Soccer by the Rules – Penalty Kick – Parts 1 and 2

Soccer by the Rules – Penalty Kick – Parts 1 and 2

 By Joe Manjone, Ed. D.

This contains the first and second articles on the Penalty Kick.  This article is a discussion of the rules concerning the calling of a Penalty Kick and on the rules concerning the taking of a Penalty Kick.

Penalty Kick is defined in 18-1-bb as A kick awarded to a team because an opponent was charged with a direct free kick offense within his/her own penalty area.  This definition is reinforced in Rule 14-1-1 that indicates: A penalty kick shall be awarded when a foul which ordinarily results in the awarding of a direct free kick, occurs within the offending team’s penalty area.

Thus, a penalty kick can only occur if a direct free kick offense occurs.  As provided in definition 18-1-m, a rule infraction that results in a free kick is called a Foul, thus a Penalty Kick results from a foul inside the penalty area that would if outside the penalty area result in a direct kick being given to the opponent.

The fouls resulting in a direct kick are listed in Rule 13-2-1. They are: a. a player spits at, kicks, strikes, attempts to kick or strike, or jumps at an opponent; b. a player trips or attempts to trip an opponent; c. a goalkeeper attempts to strike, strikes or pushes an opponent with the ball; d. a player other than the goalkeeper in his/her own penalty area, deliberately handles the ball; e. a player pushes an opponent with the hand(s) or arm(s) extended from the body; f. a player holds an opponent; g. a player charges an opponent in a dangerous or reckless manner, or uses excessive force; and h. a player charges an opponent in a dangerous or reckless manner while the opponent has both feet off the ground.

Please note that there is no distinction between a direct kick foul in the penalty area and a direct kick foul outside the penalty area. Officials must call penalty kick fouls in the same manner that they call direct kick fouls that occur outside the penalty area.

Also, it is very important to remember that a penalty kick foul can occur against opponents who do not have control of or are playing the ball, as long as the foul occurs in the penalty area..  If a direct kick foul occurs in the penalty area, it is a penalty kick. The ball and the player playing the ball could be outside the penalty area, and an opponent without the ball could be fouled inside the penalty area thus resulting in a penalty kick.

Because of the importance of a penalty kick on the outcome of the game, it is imperative that the official calling the foul resulting in a penalty kick be in position to see the foul and make the call. In a dual system, both officials should be close to the play and have an angle to see that the foul did occur. Sometimes the lead official will have the better angle and at other times the trail official will be in a better position to make the call. The same is true of the diagonal and three whistle system of control.  Sometimes the head referee will be in a better position of see the foul because the player committing the foul will come from the side, and at other times the assistant or side referees will be in a more favorable position.

In all systems of control, it is imperative that the calling of penalty kicks be discussed thoroughly in the pre-game conference. Having a referee or assistant referee in the proper position to make the call and communicating to all officiating team members that a penalty kick has occurred results in approval of both the call and referee team.

What are the procedures for taking a penalty kick?

Rule 14-1-2 states that “All players except the kicker and the opposing goalkeeper shall be within the field of play but outside the penalty areas and at least 10 yards from and behind the penalty mark until the ball is kicked.” Before whistling for the ball to be kicked, make certain that all players except the kicker and goalkeeper are outside the penalty area and behind the penalty mark. Especially watch for players standing on or touching a penalty area line, which is not allowed because the lines are considered part of the penalty area.

Rule 14-1-3 tells us: “The opposing goalkeeper shall stand on the goal line, between the goal posts until the ball is kicked. Lateral movement is allowed, but the goalkeeper is not permitted to come off the line by stepping or lunging forward until the ball is in play.” Both of the goalkeeper’s feet must be on the line at the time that you blow the whistle for the kick.  The goalkeeper can move to either side, but cannot move forward from the time you blow the whistle to signal the kick until the ball is kicked.

The penalties for Rule 14-1-2 and Rule 14-1-3 are as follows: “Infringement by the defending team is not penalized if the goal is scored.  If there is an encroachment (Being inside the penalty area or in front of the penalty mark at the time of the kick) by the attacking team and the ball enters the goal, the goal does not count and the kick shall be retaken. If there is an infringement by the attacking team and the ball does not go into the goal, there is no rekick.  If the ball rebounds into play or is deflected out of bounds by the goalkeeper, the game shall be stopped and restarted with an indirect free kick for the defending team at the location of the encroachment.  If the ball is saved and held by the goalkeeper, play shall continue.  In cases where both teams are guilty of infringements, the kick shall be retaken regardless of the outcome of the kick.” The penalties are very clearly written and understandable.  If encroachment by one team occurs, do not stop play until the result of the kick is known. If encroachment by both teams occurs, blow the whistle and stop play immediately.

An exception to this penalty rule is found in Rule 14-1-4. “The ball shall be kicked while it is stationary on the ground from the spot or any place on the penalty mark.  To be in play the ball shall be moved forward (The ball is considered to have moved when it is touched by the kickers foot). Once the kicker starts his/her approach toward the ball, he/she may not interrupt his/movement. Failure to kick the ball as specified shall result in a rekick.” Let the kicker place the ball, but make certain the ball is touching the penalty mark or line before blowing the whistle to allow the kick.  The kicker may run at an angle, arc or straight at the ball.   However, no stopping or pausing no matter how short during the run before the ball is kicked is permitted. The penalty for stopping during the kick is the exception to the penalty rule mentioned above.  If a player interrupts his/her approach to the ball, blow your whistle and stop play immediately and have the kick retaken.  Also, warn the player that interrupting the approach is not permitted. You may caution the kicker for a second interruption of the kick.

Rule 14-1-5 explains what happens after a proper kick: “After the penalty kick is properly taken, the ball may be played by any player except the one who executed the penalty kick (kicker). The kicker may not play the ball until it has been touched or played by another player of either team.” If the kicker plays the ball a second time before it has been touched by another player, the opponents are to be awarded an indirect kick at the spot of the foul.  Be alert for untouched kicks that rebound back to the kicker from the goal post or crossbar, and partially missed kicks that do not reach the goal line.  If the kicker plays either of these, an infringement has occurred.

Rule 14-1-7 is a new rule that indicates the procedure when an unusual situation causes a suspension in play after a proper kick is taken: “After the penalty kick is properly taken, if there is an unusual situation (deflated ball, interruption by an outside agent like a spectator, bird or dog, etc.) that causes a temporary suspension in play before the ball is played by another player or before the ball hits the goalpost or crossbar, the penalty kick shall be retaken.” An unusual situation that occurs after the ball has hit the goal post or crossbar or after the ball has been touched by a player would not result in a rekick.  As per Rule 9-2-1b&c, if a deflation or unusual situation occurs after the ball has hit the goal or has been touched, and a team is in possession of the ball, the team would get an indirect kick from the spot of the ball at the time the unusual situation occurred.  If neither team is in possession, there would be a drop ball at that spot unless the spot is within the goal area.

The final rule to be discussed is 14-1-6 that tells us what to do if the kick is the taken at or after the expiration of time: “If the ball touches goalkeeper before passing between the goal posts , when a penalty kick is taken at or after the expiration of time, it (the touching) does not nullify any goal.  If necessary, play may be extended so that the penalty kick may be taken.  If a penalty kick is take after the expiration of time (7-1-4 Exception). (a) only the kicker may play the ball and he/she may only play the ball once; (b) the ball is in play until its momentum is spent, it goes out of bounds, or is retouched by the kicker. If time has expired, wait for the momentum of the ball to stop before determining the outcome of the penalty kick.  Some things you may see and be alert for is the keeper playing a ball that hits the goal posts or crossbar and then goes into the goal, or the ball having spin on it and rolling into the goal after its initial forward progress has been stopped by the goalkeeper.  Also, note the exception to the one kick rule.  If the kicker interrupts his/her kick, a rekick is to be awarded.

Situations 14-1-2 through 14-1-7 on page 63 should be reviewed for further understanding of the penalty kicks rules.

Following the above rules and recommended procedures in every high school game you work and making certain your partners do the same will provide the required consistency and make each game a better experience for all participants.

If you would like to suggest a high school soccer rules change or if you have any questions about this rule or any high school rule, please e-mail me at [email protected]