Law 16 - Goal-kick

When the whole of the ball passes over the goal-line excluding that portion between the goal-posts, either in the air or on the ground, having last been played by one of the attacking team, it shall be kicked direct into play beyond the penalty-area from any point within the goal-area by a player of the defending team. A goalkeeper shall not receive the ball into his hands from a goal- kick in order that he may thereafter kick it into play. If the ball is not kicked beyond the penalty-area, i.e. direct into play, the kick shall be retaken. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has touched or been played by another player. A goal shall not be scored direct from such a kick. Players of the team opposing that of the player taking the goal- kick shall remain outside the penalty-area until the ball has been kicked out of the penalty-area.


If a player taking a goal-kick plays the ball a second time after it has passed beyond the penalty-area, but before it has touched or been played by another player, an IFK shall be awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred, subject to the overriding conditions imposed in Law 13.

Decisions of the International F.A. Board

  1. When a goal-kick has been taken and the player who has kicked the ball touches it again before it has left the penalty-area, the kick has not been taken in accordance with the Law and must be retaken.

1992 Memorandum - Advice to Referees:

The change is this law is to speed up the game by allowing goal- kicks to be taken anywhere in the goal-area. Since the position of the ball makes no appreciable difference for the defense, this will speed up the game by eliminating and delaying tactics by the kicking team.

[Rules.] [Law 15: The Throw in.] [Law 17: The Corner-kick.]