When does an “own goal” count and when does a deflection not count?

Recently a situation occurred in a game that made me want to know the answer to this question. The situation was like this. My teammate was positioned in front our goal, he was parallel to the goal line and less than a foot in front. A player on the opposite team made a hit and shot for our goal. The shot went wide (missed) and then bounced off the back wall and rolled “backward” through our goal line and then immediately bounced off my teammates wheel and through the goal. This was quickly questioned and with little time to debate, was counted as a goal. It’s my opinion that players waiting to play are totally biased and will say “yeah, that counts” to anything so they can play sooner. Another thing I have expressed is that each city should hold tournaments with whatever format they chose, but the rules should be uniform for everywhere. Take this as example, the Midwest has a format of games to 3 points and the best of 3 untimed games wins, the East Coast normally plays timed games to 5 points with one game deciding a winner. And I think the SF NACCC was something like games to 3 points but after 5 minutes the game was over. If tied the game went into sudden death. This is a big part of the fun in going to play in tournaments, but it isn’t fun to get shafted by a local rule you don’t play by. I remember at the North Side Polo Invite last year when Phillys Christ Punchers were up against Ottawa’s A-Team and playing by Ottawa’s rules. These two teams, two of the best, up against each other was intense! But in the middle of the game Mark C. of Philly recovered the ball near his own goal and with little pressure on him he was carrying the ball around to the corner as he was about to turn and bring it up. BUT, he shuffled the ball through his goal before he got to the corner to bring it up. The refs called it a goal and the Philly team just looked at each other making it clear that they don’t play by that rule. My point isn’t really about the call, but that it sucked for everybody that such an awesome game had this awful deflation of energy over a technicality.

Back to the original question. Here in New York the general rules about passing “backwards” through the goal are that if you do so you can’t be the first to play the ball, AND the first one to play the ball can not score, there has to be a pass before another shot. The general rule for the wall bounce “backwards” is “If a ball is shot from in front of the goal line and does not go through the goal but bounces off the back wall and comes out through the goal, the ball is in play and can be scored“. It is my opinion is that the ball does not need to be passed but DOES need to be hit. I don’t think a deflection should count as a goal. I can think of a few situations where if it did count, as it did recently, I could use the rule to my advantage, but to just go around scoring crappy goals isn’t fun.

If you’d like to leave a comment please note the city where you play.