First off the ball is not in play off a bounce from a ball thrown by the referee. The ball has to be placed in the goal area and it has to be at rest for a legal goal kick to be taken.

Second point is that even if it was at rest inside the goal area and the ball is mis kicked into the goal the restart is a corner kick. It cannot be a goal.

So there is no possibility here of a goal at any level of the game including the MLS.

The parent is just plain wrong and I cannot even fathom how such an opinion can be opined.

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