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Question Number: 19186

Kicks From The Penalty mark 5/23/2008

RE: competive Under 16

adam kowalski of annandale, nj usa asks...

When a player is taking a pk, can he run up and come to a complete stop, and then step and kick?          
Also what about stepping/ leaning back? (Allowed?)

Answer provided by Referee Gil Weber

Adam, please review answers to question 19177.

The answer, as it almost always is in soccer is: If in the opinion of the referee... (You didn't think it was going to be easy, did you?)

A player may feint (fake) to disadvantage an opponent, but it must be done fairly. Understand that soccer is all about disadvantaging an opponent. The Laws of the Game allow certain trickery, for example attacking players running over the ball at a free kick to try to get a wall to break apart. That is **legally** disadvantaging the opposition, and it's OK.

But a player cannot shout "mine" to deceive an opponent into thinking it's a teammate and not play the ball. That's **unfairly** disadvantaging the opponent.

Similarly, the kicker at a PK cannot run up to the ball, fake the kick and come to a complete stop, thereby causing the goalkeeper to dive one way, and then, after the GK has committed, calmly stroke the ball into the opposite corner. That is **unfairly** disadvantaging an opponent.

So the referee has to decide. Clearly we give a lot of latitude to the kicker since the kicker's team has been harmed seriously enough to cause the referee to award a penalty kick. (Even though there is no punishment associated with kicks from the penalty mark we still treat the play as if it were a PK). But while we give the kicker latitude to deceive, we do not give that kicker license to cheat. There is a huge difference.

So read the answers to 19177. You'll see that mine is quite different from the others. But then I'm also well known as a referee who bends the LOTG in favor of what's fair and right for that game, those players, those circumstances.

Yeah, I'm a rebel. But it's served me well over a 42 year refereeing career (and still going).

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy

Adam, stutter steps are acceptable in soccer pks. Only thing is the player may not go past the ball and then kick it. If the kicker is going get stupid about the kick and run around in cricles or do a Ukranian folk dance prior to the kick we would not allow that either.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

You will watch on Pks that a lot of trifling or ignoring by referees is applied to what a first time reader of the laws of the game would think are black and white retake situations. As an opinion each referee decides if the laws are violated and broken or merely bent slightly. Encroachment and keeper off the line is not a yes or no thing despite how the laws are worded and now we have staggered run ups on pks adding to our version of just how unfair is something against the spirit of the game and its effect on play. Although I have rewatched the PK in the Champion League final by Ronaldo and have thought about it since, during the game I watched and saw no reason to retake if the PK missed. Yes there was delay but it was in my opinion running at the ball stopping and then only swinging the leg at the ball since the distance to the ball is considerably shortened certainly not as powerful a shot. The kicker can NOT back up to restart the run or go past the ball but none of those things occurred. The hesitation was not excessive in my opinion. I use the term reasonable as a guideline if I thought it unreasonable I would have a different opinion. Cheers

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