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Question Number: 28352

Law 14 - Penalty kick 4/19/2014

RE: AYSO Under 12

Scott of Irvine, CA USA asks...

On a penalty kick, the kicker is supposed to place the ball on the penalty spot. But what exactly is 'on'?

In a game that I was doing, the kicker placed the ball as close to the goal as possible, with just the back edge of the ball only barely touching the penalty spot (hey, every inch counts!). I told him to move the ball and place it more on the center of the spot.

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

As long as (in the referee's opinion) any part of the ball is on or over any part of the penalty mark, it is 'on.' Players usually spot the ball to enhance their footing or to elevate the placement of the ball on an uneven field. A few inches on either side of dead center, IMO, doesn't matter to the keeper.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Scott
Once the ball is touching any part of the penalty mark it is considered on and it should be allowed.
What has happened with many fields is that the penalty mark has been constantly painted which has then resulted in a 'depression' being formed. Players don't like kicking from this and try to place the ball on the edge. I find nothing wrong with this as long as the ball is touching the mark and the referee is the sole judge of what is acceptable.
It would not arise if the penalty mark was level which for that matter the referee could insist on in his pre match inspection.
Also I endeavour to ensure that the goalkeeper is back on the line asap as there can be gamesmanship used here about placement. If the placement looks close I'm not even going to intervene even if its questioned.

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