Penalty Kick Infractions

By: Don Dennison, NISOA National Clinician

 The award of a penalty kick is fraught with many problems, one of which we will discuss in this paper, namely, what does the referee do when there are infractions committed by the kicker or by either team.  What if the goal is scored?  What happens if the goal is not scored.

The High School rules differ from NCAA or FIFA so it behooves the referee to know the many possibilities and to get the call right.  Failure to adhere to the proper procedure could seriously affect the result of the game or possibly a team’s whole season. The NFHS Rules book has all of the infractions discussed in Rule 14.

We know that on a PK all players except for the keeper and the kicker must be on the field outside of the penalty area and the penalty arc and behind the penalty mark.  The keeper must be on the goal line between the goal posts and cannot move forward (lateral movement is permitted) until the ball is in play.  We also know that under the HS Rules a stutter step is not permitted.   If the kicker plays the ball a second time before it is touched by another player, an indirect free kick is awarded to the defense.

The following chart shows the proper procedure for infractions by the attackers, defense, or both teams.  Note that any violation by the defenders when a penalty kick is scored is not penalized.  Whenever both teams infringe, the kick is always retaken.


In the event that the kicker commits a stutter step in HS and then kicks it into the goal, the kick is to be retaken,  If after the ball is kicked and before it hits the goal structure, either a dog runs onto the field and touches the ball, the ball bursts, or a spectator touches the ball or throws an object which stops or deflects  the ball, the penalty kick is retaken.