11

I was recently debating this with a friend, who argued that a goal does not stand if it goes through the net. I could not find an answer anywhere in the FIFA, FA or UEFA guidelines on the rules of the game.

Does a goal still stand if the ball goes through the net?

  • 4
    For future reference when a friend makes a claim, ask him/her if he/she can back it up somehow. :) – posdef Sep 25 '12 at 8:39
  • I always do, but due to where we were when we were debating it, neither of us could substantiate our claims :) – Oliver G Sep 25 '12 at 9:56
  • There was a famous incident in the EPL when the ball went through a hole in the side of the net and bounced back onto the pitch. The goal wasn't given however the rebound was scored so the officials got away with it. – Alex Logan May 16 '17 at 14:59
12

Yes, it's a goal. And in fact, the two assistant referees are charged with checking if the net is in correct shape before the start of each period.

The net is only there to help the referee see a goal, but it is a goal even if the ball goes through it, or doesn't touch it, or if the ball rebounds off the net and returns to the playing field.

Law 1 - The Field of Play: 10. Goals states:

A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no offence or infringement of the Laws of the Game has been committed by the team scoring the goal.

In Law 10 - Determining the Outcome of a Match: 1. Goals Scored the only reference to the net, reads:

Nets may be attached to the goals and the ground behind the goal, provided that they are properly supported and do not interfere with the goalkeeper.

It says may be, so I suspect it might not be mandatory.

  • So, even if the net were to have a hole in it that the assistants didn't spot, and the ball were to go through it, it still stands? – Oliver G Sep 25 '12 at 9:53
  • 5
    If you don't play with a net, it's still a goal ;) – gbianchi Sep 25 '12 at 14:21
  • Have you found any official references to back this up? I'm aware what is considered the norm in practice, but he seemed to think that it is not a goal in an official match if the ball goes through the net. – Oliver G Sep 25 '12 at 14:39
  • @OliverG based on your 1st comment are you referring to a ball going through the side netting? this would not count as a goal. The ball has to pass between the uprights to count as a goal. – AidanO Oct 3 '12 at 16:35
  • Haha, thanks Aidan, i am aware of that. I am referring to if it penetrates the net having crossed the line between the posts. – Oliver G Oct 3 '12 at 16:56
9

As per Law 10 of the FIFA Laws of the Game:

A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the Laws of the Game has been committed previously by the team scoring the goal.

There is no requirement that the ball needs to touch the net for it to be counted as a goal. In fact, a net is not a mandatory requirement in order for a game to be played, as per Law 1 (emphasis mine):

Nets MAY be attached to the goals and the ground behind the goal, provided that they are properly supported and do not interfere with the goalkeeper.

Obviously though, there will be a net 99% of the time as it helps EVERYONE to see that a goal has been scored (most of the time).

It is either the referee or assistant referees job to conduct a check of the nets always before the game. By having the nets not secured properly or with holes in them, it just makes their own job much more harder. EG) A ball enters the goal through a hole in the side of the net when going out for a goal kick.

Hope this answers your question. In 11 years of refereeing, I quickly learnt to check the nets before every game after this kind of incident happened to me.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.