Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Back from June 8th (Goal or no goal?), and June 9th (You would think), we asked the question if a ball struck from a Kick From The Penalty Mark (KFTPM) which after an initial save, stays in play, and crosses the goal line under the crossbar, and between the posts, is a goal.

The correct answer is a goal in all cases shown.

I can say that there was much debate over this from some very high level referees. Like calling a direct free kick for a handball violation of Law 12, decisions like this have to be known going in, and AUTOMATIC when they happen in the field. As was clear in a couple of these clips, at least the AR on the goal line was not.

The legal underpinnings for this decision come from (2) places in the LOTG (2010-2011), and the Advice to Referees (2009-2010).

First, as we are taking kicks from the mark to determine a winner, we begin on p. 36 of the LOTG, "Procedures To Determine The Winner Of A Match", and find the 3rd from last bullet being relevant stating that "... the relevant Laws of the Game ..." apply.

From here, we go to p. 30 of the LOTG, "Law 14 - The Penalty Kick" and find a couple of relevant notes. First the referee decides when a penalty kick has been completed. Second, if the ball is in play and bouncing around off the GK, or posts, and goes over the line ... its a goal.

Now, lets dig into the Advice to Referees. Take a look at paragraph 14.13 on p. 76, which states:

The penalty kick or kick from the penalty mark is completed only when the referee declares it so, and the referee should not declare the kick to be completed if there is any possibility that the ball is still in play. In other words: So long as the ball is in motion and contacting any combination of the ground, crossbar, goalposts, and goalkeeper, a goal can still be scored.
In other words ... it's a goal.

This is summed up nicely in, "Yes the goal is good!", from Ask A Soccer Referee.

A neat slide deck of many of these finer points of taking kicks from the mark can be found here (.pdf) from FIFA.

Tournament season is upon us right now. We need to be ready to make a decision on these, when they happen.

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