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Question Number: 31015

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 11/12/2016

RE: Competitive Under 18

Carol nutt of Mira Loma, CA USA asks...

What is the procedure if a goalkeeper is previously stationed on the goal line awaiting a penalty kick and between the time the whistle is blown and the kick is taken, has moved off the line, resulting in the keeper 'not being ready' for the kick to be taken...

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Carol,
the LOTG dictate that the keeper REMAIN on the goal line between the posts and under the crossbar at the taking of a PK. The LOTG specifically request the keeper to be cautioned for this transgression.

If they refuse or come off the line after the whistle has sounded and the PK kicker shoots and scores the goal would be awarded with no concern for the keeper as their illegal actions had no effect on the outcome.. If though the PK kicker was to miss or the referee blew the whistle to stop play even before the kick possibly to warn or admonish the keeper ,the keeper would be cautioned shown the yellow card and the PK retaken.

I think it is a bit of an overreach given the PK kicker can feint which could create such a condition. Plus the PK kicker can pound the ball way wide or high yet receive the benefit of a retake. Mind you, if a keeper was refusing to get on the line to begin the PK the referee could also caution for delaying the restart or dissent!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Carol,

The referee will not (or at least should not) blow the whistle before everything and everybody is ready for the kick. As I read the Laws of the Game describing the penalty procedure it seems that the kick should proceed from that point and for me, if the keeper comes off the line after that it is too late to constitute not being ready, but it can be considered in terms of an offence, to be penalised if the ball does not enter the net. According to the letter of the current Laws, in this situation, if a goal is not scored the keeper should be cautioned and the kick retaken. If a goal is scored, no further action is required.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Carol
It us up to the referee to determine what is the difference between *not being ready* and encroachment.
My experience is that goalkeepers will rarely retreat to the goal line if they are not ready or unhappy with something such as the placement of the ball etc. Now once on the line and showing a readiness to play and all other conditions are met the referee sounds the whistle to allow the kick to proceed. Should the goalkeeper now move forward off the line with the kick underway that is encroachment. The tell tale sign will also be an effort to save the ball. If a goal is scored then the restart is a kick off. If the shot is saved or missed then the goalkeeper is cautioned and the restart is a retake of the PK.
A word of advice. Good mechanics and control can save the referee a world of grief. Take control of the kick procedure with clear instructions to the GK and kicker. If the goalkeeper is trying gamesmanship then step in to stop the kick and deal with it. Ensure that the kicker knows the kick is on the whistle. As soon as the conditions are met give an early whistle and allow the kick to proceed. Experience also tells us to ignore trifling matters. It can be best to intervene only when an infringement has impacted on play and it is not trifling or doubtful.

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