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Question Number: 30474

Law 16 - Goal Kick 6/2/2016

Larry of Danville, CA USA asks...

Three goal kick questions.

1. A goal kick is taken and directed to the side of the penalty area, with no opponents in the PA. While the ball is traveling through the PA, can an opponent cut across the PA to challenge for the ball that is now outside the PA and being played by the team who took the goal kick?

2. A goal kick is taken while an opponent is still in the penalty area. The ball leaves the PA and is being played by the team who took the goal kick. Can the opponent who was in the PA immediately challenge for this ball?

3. A goal kick is taken while an opponent is still in the penalty area. The ball leaves the PA bouncing off a player from the team taking the goal kick and back into the PA. Is the opponent who was in the PA able to play this ball?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

1. No. All opponents must stay outside the penalty area until the ball is in play. That happens when the ball clears the penalty area.

2 and 3. Yes. If the kicking team elects to take the kick quickly they must abide with the results of that choice. The referee could have a reason to be proactive and prevent the kick when opponents are inside the penalty area. A quick goal kick is not as likely (unless the team is behind and time is running out) as would happen at a free kick. But it can occur.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Larry
Once the ball leaves the penalty area it Is in play. Opponents must be outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.
So in 1. That is not allowed and the kick is retaken.
In 2 the referee will have to opine the circumstances . It might be the case that the referee could deem that the action of the forward was advantageous by being in the PA at the same time as the ball. On a quick goal kick the referee should allow play to continue with opponents inside the area and make a call based on how the play develops.
In 3 it is definitely play on as there is no infringement of Law 16

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Larry,
1 is fairly straightforward but 2 & 3 have some conditions. Once outside the PA which is where the LOTG demand the opposition remain until AFTER the ball exits the PA the opposition can not cut across or go back into the area to follow the ball flight or get close to a defender.
However IF the defenders unwisely try to go quickly and start a free kick with a opponent trapped inside the PA as long as that opponent does not actually touch the ball inside the PA his actions in pursuit or exiting to follow the ball and or cover a defender are not subject to sanctions.

1: NO, no opponent is permitted to move into the PA until the ball exits
2: NOT until the ball leaves the PA is the opponent permitted to touch that ball although he is not held accountable for being there if the defending teams chooses to take the kick quickly
3: YES the defending team choose to take the kick as long as the opponent stranded inside the PA had not touched the ball prior to it exiting the PA. Cheers

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