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Question Number: 15111

Law 13 - Free Kicks 4/2/2007

RE: Rec Under 17

Justin of Midlothian, Virginia USA asks...

My question is how do you measure a yard on the field approximately? It may sound like a dumb question, but I'm not really sure how to measure 10 yards on indirect free kicks and such.

Thanks, Justin

Answer provided by Referee Mike Gartenhaus

A yard is approximately 1 full stride for a person of average height. To get the 10 yards right, you need to practice it without counting steps. For example, the Center Circle is 10 yards in diameter. It is 10 yards from the outer edge of the penalty area arc to the penalty spot. I would suggest you measure out 10 yards with a tape measure at home in the back yard or on your driveway and practice. 10 yards is usually farther than most referees estimate, so practice is a great tool. In high school soccer, freqeuntly you have the 5 yard lines that are cut into the grass or painted on the artificial turf to assist you also.
Practice and see if this helps.
Thanks for writing.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Justin,
my colleague has it well thought out .
You can practice the distance by backwards and forward pacing! You can use the visual clues of the field;
football grids certainly make the yardage easy to spot but look to the normal markings as well
centre circle is twenty yards across ten per side from the kick off point
the pk spot is 12 yards from the goal line, 6 yards from the goal area, 6 yards in from the 18 yard penalty area and 10 yards from the edge of the pk arc
The furthest outer edge of the PK arc is 4 yards out from the 18 yard penalty are, 22 yards out from the goal line and 16 yards out from the edge of the 6 yard goal area
The distance between the goal posts is 8 yards

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Or you can join the Marching Band. They will teach you, over and over again, to take 8 steps to 5 yards. Now if you insist on stepping off the 10 yards, you take 16 steps. The teams will love it! (not)

Much better to use the clues that have been given to you on the field, as the other responses have noted.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Depends on which team asks! If the attack asks doing what Ref Gartenhaus says helps. If you have shown the defenders where the 10 is and they ask you to pace it off it is five back from where they are.


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