Soccer Indirect Free Kick
An indirect free kick is one of the three ways play is restarted after a foul occurs. Indirect free kicks award possession to the team that was fouled. Read on to learn more about how indirect free kicks work and why they are awarded.
Indirect Free Kick Procedure
Indirect free kicks are awarded when a foul has occurred. Thus, the whistle will be blown to halt play after the foul, and the referee will award the indirect free kick to the fouled team. A player from the team that was fouled must place the ball at the spot of the foul. They then kick the ball to put it back into play.
However, the ball must touch another player before going in the net on an indirect free kick. This is what differentiates direct and indirect free kicks, as direct free kicks can be shot directly into the net.
Similar to direct free kicks, opposing players must stay at least 10 yards away from the spot of the kick before it is put into play. If an opponent encroaches on an indirect free kick, the kick will be retaken.
Offenses That Result In An Indirect Free Kick
- Controlling the ball with their hands for more than six seconds before released it from possession
- Touching the ball again with their hands after it has been deliberately kicked to them by a teammate
- Touching the ball again with their hands after they have released it from possession and it has touched another player
- Touching the ball with their hands after they have received it directly from a throw-in taken by a teammate
If committed by any player, these four offenses also result in an indirect free kick:
- Playing in a dangerous manner
- Impeding the progress of an opponent
- Preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from their hands
- Committing any other offense for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player
What is an indirect free kick in soccer?
In soccer, an indirect free kick is a type of free kick that results from fouls that typically do not involve physical contact between players. Indirect free kicks are generally given for goalkeepers mishandling the ball within their penalty area or any player acting in a manner that disrupts proper play.
Can a free kick be given in the penalty area?
While a direct free kick cannot be given in the penalty area, there are rare instances where an indirect free kick can be given in the penalty area. In most cases where an indirect free kick is awarded in the penalty area, it is due to the goalkeeper mishandling the ball. They are specifically not allowed to handle the ball with their hands after receiving the ball directly from a teammate.
Can you shoot a free kick at the goal?
On a direct free kick, the ball may be shot directly on goal. However, on indirect free kicks, the ball must touch another player before going in the net. Thus, while a player could shoot the ball toward the net on an indirect free kick, another player must touch it before it goes in the net for the goal to count.