Can a referee score a goal?

If a ball hit a referee in a soccer game and went in the goal would it count? Has it ever happened?

In a similar vein, if a ball rebounded off a referee and set up an attacker who scored, again would it count?

IANAR but I think it counts. Something tells me that the ref is considered a part of the field and therefore it would be a goal. But then again, IANAR.

This site says the ball is still in play if “it rebounds from either the referee or an assistant referee when they are on the field of play”.

Absolutely. The ref is part of the field, just like a corner flag or a goalpost. (But hopefully more intelligent.) Refs do everything in their power to avoid colliding with the ball or with a player, but if it happens, well, that’s tough.

Followup hypothetical question: If a referee were to actively and intentionally score a goal, what would happen? I assume that guy wouldn’t get to referee a single match again for the rest of his natural life, but would the goal stand?

Yes, if only because it’s up to the referee to decide whether a goal stands or not. But as I said earlier, the ref is part of the field and a goal scored by a rebound off him is as valid as any other goal.

You’ll notice that Ref’s very rarely ever enter the penatly box. Most likely for that very reason.

Actually, it’s already happened… see story

source BBC News

I like that referee :D.

And yes, Savill’s goal did count.

Actually, officials in soccer games usually use the “diagonal system of control.” Imagine a field aligned north-south. One linesman patrols the western sideline, but only the northern half. Another linesman patrols the southern half of the eastern sideline. The ref then patrols diagonally, from the southwest corner, through midfield, to the northeast corner. It helps insure that the officials have good visual coverage of the field, and the ref very rarely needs to venture into the penalty box.

(Former referee talkin’ here.)

Tangent; off on a - In Rugby (Union) if the ref is struck by the ball, he (she) immediately stops the game, apologies like mad and awards a scrum to the team that had possession.


While the referee is the one who gets to decide whether the goal stands, some leagues may have post-game appeal procedures for cases of official mistakes, so if this was a game-deciding goal, the match result could possibly be overturned on appeal.

What about the sport of boxing? If a boxer uses the referee to beat his opponent, does that count?

I’m curious about how it would show up. I know when a player scores in his/her own goal, it shows up as (for example, with the WC Germany-Portugal game) “Petit (OG)” on the records. If the ref’s name was George, would it show up as “George (ref)” ?

I imagine in the bigger leagues there’s software for keeping track of things (team rosters, timer, etc). I wonder if they all allow for a ref’s name to be moved to the “goal” column!

No. The ball hitting the ref is the same as the ball hitting the crossbar.

So if, for example, the referee elbowed defender Smith in the head at the top of the penalty arc, stole the ball from him, and blasted it past the stunned goalkeeper into the net, it would be recorded as an own-goal by Smith? (This is getting ridiculous, I realize.)

In the case of the goal “scored” by the guy Sevill in the example posted above, was the goal actually recorded as an own goal by the last player to touch it?

Yes it is getting ridiculous. Sevill was fired for good reason. Having the ball inadvertently deflect off the keeper into the goal has no doubt happened. The keeper would not be listed as the scorer.

Crucially, this rule uses the word ‘rebound’ and equates any striking of an official with hitting the woodwork.

Oh, forgot the link:

So what happens if the referee is the first and only person to touch the ball? That is, say it is the kickoff at the beginning of the game; before either player has a chance to touch the ball, the referee snatches it away and scores a goal. Who would be listed as the scorer then?

A bigger quandry (which is even less likely to happen) would be if, at kickoff, both teams refrained from touching the ball, and the wind simply blew the ball into one of the goals. In this case you couldn’t even put down the referee’s name as the scorer, since no one had touched the ball prior to its entering the goal.