Die Spielregeln, English

Law 10: Determining the outcome of a match

In this article the development of the determining the outcome of a match is described.


A goal is obtained when the ball crosses the goal line between the goal posts and – after their introduction – below the crossbar or rope. All football codes have that in common, whereby some codes from the first decades of the 19th century also allow the throwing of a goal. In fact, this description is not to be found in all rules and regulations, as it was all too unambiguous.

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
1863 (FA) A goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line between the goalposts from the field.
1866 (FA) A goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line between the goalposts and below the goal rope (as a height limit).
1867 (Sheffield FA) A goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line between the goalposts and below the goal band (as a height limit).
1872 (FA) Touching the goalposts is not a goal (Wanderers FC). It is important if the ball jumps from there behind the goal line or not.
1875 (FA) Touching the rope or the crossbar as well as the corner flags is not a goal (Queen’s Park). It is important if the ball jumps from there behind the goal line or not.
1938 (IFAB) The team scoring the greater number of goals during a game shall be the winner; if no goals, or an equal number of goals are scored the game shall be termed a ‘draw’. If an outside agent wants to prevent a goal, but he failed and the ball enters the goal, the goal must be allowed.
1939 (IFAB) Addition that the ball may not be carried into the goal (FA).
1969 (IFAB) Intervention by an outside agent: Addition: In this case the game is restarted by a dropped ball at the place where the contact or interference occurred (SFA).
1970 (IFAB) Introduction of the Kicks from penalty mark, but not as a part of Law 10.
1985 (IFAB) Intervention by an outside agent: It is added that – when play was stopped and the ball was in the goal area – it is dropped on that part of the goal area line which runs parallel to the goal-line, at the point nearest to where the ball was when play (IFA).
1997 (IFAB) Supplement that, depending on the competition rules, the extra time follows a draw after 90 minutes.
2012 (IFAB) GLT is permitted to assist the referee in deciding whether a goal has been scored (FIFA).
2016 (IFAB) Introduction of the Kicks from penalty mark in the Laws of the Game (previously included in the Appendix). It is added that if a referee signals a goal before the ball has passed wholly over the goal, a goal kick is awarded.
2019 (IFAB) Kicks from penalty mark: It is added that each kick is taken by a different player, and all eligible players must take a kick before any player can take a second kick.