Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 26725

Law 14 - Penalty kick 9/7/2012

RE: High School

Brad Crawford of Lima, Ohio United States asks...

A PK was awarded the opposing team tonight in a tough fought match. Here is the circumstance. Game is being played under the lights. Dew is present on the grass. Well played ball by opposing team to open space inside our 18 yd box. Our goalie and opposing forward race for the ball. Our goalie is 225 lbs and is sliding for the ball. Defender just beats our goalie to the ball and changes the balls path by attempting to strike it. Ball goes wide. PK called on our goalie for colliding with opponent. I just read thru the 10 rules when a PK is to be awarded and am having trouble interpreting the officials decision this evening. Can you shed some light? Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brad
Yes, this a clear penalty. It is covered under Law 12 #7 Tackles an opponent. The Law says that '' A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:.....
# tackles an opponent
When a goalkeeper commits to winning the ball he must do so in a manner that is not careless, reckless or uses excessive force.
When a goalkeeper does not win the ball or play the ball away in a challenge and he then makes contact with an opponent that is careless at best and may even be reckless.
Put a defender into a sliding tackles situation and he misses the ball making contact with his opponent after the ball is gone, is that not a foul? Of course it is and also the high probability of a caution.
So a goalkeeper has no special rights on a challenge and he like all the other players has to take account of the conditions not the referee. If the goalkeeper does not win the ball then contact on the opponent will result in a foul and if it happens inside the penalty area, a penalty kick is awarded.
Older referees will recall that the Law was once written as ' tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball'. Perhaps that spelled it out more clearly but the current wording says the same thing and it goes further offering more protection for players in challenges.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I tell teams that when the ground is wet, they have to be more careful not to foul. Because the goalkeeper was not careful enough, he committed a careless foul of tackling the opponent, or it could just as well been called tripping. That's a direct free kick foul, and inside the penalty area it's a penalty kick.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The goal keeper slides, hoping to reach the ball. The attacker cleverly moves around the keeper. The keeper's momentum then carries him into the attacker.

That's a classic description for a penalty kick. While the keeper's intent is to get the ball, the slide (a form of tackle) was carelessly executed. A penalty kick does not require an intent to harm. Simply the commission of one of the ten listed fouls by a defender insider her own penalty area.

The harder case for the referee is when the contact occurs well after the shot. It is still a careless tackle, but did it have any effect on the match? My experience, however, is that late contact almost always has some effect on the play, the players or the match.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 26725
Read other Q & A regarding Law 14 - Penalty kick

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 30620

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.