What Happens If The Football Hits The Corner Flag

What Happens If The Football Hits The Corner Flag?

Last updated on February 18th, 2021

The corner flag is one of the distinguishing features of the football pitch.

Due to its ‘bouncy’ nature, there may be times when the football hits the corner flag and bounces off.

Here is an example of this strange scenario:

In the video above, the play carried on even after the ball hit the corner flag!

So what actually happens when this scenario occurs in a football game?

What happens if the football hits the corner flag?

If the football rebounds off the corner flag and does not cross the touchline, it will still remain in play. According to Law 9 of the Laws of the Game, the ball is still considered to be in play even after rebounding from the corner flag.

Here is this rule further explained below:

The ball is considered out of play when it crosses the touchline

In Rule 9 of the Laws of the Game, the ball is only considered to be out of play in 3 certain scenarios:

  1. The ball has crossed the touchline or the goal line entirely, either on the ground or in the air
  2. Play has been stopped by the referee
  3. The ball touches the match official and remains on the field of play (for certain situations)

When this happens, the play is restarted with a dropped ball.

As such, hitting the corner flag does not directly result in the ball being out of play!

The ball is still considered in play if it hits the corner flag and stays in the field of play

The same rule also states that the ball is still considered to be in play even after it rebounds off the corner flagpost. However, the ball still needs to remain in play even after rebounding off the corner flag.

If the ball rebounds off the corner flagpost and crosses the touchline, it will still be considered as out of play.

What happens if the ball hits the corner flag and goes out of play?

When the ball hits the corner flag and goes out of play, there are 2 scenarios that may occur:

  1. A goal kick or corner kick
  2. A throw-in

#1 A goal kick or corner kick

When the ball rebounds off the corner flag and fully crosses the goal line, it may result in either a corner kick or a goal kick.

This depends on who touched the ball last before it went out of play.

If the attacking team touched the ball last before it went out of play, it will result in a goal kick. However if it was the defending team, it will be a corner kick instead.

#2 A throw-in

If the ball crosses the line at the touchline, it will be considered out of play too. This time, it will be a throw-in instead of a goal kick or corner kick.

The team getting the throw-in depends on who last touched the ball before it went out of play too. The team who did not touch the ball before it went out will be the one who gets the throw-in.

Conclusion

If the soccer ball hits the corner flag but does not cross the touchline, it will still remain in play. Hitting the corner flag does not immediately result in the ball being considered to be out of play!

The only time it will be considered as out of play will be when the ball hits the corner flag and crosses either the goal line or touchline.

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