Soccer Corner Kicks

Soccer Corner Kick

One of the most visually striking moments in a soccer match is when teams send most of their players into the penalty area, with a lone teammate standing in the corner of the pitch to kick the ball into the cluster of players. Read on to learn more about corner kicks.

What is a corner kick in soccer?

In a corner kick, the ball is placed in the corner arc and a player on the opposing team kicks the ball into play. This is a common method for restarting play when the ball is kicked out of bounds. Possession is then given to the team that did not touch the ball last as it traveled out of bounds.

If the defensive team touched the ball last when it is kicked over the goal line, the match is restarted with a corner kick. A corner kick is thus a free kick taken by the offensive team from within the corner arc. The kick will be taken from the corner nearest to where the ball went out of bounds. Corner kicks are prime scoring opportunities, where the offense may run a predetermined play or set piece in an attempt to score.

Corner Kick Strategy

Corner kicks are a great way for the offense to capitalize on a stoppage of play and attempt to score a quick goal. While this may sound straightforward enough, there are a few different strategies teams a coach can deploy in an attempt to spark the offense.

Often, the ball is crossed into the penalty area in order to give a teammate a chance to head the ball into the goal. Tall strikers on the team will try to find an open space in the penalty box to get an uncontested attempt at a header. It is very common for midfielders or the best passer on the team to take corner kicks.

However, the short corner is becoming more and more popular. This is where the ball is simply passed to a nearby teammate who then either takes on defenders by dribbling or passing to a teammate in order to create a better scoring chance for their team. A short corner can catch the defense off guard and leave them confused on their defensive assignments.

The Corner Arc

soccer Corner Arc

The corner arc is the arc in each corner of the soccer pitch, and it is exclusively used for corner kicks. A team is allowed to place the ball anywhere in or along the arc when taking a corner kick, as long as some part of the ball is touching the field markings.

Corner Kick Rules

A corner kick is taken from the corner arc on the same side where the ball crossed the byline. Defenders have to be at least ten yards away from the ball before it enters play. A corner taker cannot play the ball to themselves or dribble the ball inbounds directly from a corner kick.

Excessive Contact

Soccer Excessive Contact

On a corner kick, it is common for the offense and defense to tussle in the box, each side trying to claim an advantageous spot. In this case, the referee will step in and warn everyone to avoid shoving and pushing. Also for this reason, corner kicks are an especially thrilling time for game audiences.

Rules preventing excessive contact against the goalkeeper are especially relevant in a corner kick scenario. If the goalie rushes into the fray to win the ball in the air, it could be tempting for offensive players to make illegal contact in their urge to make the most of a corner kick. Thankfully, there are illegal contact rules in place to keep the goalkeeper safe during scenarios like this. Excessive contact results in a free kick for the opponent and a possible yellow or red card, depending on the severity of the offense.


Where does the ball have to be placed for a corner kick?

Corner kicks must be taken from inside or along the edge of the corner arc on the same side of the field in which the ball went out of bounds. The ball can be placed anywhere inside this arc, but cannot be placed outside of it.

Can a player be offside on a corner kick in soccer?

No, offside does not apply to any throw ins, goal kicks, or corner kicks. If this was the case, the defense would simply push up as far as they can, making it nearly impossible for the offense to receive the ball anywhere near the goal. Offside does not apply to the first player to touch the ball, but once the ball is put in play, a player cannot pass the ball to someone who is offside.

When does a corner kick happen in soccer?

A corner kick in soccer takes place whenever the defending team is the last to touch a ball that goes out of bounds by crossing the goal line. It is important to note that any ball that goes out of bounds down the sideline is a throw-in instead of a corner kick, and any ball that touches an offensive player last and goes out of bounds over the goal line results in a goal kick.