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: 32838

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 10/25/2018

RE: Select/Rec Under 19

Mr Secret of VANCOUVER, Bc Canada asks...

Regarding kicks from the penalty mark: A player comes up to take a penalty kick after extra time. He begins his run towards the ball, but just before he gets to the ball, he stops because he didn't like the way his run up was or the placement of his feet. He doesn't actually kick the ball and so he walks back to try again.

Because he started his run and decided to stop right before he got to the ball, is it permissible for him to 're-do' the kick, or does this count as a miss? Would this be a cautionable offence?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Once the whistle sounds it is expected you will begin the run up to take the kick .
Once you begin your run up it will be expected you take the kick and not come to a stop.
You risk being cautioned for such behaviour given a keeper who leaves his line early is also supposed to be cautioned. But you would be permitted to rekick.
A penalty kick is not in play until the ball is kicked. Once the kicker starts his approach toward the ball, he may not interrupt his/ movement.

Your stoppage might likely be seen as a ploy to get a keeper to move early or as a delay of the restart. If you actually slipped & fell or stumbled as long as you said to the referee, 'Can I restart I fell.' or I cramped etc.. he might allow you to walk back and go again with no caution. But have a look here.


Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

It is for that reason that ball placement is vital and done correctly at a penalty kick.
Generally once the ball is placed referees will expect players to complete the kick on the run up.
Now there will be times particularly in certain circumstances where the replacement is in order such as in strong wind where the ball has moved, where the ball is placed on a tuft and it falls off the penalty mark. Most see that as an acceptable reason to stop and reset the ball.
As to not liking the run up that is not a good enough reason for me.
Now I will look at each circumstance. If the player is say 4/5 yards away from the ball having say moved a few yards and nothing much has happened with the player asking for a replacement or starting again I would allow that.
However if he gets close to the ball and the GK has moved then unfortunately the player has created a problem for himself which most times may be a card and an IDFK. The fact that the ball has not been kicked does give wriggle room in that Law 14 states * feinting to kick the ball once the kicker has completed the run-up (feinting in the run-up is permitted)* which is punished by a card and an IDFK so once there is no attempt to kick the ball it is not seen as unsporting and the reason for this in Law 14. The referee though is not to know if it is genuine or a ploy to see what way the goalkeeper is going to dive on a kick.
Now each referee will take account of each circumstance. If it is a blow out in an underage game the referee may be lenient and go with a retake setting up everything again. In a tight game with everything hanging on this one kick he may not be so lenient enforcing the law fully. The defending team will be up in arms that the player has stopped after completing his run up and that the ball was not kicked perhaps because of getting his timing of his kicking foot wrong. That will present as an offence.
In the video added by Referee Dawson I would have stopped the first penalty kick and started again. If a player slipped or tripped on the run up I would just reset everything again. I am unsure if that action was an accident or a deliberate stop to unsettle the goalkeeper maybe even seeing a slight feint by the GK to one side? That uncertainty suggests going again which is then fair to everyone.
In summary it is not a good idea to stop on a run up at a penalty kick and it asks a question of a referee that the kicker may not like the answer. If there are obvious genuine reasons visible to all then the referee will deal with that accordingly.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

There is nothing in the Laws that says a player may not stop and then go back after completing their run-up to the ball. What is prohibited, is ''feinting to kick the ball.'' If the player simply stops, and in no way feints to kick the ball, the law has not been broken. Of course there could be a bit of a grey area between stopping and feinting, so the referee needs to be wary of a player who stops in a manner that is deliberately designed to make the goalkeeper think they might be about to kick the ball.

One method of determining this could be whether the keeper is induced to move by the actions of the penalty kicker. If nobody, including the keeper, is confused as to what the player's intentions were, I would say that in the first instance at least, the player should be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to go back and retake the kick.

If there is doubt as to what is going on - and especially if the keeper is tricked into diving then the referee should cast a much more critical eye over proceedings. I would say it would be only if the referee is convinced that the player was using the stop as a feint to fool the keeper, that a card should be immediately forthcoming.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32838
Read other Q & A regarding Law 14 - The Penalty kick

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 free 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. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>