There seems to be a lot of debate in soccer on what is a goal and what isn’t.
You will have games, where a ball is almost over the line, however, the goal isn’t given.
Why exactly is this and is there a rule in place?
Does the whole ball have to cross the line for a goal or just a fraction of it?
It is completely normal as a soccer fan, to have so many questions on this topic.
So in this post, I will be telling you what exactly constitutes a goal.
Does The Whole Ball Have To Cross The Line For A Goal?
The ball must be completely over the white goal line for it to be given.
Even if 99 per cent of it is over and 1 per cent isn’t then it would not stand.
So unless the ball has crossed the line, the game will continue.
Now the reason for this is because if the ball is touching the goal line.
Which means the ball is still in play.
So as long as just a fraction of the ball is on the line, then the game is still active.
However when its over the line, whether that be on the sideline or goal line, then either a goal, corner, goal kick or throw-in must be given.
Who Decides If The Ball Is Over The Line?
When a player shoots at the goal, there is technology in place that tells the officials whether it is a goal or not.
Now, most of the time the technology is not needed.
As when a player fires off a shot on target, and it goes past the keeper it will 9 times out of 10 hit the back of the net.
So the debate of whether it is crossed the line isn’t even up for discussion.
Instead, the scenarios where players argue whether the ball is over the line is when a team is trying to get the ball in to the net.
However, there is a defending player who has made an attempt to clear it.
In real-time, players will have a good idea of whether the ball has crossed or not.
With them either arguing with the ref or going to celebrate.
But even though the players may have an idea if it has, it isn’t up to them.
Its up to a referee watch and a goal-line technology similar to what you have in tennis to determine it.
This technology captures the ball next to the white goal line.
If it is all the way over the goal will be given, again just like in other sports like tennis.
However, if it isn’t then the watch won’t go off, and the game will continue.
What If The Wrong Decision Is Made?
Now years ago, trying to work out what wasn’t over and what was, was a difficult task.
For commentators on the TV and of course the referees managing the game, it was hard for them to work out on some occasions whether a goal was a goal or not.
We at home would only get a few views of it, over the replay.
However, those live at the game, which importantly includes the referees would see it once live and once only.
So they would have to decide right there and then, whether it has or not.
As you would then expect, there were many controversial decisions made, which had a huge bearing on the outcome of big matches.
Example Of Wrong Descision On A Goal Crossing The Line
For instance back in 2010 when England was playing Germany in the second round of the world cup, the referee got one call hugely wrong.
England midfielder Frank Lampard hit a long-range effort that hit the underside of the crossbar bouncing down however then away from goal.
As you can see by the video below the ball clearly went over the line.
However, the referee didn’t believe so, and told the players to play on.
The game was 2 nil at the time to Germany and if the goal had gone in the deficit would have been halved, making it game on.
Its a decision though that still haunts England fans to this day.
Solution To The Problem
Back in 2012, technology was being introduced into the game called goal-line technology.
This tells the referees whether a ball has crossed the line or not, by flashing up on a watch.
Most of the main leagues around the world have it like Serie A, Eredivisie, Bundesliga, etc.
This includes the Premier League who signed a £10 million deal with Hawkeye in 2013 for 5 years to have the tech in place.
Now one of the only big leagues to not have it is La Liga, however with VAR in place anyway, goal decisions will be checked.
Also in the MLS the commission for the league Don Garber decided against it due to its cost.
As you can tell this is tech which is basically only used in leagues where there is money to support it.
Due to the installation costs, the smaller and local leagues, don’t have it.
As it can cost up to $240,000 per stadium, so as this is the price its on the referee’s decision to whether a ball is completely over the line.
So the answer to does the whole ball has to cross the line for a goal is yes.
There isn’t any debate especially in the main leagues as there used to be.
As technology will determine straightaway whether it has or not.
Now if you are getting into football and want to learn more, here is an interesting post on 6 things footballers do after a match.
You can also have a look at these three surprising ways footballers communicate on the pitch.
For now that is all, if you have any questions do let me know down below 🙂