Saturday, August 25, 2007

Law 13

Denizens of the Kingdom: I present you with a fiendishly difficult trivia question, which has been much vexing me for about four hours now.

Idly perusing the Laws of the Game this morning, I came across something I'd never noticed before in law XIII (Free kicks). To wit:
  • if a direct free kick is kicked directly into the opponents' goal, a goal is awarded
  • if a direct free kick is kicked directly into the team's own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team
Now the first bullet is easy enough to understand - it's what makes a kick direct, after all.

But where in the hell does the second bullet come from? Why does the IFAB feel the need to specify for this eventuality? Was the law originally written in such a different way as to give a team a possibility of some advantage to putting the ball in one's own net? Or did the rule arise because some poor idiot once managed to accidentally to score on himself?

A quick look at the History of the Rules of the Game on the FIFA site was singularly unilluminating, since apparently no rule changes prior to 1978 were worth putting on the site. And I can't find the 1938 version of the Laws of the game on-line anywhere.

So, does anyone know the answer to this?


Blogger Matthew said...

I have asked this question several times through fourteen years of refereeing and never gotten a satisfactory answer.

The consistency in the laws is that an own goal cannot be scored from any restart of play, but I have no documentation or examples of the reasoning behind that ruling.

4:56 PM  

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