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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 29835

Law 16 - Goal Kick 10/20/2015

RE: club Under 14

John Sutherland of Tarrytown, NY usa asks...

At what point can an attacking player advance and to where on a goal kick? do you have to wait until ball clears penalty area?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi John,

The Laws state that the attacking team must remain outside the Penalty Area until the ball has left the Penalty Area. This is the same for both Goal Kicks, and a defensive Free Kick inside the Penalty Area.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi John,
YES, the ball MUST completely leave the PA, (penalty area) before any opponent can step inside the PA to cut off or follow said ball.

This restriction is in effect on ANY out going free kick in favour of the defence.

It is important to remember that the opposition must still respect the ten yards NO matter the location of that free kick is inside the PA. The PA is 18 yds. deep. and 44 yds. wide. So opponents are always outside that perimeter from a restart location. If the defensive restart was say on the penalty spot which is 12 yds.' away from goal the opposition will be out side the PA a further 4 yds. at say, top of the arc, to respect the 10 yd. minimum distance that all free kicks require aside from not being able to enter the PA at all.

One last tidbit that often gets over looked while any or all your defenders can stay inside the PA at the taking of the outgoing defending free kicks or a goal kick they to are NOT permitted to play the ball until the ball is OUTSIDE the PA.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
Attacking players must not enter the penalty area until the ball has left the area completely. Sometimes the referee will be able to allow play to continue as the movement has had no effect on play and it is trifling. To bring play back to the kick may disadvantage the defending team.

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