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.
1891 (IFAB) From a penalty a goal can be scored directly.
1904 (IFAB) SO far, free kicks were always indirect free kicks. The exception are penalty kicks. Now, there are direct free kicks allowed under several circumstances, too.
1920 (IFAB) A throw-in is a direct free kick.
1924 (IFAB) A corner kick is a direct free kick.
zwischen 1967 und 1977 (DFB) A goal kick is a direct free kick.
1969 (IFAB) If a spectator enters the field, the goal is to be given, whether the spectator touched the ball or not. The match is restarted with a dropped ball (SFA).
1985 (IFAB) No goal can be given if an outside agent prevents the ball from going over the goal line into the goal. If this happens (except during a penalty kick), the match is restarted with a dropped ball. Addition: Unless the ball was in the goal area at that time, in which case it shall be dropped onto that part of the goal area line which is parallel to the goal line, at the point nearest to where the ball is located, as if play were stopped (IFA).
2012 (IFAB) Four goal line technology systems are tested.
2013 (IFAB) Hawk Eye is used as goal line technique.
2015 (IFAB) Hawk Eye is complemented by GLT systems.

 

Proposals for law amendments that were not accepted:

year club/association proposal reaction
1874 Marlborough FC If the rope ripped and the ball crosses the goal line, a goal is not scored automatically. rejected
1938 FAW Referees could decide on goal if they were convinced that the ball would have entered the goal without a foul, handball or interference from an observer. withdrawn
2010 Goal line technology should be used. rejected