Goal kick
A goal kick, called a goalie kick in some regions,
is a method of restarting play in a game of association football.


A goal kick is awarded to the defending team when the ball goes out of the field of play by crossing the goal line (either on the ground or in the air) when the last person to touch the ball was from the attacking team.


The ball is initially placed anywhere within the defending goal area. All opposing players must be outside the penalty area until the ball is in play. The ball must be kicked (a goalkeeper may not pick up the ball).

The ball becomes in play as soon as it leaves the penalty area.

A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing team. An own goal may not be scored from a goal kick; should the ball happen to land directly into the own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team. A player may not be penalized for being in an offside position direct from a goal kick.

Usually, goalkeepers take their respective team's goal kicks, but sometimes, especially in Sunday Night Football
Sunday Night Football
Sunday Night Football is a weekly American football game held throughout most of the season by the National Football League. Sunday night games have been played regularly since 1987 and have thus far aired on three different television outlets:...

, outfield players will take it if their kick is better. The ball must leave the penalty area before another player can make contact with the ball.


Opposing players must retire the required distance as stated above. Failure to do so may constitute misconduct and be punished by a caution (yellow card). Furthermore, if an opposing player enters the penalty area before the ball is in play, the goal kick may be retaken subject to Law 5.

If a defending player other than the kicker touches the ball after it is kicked but before it is in play (i.e. if the whole of the ball has not left the penalty area), the goal kick is retaken. However, it is an offence for the kicker to touch the ball a second time once the ball is in play (i.e. when it has left the penalty area), until it has been touched by another player; this is punishable by an indirect free kick
Indirect free kick
An indirect free kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football. Unlike a direct free kick, a goal may not be scored directly from the kick. The law was derived from the Sheffield Rules that stated that no goal could be scored from a free kick...

 to the defending team from where the offence occurred, unless the second touch was also a more serious handling offence, in which case it is punishable by a direct free kick
Direct free kick
A direct free kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football following a foul. Unlike an indirect free kick, a goal may be scored directly against the opposing side without the ball having first touched another player.-Award:...

 or penalty kick, as appropriate.
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