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Question Number: 22815

Kicks From The Penalty mark 2/13/2010

RE: Comp Under 17

George of Charlotte, NC us asks...

I'll try to briefly explain the scenario and how I handled it, as the center referee; a Red player in taking of a PK in the PK phase of the match, begins her forward motion just prior to my whistle. I attempted to quickly whistle again and did as she kicked the ball. I issued her a yellow card (UB) 'committing an act which, in the opinion of the referee, shows a lack of respect for the game.' I allowed the kick to be taken again. Was this the correct call or should I have paused to see what the result of the kick would of been? For the record, the young lady hit the crossbar on the first attempt and her second shot scored (the Red team eventually won the match). Thanks, G

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

You say 'the PK phase of the match'. Do you mean kicks from the penalty mark? Not that changes the answer, just curious.


You are a certified USSF soccer referee and are bound by the decisions of the USSF. You should have a copy of the current Advice To Referees On The Laws Of The Game. If you don't have a copy, download one from ussoccer's site and spend the 5 bucks to get a print copy. In it, you'll find your answer.

If the kicker takes the kick before the whistle the kick must be retaken but you give him a verbal warning the first time and caution him if he does it again.



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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Referee George
It is a debateable point if the run up/movement before the whistle is an infringement of Law 14. I would base that on the preparedness of the goalkeeper and whether the whistle had an impact on the actual penalty. If you felt that the penalty procedure was not properly complied with you should not have whistled. Then it definitely had to be retaken. Once you blew the whistle to allow the kick to take place then you should have allowed the kick to be completed. The whistle is the referee's indication that the penalty kick can be taken. To quote the relevant section of the LotG

'If the referee gives the signal for a penalty kick to be taken and, before the ball is in play, one of the following occurs: The player taking the penalty kick infringes the Laws of the Game:
? the referee allows the kick to be taken
? if the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken
? if the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and the match is restarted with an indirect free kick to the defending team, from the place where the infringement occurred'

Second point is that the player's eagerness to take the penalty was not a cautionable offence. It would only be cautionable if the referee clearly instructed the player to wait for the whistle and the instruction was not followed. The caution probably helped sell this decision though to the opponents.
Had you allowed the penalty to be taken you could have decided that no goal was scored with no retake. Would a player accept a caution and a retake when he missed in KFTPM?

I suggest that you look closely at the management of the penalty kick and KFTPM. It is a unique Law and its mechanics does cause problems for the referee. In this case the Red team got a second chance at a penalty which was technically incorrect. Given though that there was a second whistle which could have affected the taker then in equity the retake was probably the fairest decision in the circumstances.



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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

During kicks from the penalty mark, the kicker must wait for the referee to whistle. It is unfair to the keeper. If a kick is taken before the whistle, the kick should be taken again regardless of the outcome. (Ref McHugh's response indicates the correct restarts for infringements that occur After the whistle but Before the kick.)

In this case, you did whistle for the kick. That was confusing. If you felt that the kicker's movement was improper, don't blow the whistle once for the kick. Blow it two or three times so that your whistle speaks 'stop' not 'go.' It sounds like you blew the whistle to indicate 'go' because you judged that the kicker's movements did not unfairly affect the keeper and your were trying to get the whistle 'in' before the kick. And that you succeeded.

If so, there was no reason to do anything but let the kick happen. The kick occurred after the whistle. Your whistle indicated that the run up, though odd, didn't affect play. A quiet word of warning to the kicker probably would have sufficed.

In most cases, the keeper expects that the kicker's movement will begin after the whistle, and the kicker's failure to wait gave an unfair advantage to the kicker. I would not recommend that you compensate for the kicker's error by using the whistle.

My colleagues correctly note that even if the kicker's actions here infringed Law 14, the kicker should be warned, not cautioned for the first offense.



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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

With a penalty kick, the referee should not signal for the kick until all players are in proper position. Once the referee signals (whistles), then if a player infringes the laws of the game, the referee allows to kick to proceed and takes an action based on the result of the kick. Your situation is different as you had NOT signaled yet at the time she made a move at the ball so regardless it should have been a rekick. The incorrect decision on your part was when you blew the whistle after she made a run at the ball. You should not have done that as signaling meant you were satisfied with everything. Either way, no yellow is necessay here unless you feel that she truly did commit unsporting behavior or if you feel she persistently infringed the Laws of the game.



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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

I realize that our notable and esteemed US television commentators have ONCE AGAIN mucked it all up. There is no such thing as 'winning a game in PKs' when said 'PKs' are taken to determine the winner of a match after the games is tied/level/even after the end of the proscribed regular time and over time periods. This 'tie-breaker phase' is called 'kicks from the penalty spot/mark.' NOT Penalty Kicks. A penalty kick, as described in Law 14 has NOTHING to do with determining the winner of a match in the event of a tie.

Ok, now that I have that out of my system....

If you are going to stop a kicker from taking a kick from the penalty mark, everyone within a green acre should hear you and know that you want an all stop to things. It sounds, from your description, that she moved just about the time you whistled, then you apparently whistled again just as she kicked the ball? Either really stop things, or let it play as if you know what's going on and you are ok with it. The second whistle added confusion and a distraction for the GK.

Additionally, when taking KFTPM, restarts are usually not an issue, since in fact, they are taken AFTER the game is over and technically, there are no 'restarts.'

If you choose to stop the kick, then do so, but simply have a word with the kicker and warn them that they need to wait for your whistle before they proceed.



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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 22815
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The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

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