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Question Number: 35172

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 10/20/2023

RE: Conpetitive High School

Erin Bromage of North Dartmouth, Massachusetts United States asks...

2 referee HS game.

Penalty Kick clarification.

At a recent game, a PK was awarded. Clear violation inside the box. Both teams lined up outside the goal box/arc. As the player taking the kick advanced to the ball a team mate clearly entered the goal box before the strike. The kick went in the net.

The goal was waved off. Rightfully so. Clear infringement by the attacking team. But the senior official (not me) said no goal AND awarded a goal kick for the defense. I challenged their decision, as my understanding was that because the ball entered the goal the penalty kick should be retaken. It would be a GK if the shot missed going in. Or if the GK saved it and maintained control it’s play on.

The senior official (we both had whistles, but they had been doing HS football much longer than I have) was adamant that they were correct and got me doubting myself.

Can you please clarify. (There is nothing explicit in HS football guide to referees about differences from FIFA rules here).

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Erin,
Spot on, you are 100% correct.
The PK should have been retaken.
That is unless there are some new rules I am unaware of for High School?
Hopefully our resident high school expert Joe Manjone signs in for a comment. AS it is a incorrect restart there might even be a protestable situation where the match needed to be replayed if there was competition concerns.

The only time an INDFK is awarded, regardless of whether or not a goal is scored:
(1) the penalty kick is kicked backwards. I have NEVER seen this although I had a player back heel the ball towards goal.
(2) a different player other than the designated PK kicker takes the kick which in fact earns the culprit a caution!
(3) While it is permissible to deceive the keeper & feint on the run up to the ball, it is not allowed and is in fact cautionable misconduct should it occur -AFTER- the PK kicker completes the run-up to the ball but only then begins feinting, hoping to to force the keeper into going one way then kicking the ball into the goal the opposite way

The encroachment issue, if it has no bearing on play, we USED to ignore it or see it a inconsequentially trifling even if not doubtful it occurred. For a year they even specified it in the LOTG that only if the encroachment affected outcome was it necessary to whistle the INDFK out. The clamp down on unruly behaviours by the keeper leaving his goal line too early and players doing the same by encroaching the PA boundary lines ahead of the kick itself created some new wrinkles on how PKs were to be conducted. Generally both teams encroach a little almost by acceptable design. Defenders are loath to allow an attacker bypass them without responding. We should ensure the players comply with the LOTG yet we still do consider trifling and doubtful to a certain extent.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Erin
Thanks for the question
You are indeed CORRECT
The restart should have been a retake. The answer is clearly set out in NFHS Rule 14.1 which mirrors Law 14 in IFAB / FIFA .

You mention a goal kick restart? That only happens when the ball goes directly out of bounds on an attacking team infringement . The only free kick defensive restart would be when the ball is deflected wide by the goalkeeper or rebounds back into play. The IDFK restart is taken from where the encroachment happened that is the location of the encroaching player at the penalty area line not the goal area nor the penalty mark.

For what it is worth Rule 14 and Law 14 are the most likely decisions for match officials to make an error in Rules / Law.
Back in 2015 a referee made a similar error in a Women's Under 19 game between England and Norway. The referee was fantastically positioned to award a penalty late in the game with little complaint yet made a fundamental error in Law by awarding an IDFK to the defending team rather than a retake. UEFA the governing body ordered a replay from the penalty kick onwards which was a first for UEFA rather than a full replay.

In 2005, FIFA ordered an entire match to be replayed when confronted with similar circumstances. Uzbekistan were leading Bahrain 1-0 in the first leg of a World Cup qualifying play-off when they were awarded a penalty, which was converted. But the Japanese referee Toshimitsu Yoshida disallowed it for encroachment and awarded a free-kick to Bahrain. Again a clear error in Law.

So Rule / Law 14 is a law that needs to be studied and correct calls made. Those high level errors were protested and upheld resulting in replays.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Well that's simply can never have a GK without the ball crossing the goal line.

If, for instance, the goal wasn't scored from that kick, then by the LOTG (not sure about high school), that would be an IFK. But either way, as the goal is scored, that 'more senior' referee is wrong in two ways.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


As was indicated by the other referees you were correct. Please see the Penalty Kick Situations Chart on page 75 of the 2023-24 NFHS Rules Book. The indicates that when there is a violation by the attacking team and the ball enters the goal, the penalty kick is to be retaken. This is also emphasized on page 74 in the Penalty Section. It states: If there is an encroachment by the attacking team and the ball enters the goal, the goal does not count, and the kick is to be retaken.
Hopefully, you will mention this and other possible penalty kick occurrences at your next high school officials meeting.
Have a successful fall season.

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