Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

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
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
Panel Login

Question Number: 22803

Kicks From The Penalty mark 2/7/2010

RE: Under 14

Lauren of Boston, United States asks...

Hi, I was wondering, what happens after sudden death and penalty kicks in a soccer playoff game?

Answer provided by Referee Tom Stagliano


Per FIFA LOTG, if a game must have a winner, there is No sudden death overtime. Instead, two overtime periods are played in their entirety. The length of those OT periods depends upon your league.

However, in games played under high school or college rules, an overtime game does end on a 'golden goal'. First goal wins.

Under FIFA LOTG and NCAA rules if the over time does finally end in a tie, the teams will advance to Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFTPM) to determine the winner. High School rules also allow for KFTPM to decide a winner, but that is dependent upon your state. In Massachusetts, where you are from and where I referee, the high school rules (MIAA) allow for KFTPM to decide a tied game at the end of OT in a playoff game. However, U14 (middle school) soccer does not have playoffs and therefore there are no Overtimes nor KFTPM to decide a winner.

Each set of laws/rules (FIFA, NFHS and NCAA) have a different set of requirements on who can participate in the KFTPM. However, all of the laws/rules have both teams alternating five kicks before determining a winner. If the score is still tied, the kicks continue one at a time (each team taking one) and then after each round of one, the score is checked for a winner.

After that, the winning team celebrates and the losing team cherishes the memory of a hard-fought playoff.

Read other questions answered by Referee Tom Stagliano

View Referee Tom Stagliano profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

At some point, one team will win more of the kicks in the KFTPM than the other team, and they will win the game.

Once, in a girls' playoff game, we went 17 pairs of kicks before there was a winner!

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The laws of the game permit ties (draws), but authorize several methods that a league may adopt to determine who advances in or becomes the champion in tournaments when a match ends in a tie. A common one is kicks from the penalty mark, and as Ref Maloney and Ref Stagliano note, the kicks continue until one team prevails.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 22803
Read other Q & A regarding Kicks From The Penalty mark

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.