Soccer coaching laws of the game Law 9 the ball in and out of play

These soccer coaching tips are designed to help coaches and players understand the laws of the game. This article looks at Law 9 and the rules that cover when the ball is in play and when it is out of play.

Law 9. The ball in and out of play

The whole of the ball must cross the line to be out of play – if it is touching the line, it is still in play.

The ball is out of play when:

  • It has crossed the goal line or touch line, on the ground or in the air – the whole of the ball must be over the line.
  • When play has been stopped by the referee.

The ball is in play at all other times, including when:

  • It rebounds from a goalpost, crossbar or corner flagpost and remains in the field of play.
  • It rebounds from either the referee or an assistant referee when they are in the field of play.


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Click the link to see Law 10, the method of scoring.

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