What is the end line in soccer?
The end line, also known as the goal line or the byline, is the shorter line on each end of the pitch. The nets are located on the end lines, and a ball must fully cross the plane of the end line to be considered a goal. Read on to learn more about how the end lines work, including rules associated with the end lines.
How do the end lines work?
Together with the sidelines (touchlines), the end lines form the boundary lines that mark in-bounds and out-of-bounds. This designated area is also called the field of play.
If the ball goes outside of the field of play, the team who touched the ball last will lose possession. When the ball goes out of bounds over an end line, either a corner kick or goal kick will be awarded depending on which team touched the ball last. If the ball was last touched by a defending player, the opposing team will be awarded a corner kick. If the ball was last touched by an attacking player, a goal kick will be awarded to the defending team.
End Line Rules
- The end lines and touchlines form the field of play and provide a barrier between in-bounds and out-of-bounds.
- The ball must cross the portion of the end line in front of the net to be considered a valid goal.
- If the ball goes out of play over the end line and is last touched by the attacking team, the defending team will be awarded a goal kick.
- If the ball goes out of play over the end line and is last touched by the defending team, the attacking team will be awarded a corner kick.
- Each end line must be at least 45 meters (50 yards) long and a maximum of 90 meters (100 yards) long.
- In international matches, end lines must be at least 64 meters (70 yards) long and a maximum of 75 meters (80 yards) long.