Scoring with extra ball on the field of play

Scoring with extra ball on the field of play: that’s what Aubameyang did against Norwich. The referee allows it, but is that correct? In this case study you learn how to handle in situations like this. 

Clip of the incident

Firstly, watch the clip of the incident. It should start at 6m21s. A task for you: imagine you’re the referee who has to make the decision. 

Your experience with teams scoring with extra ball on the field of play

I love to hear what you decided when watching the clip above. And more importantly: why did you come to a decision? Always try to keep in mind why you make a specific decision. 

If you have ever experienced a ball entering the field of play, make sure you comment below on the blog. I love to hear your experiences and how the players reacted to your decisions.

Laws of the Game on extra balls

The Laws of the Game say that a referee stops, suspends or abandons the match for any offences or because of outside interference, but only if one the following requirements are met. 

Because this situation falls in the category where an “extra ball, other object or animal enters the field of play during the match”, we look at the 2 options there. The referee must either:

  1. stop play (and restart with a dropped ball) only if it interferes with play – unless the ball is going into the goal and the interference does not prevent a defending player playing the ball; the goal is awarded if the ball enters the goal (even if contact was made with the ball) unless the interference was by the attacking team
  2. or allow play to continue if it does not interfere with play and have it removed at the earliest possible opportunity

Based on the clip, we know that option 2 is the best in this situation. The extra ball was not near the original ball and neither did prevent any of the players from playing the ball. 

Two players take throw-in at the same time

Something to think about: two players taking a throw-in at (almost) the same time. What would you do? How would you handle it? Love to hear that from you below in the comments or on social media. 

Want more case studies? Check them all out.


  • dave

    Common sense says, that the throw-in will be retaken. I think, going by the law, the throw-in that was a bit earlier entered the filed of play, then the second one comes in, it affects play and it need a referee-ball for the team that took the throw-in (as they had possession last before the whistle).

  • Sebastien Cote

    If I hadn’t noticed both players’ actions, I’d signal a retake. Perhaps this could be avoided with a bit of preventative refereeing, as long as the referee can see “the whole scene”; a quick succession of short whistles (tu-tu-tut) to stop any play… but in fairness, not always possible.

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