Team A is awarded an IFK at the 12 yard line, and Team B sets up a wall just in front of their goalkeeper. Team A’s kicker hits a hard shot towards the upper corner of the net and a defender (not the goalkeeper) reflexively reaches up well above her head to deliberately deflect the shot over the top of the goal.

1. Can DOGSO be called in this situation, given that the goal would have been disallowed if the ball went directly into the goal?

2. Does the situation change if the defender who handled the ball was standing directly in front of the goalkeeper, who was reaching up for the ball and theoretically might have mishandled it – leading to a legal goal – had the defender not illegally handled the ball first?

My view is no DOGSO in either case, but I’m not certain. Thanks for your help.

USSF answer (April 3, 2008):
1. While the goal would have counted if the ball had entered the goal, the player did not prevent an obvious goalscoring opportunity, because, as you suggest, the goal would not have counted if the Team B player had not touched the ball. Caution for unsporting behavior and restart with a penalty kick for the Team A.

2. No the situation does not change.

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