Soccer Encroachment on a Penalty Kick

Soccer Encroachment on a Penalty Kick

In soccer, encroachment on a penalty kick occurs when players other than the one taking the penalty kick or the defending goalkeeper enter the penalty area around the goal during a penalty kick. The result of committing this offense is usually the penalty kick being retaken.


Definition

Encroachment on a penalty kick occurs when players enter a restricted area during a penalty kick. Penalty kicks are awarded to the non-offending team as a punishment for certain fouls in the penalty area. When a player takes a penalty kick, the ball is placed on the penalty mark, a dot on the field located 12 yards (11 meters) from the goal line and lined up with the center point of the goal. Other than the player taking the penalty kick and the opposing goalkeeper defending their goal, no other players can enter a restricted area. This area consists of any point within 10 yards (9.2 meters) of the penalty mark, any point in front of the penalty mark (between it and the defending goal line), and the entire penalty area.

Once the referee has signaled for the penalty kick to be taken, the kick must be taken, or the kicker will face a penalty. If any player other than the one taking the penalty kick or the defending goalkeeper enters the prohibited area at any time between the referee’s signal for a penalty kick and the completion of that penalty kick, that player will have committed encroachment on a penalty kick.

Like other offenses committed during a penalty kick, the outcome of an encroachment on a penalty kick violation depends on whether the offender is on the kicker’s (attacking) team or the goalkeeper’s (defending) team, as well as whether or not the kick results in a goal being scored.   

Result

The most common result of encroachment on a penalty kick being called is the penalty kick being retaken. It will be retaken if the offender is a member of the defending team and a goal is not scored, if the offender is on the attacking team and a goal is scored, or if both teams commit encroachment. A goal will result if a goal is scored and the offender is on the defending team. An indirect free kick will be awarded to the non-offending team if the offender is on the attacking team and a goal is not scored. These results are the same in all leagues and at all levels of play.

Referee Signal

Soccer Encroachment on a Penalty Kick Referee Signal

When encroachment on a penalty kick occurs, the referee will immediately blow their whistle to stop play. If the result of the offense is an indirect free kick, the referee will point directly upward over their head with one arm. If the offense results in the penalty kick being retaken, the referee will point downward toward the penalty spot with one arm. If the offense results in a goal being scored and upheld, the referee will point upward with both arms. 

Examples

  • A player’s teammate enters the penalty area while they are taking a penalty kick, which results in a goal being scored. Encroachment on a penalty kick has occurred; the goal will not count, and the penalty kick will be retaken.
  • While a player is taking a penalty kick, an opponent other than the goalkeeper comes within 10 yards of the penalty mark. The player scores a goal. Encroachment on a penalty kick has occurred, but the result is the goal standing.
  • A member of each team comes between the penalty mark and the goal line during a penalty kick. Encroachment on a penalty kick has occurred; it will be retaken regardless of whether the kick scores.

Similar Violations to Encroachment on a Penalty Kick

  • Handball
  • Delaying the Restart of Play
  • Unsporting Behavior

FAQ

What is encroachment on a penalty kick in soccer?

Encroachment on a penalty kick in soccer is an offense committed by players entering a restricted area while a penalty kick is being taken. This restricted area is any location within 10 yards (9.2 meters) of the penalty spot, in addition to the entire 18-yard box. If any player other than the one taking the penalty kick and the goalkeeper enter the restricted area before the penalty kick is complete, they have committed encroachment on a penalty kick.

What are the consequences of encroachment on a penalty kick in soccer?

The consequences of encroachment on a penalty kick in soccer vary, depending on whether or not the penalty kick results in a goal and which team the offender belongs to. The consequences include having an indirect free kick awarded to your opponent, permitting your opponent to retake a penalty kick after having missed the goal on their first attempt, or causing your own team’s goal which was scored during a penalty kick not to be counted.

Can the goalkeeper encroach on a penalty kick in soccer?

In soccer, a goalkeeper cannot encroach on a penalty kick in the same way as other players. When a player takes a penalty kick, all players except the goalkeeper are required to stay at least 10 yards (9.2 meters) from the penalty spot and keep outside of the penalty area. As the goalkeeper is exempt from these restrictions, their encroachment is committed in a different manner. The goalkeeper is required to stay on the goal line during penalty kicks and cannot move forward towards the kicker. If the goalkeeper steps off the goal line before or during a penalty kick, causing the player to miss, the kick will be retaken. If the goalkeeper repeatedly commits this offense, they will be issued a yellow card