Soccer Referee Resources
Home
Ask a Question
Articles
Recent Questions
Search

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
Offside
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick


Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Pre-Game
Fitness
Mechanics
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School
Other


Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Advertise
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 33336

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 5/11/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Stephen Sheldon of Sydney, NSW Australia asks...

Hi

My question is about goal kicks.

I was told today by a Level 2 referees coach that the only players allowed in the box during a goal kick are the goal keeper and the kicker (if the kicker is not the goalkeeper). That is, a maximum of two players in the box. But the LOTG do not specify this. Please advise on what the law is.

Stephen
Coogee, Australia

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Stephen,
the information you received is flawed.
Defenders are permitted whomever they wish of their 11 players to be inside the PA at a goal kick or outgoing free kick. Mind you it does not make tactical sense to do so but it is perfectly legal.

It is the opposition that must remain outside the PA and up to ten yards away UNTIL the ball is actually kicked into play. Under the new LOTG the ball no longer has to clear the PA boundary lines to be in play it is simply required to be kicked and moved . That said if the defending free kick or goal kick is taken quickly with opposition players inside the PA they can be ignored as long as they do not interfere until after the ball is in play.

When the defending team takes a goal kick or free kick in their own penalty area, the ball is NOW in play once the kick is taken allowing for the ball to be played again by a new player from either team (not the kicker) even before the ball leaving the penalty area

The reasoning was derived from the testing at the experimental trials that at a goal kick the ball is in play once it is kicked, and does not have to leave the penalty area, had created a faster and more dynamic/constructive restart to the game. It reduced the time ‘lost/wasted’ including stopping the tactic of ‘wasting’ time when a defender deliberately plays the ball before it leaves the penalty area knowing that all that will happen is the goal kick will be retaken. Opponents still must remain outside the penalty area and at least 9.15m away until the ball is in play. That does NOT apply to any of the 11 defenders.
Cheers



Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Stephen
You are correct. Law 16 does not specify how many defenders can be in the area so if the defending team want to have more than two in there there is nothing illegal in that.
It just means that those players cannot participate in play until the ball has left the penalty area so there is not much point in being in there. Indeed the current Law tells us that if all the attacking players have not exited the penalty area on a quick goal kick the referee allows p,ay to continue once the ball is in play when it leaves the penalty area
Now having said all that Law will change on the 1st June. Under the new Law 16 quick goal kicks will be allowed and the ball will be in play when it is kicked and moved. The new Law states that when a goal kick is taken, any opponents inside the penalty area because they did not have time to leave, the referee will allows play to continue. If an opponent who is in the penalty area, touches or challenges for the ball before it has touched another player is in play, the goal kick is retaken.
IFAB tells us that the experiment that at a goal kick the ball is in play once it is kicked, and does not have to leave the penalty area, has created a faster and more dynamic /constructive restart to the game. It has reduced the time lost/wasted including stopping the tactic of wasting time when a defender deliberately plays the ball before it leaves the penalty area knowing that all that will happen is the goal kick will be retaken. Opponents must remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.
Now we will have to see how it works in practice. I can see maybe a few where the referee may have to consider difficult situations. At the moment attackers rarely if ever try to stop the goal kick as attacking players must exit the penalty area. Under the new rule on the QGK it is akin to the QFK and we know the challenges those can pose. I expect this las could be *tweeked* in the years ahead when the full ramifications of the change takes place.



Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Stephen,
I'm afraid your source has it wrong. The only restriction on players being in the penalty area at a goal kick is for the opponents. Here is the full wording of the Procedure section of Law 16:

''The ball must be stationary and is kicked from any point within the goal area by a player of the defending team
The ball is in play when it leaves the penalty area
Opponents must be outside the penalty area until the ball is in play''

As you can see, there is no restriction listed for the defending team.

As ref McHugh says though, all of this is about to change. His post contains the full info about the upcoming law change regarding goal kicks.



Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33336
Read other Q & A regarding Law 16 - The Goal Kick

Google
Web AskTheRef.com
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.