Ball touches match official and goes out of play

A ball touches match official and goes out of play. A referee in Mexican football accidentally blocks a goal-bound shot and then it crosses the goal line, but not between the goalposts. In this case study you’ll get the solution according to the Laws of the Game.

Ball touches match official
Still from the Guardian video, that is embedded below.

Video of the incident

But firstly, I’d love to show you the video and watch the complete situation. Please make your own decision first, before you scroll down to the explanation. As a referee you have to make the right decision in a split-second, so some great practice with this video.

Laws of the Game

The Laws of the Game are clear when the ball is out of play. The law says that the ball is out of play “when it touches a match official, remains on the field of play and:

  • a team starts a promising attack or
  • the ball goes directly into the goal or
  • the team in possession of the ball changes

“In all these cases, play is restarted with a dropped ball.”

Criteria when a ball touches match official

So does this situation meet the criteria? There’s no promising attack after the touch, the ball does not go into the goal and the ball possession does not change. There’s three NO’s there.

And that’s because these things don’t happen when the ball goes out of play, but not into the goal. The first sentence says it only applies when the ball “remains on the field of play” in combination with one of the other criteria.

That means that the correct restart is a goal kick in this situation.

4 thoughts on “Ball touches match official and goes out of play

  1. Quoting you here: “And that’s because these things don’t happen when the ball goes out of play.”
    Actually not true. When the ball goes into goal it does go out of play. While the intent of the law here is clear, the wording is conflicting.

  2. Wow, learning has really taken place. These ar real game situations that require a quick interpretation of the lotg Within a split- second.
    Thanks so much.

  3. Ouch, unfortunate for blue that the referee exhibited poor positioning in this situation. He should be nowhere near the goal area let alone inside the penalty area in this situation.

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