Penalty kick

What is a Penalty Kick in Soccer?

A penalty is given when a foul is committed in a team’s penalty area. The kicker must place the ball on the penalty spot and wait for the referee to signal before taking the penalty. The only player allowed to face the kicker is the goalkeeper, who must remain on his line until the ball is kicked, and no other players are allowed inside the penalty area before the kick is taken.

Penalty kicks can also be used in a penalty shoot-out which is needed after a full match and extra-time is finished.

What Is a Penalty Kick?

A penalty kick in soccer is a direct free kick taken from a specific spot within the penalty area, which is awarded when a player commits a foul inside their own penalty box. The kick is taken 12 yards from the goal line, with the designated penalty mark clearly indicating the position to shoot from. The main purpose of a penalty kick is to provide the attacking team an opportunity to score a goal, especially when a promising offensive play was interrupted by a defensive error or infringement.

During a penalty kick, the only players involved are the kicker and the defending goalkeeper. The other players must stay outside the box until the ball is struck by the kicker. Once the whistle is blown, the kicker takes a shot on goal, attempting to beat the goalkeeper and score. The goalkeeper is tasked with defending the goal and trying to prevent the ball from entering the net.

There are certain procedures and rules that must be followed for a penalty kick to be considered valid. The ball must be stationary on the penalty mark before the kick is taken, and the goalposts, crossbar, and goal net must not be moving during the kick. Additionally, the kicker must take the shot within a reasonable time after the referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken.

Some key points to remember about penalty kicks in soccer:

  • Awarded when a player commits a foul within their own penalty box
  • Taken from the penalty mark, 12 yards away from the goal line
  • A direct shot on goal between the kicker and the goalkeeper
  • The other players must stay outside the box until the ball is struck
  • Certain procedures must be followed for a valid penalty kick

Reasons for Awarding a Penalty Kick

A penalty kick in soccer is a crucial play that can determine the outcome of a match. It is awarded when a player commits certain violations within their own penalty area. This section will cover two primary reasons behind awarding a penalty kick: fouls in the penalty area and handball violations.

Fouls in the Penalty Area

In soccer, the referee may award a penalty kick when a player commits a direct free kick offense within their penalty area. Some examples of these offenses include:

  • Pushing
  • Tripping
  • Charging
  • Jumping at an opponent
  • Striking an opponent
  • Headbutting
  • Biting

These acts, when committed inside the penalty area, can lead to a penalty kick that gives the fouled team a prime chance to score a goal.

Handball Violations

Another common reason for awarding a penalty kick is a handball violation within the penalty area (excluding the goalkeeper within their own penalty box). A handball occurs when a player deliberately handles the ball with their hand or arm. The following factors are considered when determining a handball violation:

  • The movement of the hand or arm towards the ball
  • The distance between the opponent and the ball
  • The position of the hand or arm, whether it’s making the body unnaturally bigger

If the referee determines that a player committed a handball violation within their penalty area, a penalty kick will be awarded to the opposing team.

Penalty Kick Execution

Ball Placement

During a penalty kick in soccer, the ball must be placed on the designated penalty mark, which is located 12 yards (11 meters) from the goal line inside the penalty area. The ball should be stationary when placed on the penalty mark, ensuring that it does not move before the kick is taken.

Kicker and Goalkeeper Rules

For the penalty kick taker, they must follow specific rules to execute a proper penalty kick. These rules include:

  • The kicker should be identified and announced to the referee before taking the kick.
  • The ball must be kicked forward, ensuring that it moves before touching another player.
  • The kicker cannot touch the ball again until another player has touched it.

On the other hand, the goalkeeper also has certain rules to follow during a penalty kick:

  • The goalkeeper should remain on the goal line between the goalposts until the ball is kicked.
  • They are allowed to move laterally along the goal line but cannot come off the line before the kick.
  • The goalkeeper must have at least one part of their feet touching the goal line when the ball is kicked.

By adhering to these rules, both the kicker and goalkeeper ensure fair play during a soccer penalty kick.

Outcome Scenarios

Goal Scored

In a penalty kick, a goal is considered scored if the ball crosses the goal line between the goalposts and below the crossbar. The goal counts as long as the kicker has not broken any rules during the kick, and the goalkeeper has remained on the goal line until the ball is struck.

Missed or Saved

If the kicker fails to score a goal either by missing the target or due to the goalkeeper’s save, play will continue as normal. The ball is in play immediately after it is struck, allowing both teams to interact with it. Players from both teams, excluding the kicker and the goalkeeper, must stay outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.

Re-Take Conditions

Under certain circumstances, a penalty kick may be retaken:

  1. If the goalkeeper offends by moving forward off the goal line before the ball is struck, and the kick does not result in a goal, the kick is retaken.
  2. If the kicker offends during the kick by using illegal feints or breaking other rules, and the kick does not result in a goal, the opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick.
  3. If players from both teams, excluding the goalkeeper and kicker, encroach the penalty area or arc before the ball is struck, the kick is retaken, regardless of the outcome.

Ensure the information provided is accurate and relevant.

Penalty Shootout

Tiebreaker in Knockout Stages

A penalty shootout is often used as a tiebreaker in soccer matches, particularly during knockout stage games in various tournaments. When a match is tied after regular play and additional time (extra time), teams proceed with a penalty shootout to determine the winner.

Shootout Procedure

In a penalty shootout, players from both teams take turns taking penalty kicks from the penalty spot, which is 12 yards (11 meters) away from the goal. The teams take alternate kicks, and each team selects five players to participate in the initial set of kicks. The team with the most successful kicks at the end of these attempts is declared the winner.

In the case of a tie after each team has taken their allotted five kicks, the shootout continues in a sudden-death format. Each team takes one kick at a time, and if one team scores while the other team misses, the scoring team wins the shootout.

Referees maintain order during the penalty shootout and ensure that both goalkeepers and kick takers follow all rules and regulations. Some key points of the procedure include:

  • The order in which the players take their penalty kicks is decided by each team before the shootout begins
  • Goalkeepers must remain on the goal line until the kick taker makes contact with the ball
  • Kick takers have a limited amount of time to take their shot, generally around 5 to 10 seconds

Remember that penalty shootouts can be highly intense and require immense mental focus from players. This tiebreaking method often puts the spotlight on individual skills and nerves under high-pressure situations.

Can you pass the ball from a Penalty Kick?

As long as the kicker kicks the ball forward and doesn’t touch it twice before a teammate or opponent does, a penalty kick may be passed. All players must be outside the penalty area but can enter once the ball is touched. This is very uncommon in soccer however has been used in the past.