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Law X - Additional Information


The ball enters the goal, under the cross bar, between the goal posts for a valid score by the attacking team.

Position yourself on the goal-line with an unobstructed view of the goal to confirm that the entire ball completely crossed the goal-line under the cross bar and between the goal posts. If you are convinced, point to the center circle to confirm the goal. The younger the players, the more you may consider blowing your whistle. Backpedal away from the playing action to gain a broader perspective on the greatest number of players. Move to the jubilant players to curb the celebration if it begins to consume too much time. Record the goal in your game data wallet.

When the lead referee signals for a goal by pointing to the center circle, copy the signal but keep you eye on the players for any misconduct or excessive celebration. Record the goal in your game data wallet.

Make eye contact with the referee. If you are at the end where the goal was scored, run a short distance up the touchline. Wait for the other assistant to record the goal, then record the goal in you game data wallet. Observe the players. Move laterally to stay even with the second-to-last defender.




White 8 shoots and scores a valid goal but the ball quickly rebounded off some hard surface into the field toward White 9 and Gray 2. There is confusion on the part of some players; defenders quickly making a long clearance and attackers initiating celebrations.

If you are convinced that a valid goal has been scored, blow your whistle to stop play and point to the center circle to indicate the goal was scored. Record the goal in your game data wallet.

When you hear the whistle and see the signal for a valid goal, mirror the signal but keep a sharp eye out for any misconduct from either team. The defense will be frustrated by the goal and may want to dissent towards your partner. Move quickly to the area near the goal to stop any dissent.

Raise the flag vertically to indicate that the whole of the ball passed completely over the goal line. Establish eye contact with the referee and, as soon as the referee whistles, lower the flag and run 10-15 yards up the touchline. Follow procedures for a goal scored.





                             A                                          B                                            C                                                       D

When the ball crosses wholly over the goal-line, under the cross bar and between the goal posts, the ball is out of play and a valid goal is scored. In most cases, the ball causes the back of the net to flutter and the goal is obvious to everyone.

The lead referee positions in a manner to clearly view the goal-line to assure that the ball completely crossed the goal-line between the goal posts and under the cross bar. The referee may need to blow the whistle to stop play. This is especially needed for young, inexperienced players, and when the ball has bounced out or spun out of the goal. Once play has stopped, the referee should point to the center circle to indicate a valid goal.

Picture A shows an assistant requesting a stoppage in play because the ball passed wholly over the goal-line. The referee honors that request by blowing the whistle, as shown in Picture B.

The referee must continue to watch the assistant for the next action conveys the vital information. Picture C shows the assistant running 10-15 yards up the touch line, the same signal used when a valid goal is scored. The referee concurs with the valid goal by pointing to the center mark, shown in Picture D.

Defenders will yell, "But ref, you've got to go talk to your assistant." You already have. You've had a concise, clear communication with each other that can have only one meaning - the ball was out of play and a valid goal was scored. Restart the game with a kickoff. Keep tuned to the defenders who might continue to make rude remarks to your hard-working assistant.

The emotional lift of a goal scored, as well as the despondent faces of those scored upon, lead to a variety of actions on the field. Defenders will claim an attacker held or impeded them, some run to the referee to protest for a possible offside and some have the awareness that a more skillful player bested them. Keepers hate to be scored upon and project the blame on anyone but themselves; yelling at referees, assistants, teammates, etc. Those words are often unkind, occasionally abusive.

Attackers who have just halved the goal differential from two to one will want to go into the net and pick up the ball to get it into play as quickly as possible. Keepers and defenders with a lead want to delay that as long as possible and might push or fight with jubilant attackers to waste precious seconds. If the ball hit the net and bounced a yard or two back onto the field, a second attacker may re-kick the ball into the net several seconds later to taunt the opponents.

That is a good time for the referee team to have their heads up. Look for some unwanted actions and listen for the unkind words. Prevent what you can by being close to hot spots. The easiest way to see the hot spots is to begin back pedaling away from the goal, keeping as many players in view as possible.

Here the players have gotten in front of the referee who hustled to the goal line. White number 10 and 11 are focused on their teammate and not turning to taunt any opponents. If other teammates drag number 3 to the ground and pile on him, give it a few seconds, lean down and say something like, "Nice goal, 3. OK fellas, let's get to the other side and get it going." If the celebration becomes prolonged, or use field equipment such as the corner flag, display a caution for unsporting behavior.

There are dozens of offenses that fit under the umbrella of unsporting behavior: late challenges, reckless tackles or deliberately handling the ball to thwart a counterattack. Number 9, above, may not even be saying anything but his actions to incite the emotions of the opposing crowd are at least unsporting.

Goalscorers are happy. They work hard to create a significant chance and made the most of that chance. They beat their opponents. That is reason to celebrate and join with other teammates who made it possible. Those emotions elevate when it is in the closing minutes of a tight game or toward the end of a championship match.

There is no move to inhibit celebrating goals. Players may raise their voices, dance and hug to recognize the effort. When those actions become a prolonged celebrations, referees must step in. A valuable commodity - time - is being wasted as one team celebrates and other team waits to score the tying goal. Referees should also step in when the celebrations turn outward, away from the joy of the team scoring the goal, and begin to taunt and demean the opponents. Above, if you see Number 9's action as inflammatory behavior or an action that brings the game into disrepute, caution Number 9 for unsporting behavior. Modern-day morality and the influence of cultural icons aside, those are decisions you have to make on the field.

If you think the gesture is offensive, insulting or abusive, send off the offender.


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