Goal kick rules in soccer
Also called as "Goalie Kick", a method of restarting play and is awarded to the defending team when the ball is struck directly into the goal
Definition of the goal kick rule
A goal kick is taken to restart play after an attacking player has crossed the ball wholly over the goal line, but not between the goal posts as this would then be a goal.
A goal kick is awarded to the defending team when the ball crosses its goal line, a goal has not been scored, and the last player to touch it was from the other team.
Goal kick rule explained
The goal kick is one of the three ways of restarting play after the ball leaves the field of play, the other two ways being the corner kick and throw-in.
A goal kick is taken if an attacking player is the last to touch the ball before it leaves the field of play. The ball has to have crossed the goal line, and not the touch line, either in the air or on the ground. It has to wholly cross the line excluding the area between the two goal posts.
If it happens that the last player to touch the ball before it passes the line was from the defending team, then the game is restarted through a corner kick awarded to the attacking team rather than a goal kick.
The goal kick can serve as a great opportunity for a team to attack their opponents as the kick is normally directed far into the playing field from the kicker's goal post. However, some players will choose to take a short kick to a team mate close to the penalty area in order to ensure that the ball remains in their control at the moment.
How the goal kick rule works
The goal kick is taken as a direct free kick. Any player from the defending team may take the goal kick, though normally it is the goalkeeper who takes up the role.
The kick is taken from any point inside the penalty area. The opponents must remain outside the six-yard box while the defending player takes the goal kick. The kick is retaken if the opponents re-enter the area. Failure by an opposing player to leave the area is a sufficient reason for the referee to give a caution, yellow card.
The ball has to get past the penalty area for the play to resume. So in case the goalkeeper passes the ball to a team mate inside the penalty area, it does not count as a goal kick and has to be retaken. The ball should be kicked directly outside the penalty area. The goal kick is retaken when the ball fails to cross the penalty area once the kick has been effected.
The player taking the goal kick cannot touch the ball again until another player gets to the ball. If the player correctly takes the kick but touches the ball after it leaves the penalty area, then the opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick at the spot of the second touch. Otherwise, if the player handles the ball then the opposing team gets a direct free kick and the player may face further disciplinary action.
If the goalkeeper is the one who handles the ball inside the penalty area after taking the goal kick then the other team gets an indirect free kick at the position of infringement. Once the goal kick has been executed, any player from either team can make a move for possession without infringing any of the stated rules.
Example of the goal kick rule being implemented
Take for instance a team is on the attack, moving forward in search of a goal. The opponents are obviously forced into defending their area forcing the attacking players to try scoring from tight positions by any chance they get. In so doing, the players often shoot wide, also called off-target, and the ball rolls outside on one side of the goal post. The ball does not get in contact with any defender or the goalkeeper and it just goes out.
To get the ball back in play the referee will award a goal kick to the defending team. The ball will then be placed anywhere in the penalty area and a goal kick taken in accordance to the Laws of the Game.
It is worth noting that there is no offside offense when a goal kick is being taken. In addition, a goal kick is also awarded against the attacking team after taking an indirect free kick directly towards the goal.
Finally, a goal kick can result in a goal in favor of the kicker's team. However, there cannot be an own goal against them even if the kicker mistakenly gets the ball into his own net. The opponents would just get a corner kick from this rare situation.