Here is my question, this occured during a U14 game. Team A keeper has possession of ball. As Team A keeper is punting the ball, Team A player (his own team) turns around and gets hit by the keepers kicked ball in the arm (visible direction change of ball) inside the penalty box. The ball rebounds off Team A players arm and directly into their own goal. Team B is awarded the goal.

Is this own goal accurate? The referee stated that he allowed the goal since he gave Team B the “advantage” for the handling of Team A in the penalty box. If the ball had not entered the goal, referee would of called handling on Team A player and awarded a penalty kick to Team B.

Did the referee properly apply advantage in this case? if advantage was properly applied by the ref, is properling the ball with the hand/arm a legal method of scoring in this case? Would this be any different if the keeper was actually performing a restart vice a punt, as in this case? As I understand that no team may score on themselves from a properly completed restart.

Thank you for your assistance in clarifying this.

USSF answer (April 15, 2008):
By your own description, the Team A player was “hit in the arm” by a kick from his goalkeeper. There was no attempt by the player to play the ball and likely could not have been, as he would have had very little time to react if he was just turning around. If the act was not deliberate, and your description tells us that it was not deliberate, then there is no infringement of the Law. If there was no infringement of the Law, then the advantage clause could not be applied. In addition, there would have been no reason for the referee to say anything but, “No foul! Play!”

The goal would be scored as an “own goal,” as the opposing team had no “hand” (pardon the pun) in it.

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