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Law X - Helpful Information



ONLY GOALS SCORED DURING PLAY ARE VALID
All goals scored during playing time are valid. Balls that enter the goal after time has expired -- in other words, after the referee has blown the whistle -- cannot be scored as goals.

SIGNALING A GOAL
Law X defines the only method by which a goal can be scored. Referees should signal a goal only when it is absolutely clear that the ball has wholly crossed the goal line, beneath the cross bar, and between the goal posts. If a referee signals a goal before the ball has wholly crossed the goal line, the goal is not valid. The game must be restarted with a ball dropped in accordance with the special circumstances outlined in Law VIII.

STOPPING PLAY BEFORE A POSSIBLE GOAL
If a referee whistles for an infringement of the Laws before the ball has wholly crossed the goal line, beneath the cross bar, and between the goal posts, the goal is not valid. The game must be restarted in accordance with the nature of the infringement, keeping in mind the special circumstances outlined in Law VIII.

FOULS COMMITTED WHILE A GOAL IS SCORED
If a defender infringes Law XII in an attempt to prevent a goal but the ball continues into the goal and the referee does not signal to stop play, the goal is valid and the player must be cautioned or sent off, depending on the nature of the misconduct. If the attacking team infringes the Laws of the Game, before scoring a goal, then the goal is not valid. For dealing with obvious goal scoring opportunities, see the section on Law XII.

GOALS SCORED OFF AN OFFICIAL
If the ball accidentally hits the referee or an assistant referee on the field of play and rebounds into goal, the referee must award the goal. To avoid being touched by the ball or interfering with play, assistant referees should remain off the field of play as much as possible and referees should avoid the immediate area where players are contesting for the ball.

OWN GOAL
An "own goal" scored by a team against itself is valid and is given to the opposing team.

OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE AND RESTART
If a spectator or other outside agent enters the field when the ball is going into goal and tries to prevent a score before the ball passes wholly over the goal line, a goal shall be allowed if the ball goes into the goal, unless the spectator or outside agent has made contact with the ball or has interfered with play. If that occurs, the referee shall stop the game and restart it by dropping the ball at the place where the contact or other interference took place (keeping in mind the special circumstances outlined in Law VIII). A goal may not be allowed based on where the ball might have gone in the absence of such contact or interference.

TIED SCORE
A game may end with score tied unless the rules of the competition state otherwise.



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