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: 31932

Law 3 - The Players 10/24/2017

RE: Adult

Muhammad Rizwan of Abbottabad, Abbottabad Pakistan asks...

Sir, I just want to confirm that during a match if Penalty kick is warded can a other player take place the goalkeeper? and after penalty kick if score or denied can he a play as a normal player not a goalie? And it is essential to change his shirt while performing as a goalkeeper. I mean a normal player perform duties as a goalkeeper during penalty kick only?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Muhammad,
At a penalty kick the goalkeeper can swap with an onfield player. If so, the player coming into goal must wear the keeper jersey. They are not allowed to swap back until there's a stoppage and you provide permission for them to do so - the goalkeeper must always wear the jersey.

Of course the goalkeeper could swap with a substitute if he wanted but, unless it's a rolling subs or unlimited interchange rule, he won't be coming back on!

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Muhammad
A goalkeeper change can take place at any stoppage as long as the referee is informed. A team can change its goalkeeper at a penalty kick. The change though must necessitate the change of jersey so the new goalkeeper must wear a GK jersey. After the kick is taken the change back can only happen at the next stoppage which can be the goal being scored. If the kick is missed and play continues the change must wait until the next stoppage in play and again the referee is informed with a change of jersey
A player cannot play as a goalkeeper without wearing a GKs jersey which can delay restarts with gloves being removed, jerseys changed or exchanged.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Muhammad ,
the keeper can SWITCH with any player already on the field at any stoppage if the referee is informed and permits it to occur .
Once the switch occurs the game resumes with the new keeper able to use his hands and the old one as an ordinary player can not!

The keeper is able to move ANYWHERE on the FOP at any time. It is simply risky as defending the goal is their primary role. Yet in times of crisis they will push forward into the opposition PA to attack and score a goal.

Note this video

Once the switch is MADE they can not switch back during live play they MUST wait for a stoppage and the referee' permission to re-exchange the keeper jersey. To do so would be seen as USB both would be cautioned at the next stoppage1 The LOTG demand the keeper be easily identified and can not wear the same jersey as a player.

Only IF this was at the end of the match with no further normal play just a set of PKs FTPM to determine a winner the jersey switch might not be required as the obvious stature of the guy between the pipes is not going to cause issues. But he delay required is for the jersey/ glove switch.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Muhammad, The laws say that:

''Any of the players may change places with the goalkeeper if:
- the referee is informed before the change is made
- the change is made during a stoppage in play''

Since play is stopped for a penalty to be taken, these provisions would apply.

As far as changing the keeper's jersey, the laws also say:

''Each goalkeeper must wear colours that are distinguishable from the other players and the match officials''

So based on that wording, yes the player who is now acting as the keeper must swap shirts with the outfield player so they can still be distinguished.

After the penalty is taken and if the players do not switch back, the player who was previously a goalkeeper can continue to play as a normal, outfield player if they so desire. If they switch back it must once again be at a stoppage in play with the referee being informed and yes, they would also have to switch jerseys again.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 31932
Read other Q & A regarding Law 3 - The Players

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.