Goal area

A rectangular area of 6 x 20yards, running the length of the goal line and extending 6 yards onto the pitch to form what is known as the 6 yard box. This area is marked out in front of each goal on the pitch, usually outlined with clear, white paint.

The main purpose of the goal area is to provide a place for the goalkeeper to take a goal kick.

Can free kicks be taken in the goal area?

In soccer when a goal kick or free kick in the penalty area is awarded to the defending team, it is possible to take the set-piece from anywhere in the goal area.

However, when an indirect free kick is awarded to the attacking team inside the goal area, this set-piece must be taken on the line directly in front of the goal line, known as the ‘six-yard line’. In this case, the referee will place the ball as close as possible to where the offense was committed, as long as it’s not within the goal area or closer to the goal.

Essentially the goal area belongs to the defending team.