Soccer Shootout Rules

One of the most dramatic moments in many sports, especially soccer, is the shootout. The shootout is used to determine the winner of the games that cannot end in a tie. Used as a last resort tie breaker, the shootout intensifies the game for the players and the crowd.

In this article, we're going to cover the basics of the shootout, when it takes place and the concepts:

What is a shootout?

The shootout is used as a tie-breaker in important games and tournaments, such as the World Cup and Championship games in tournaments. Aside from the rules that determine when a shootout takes place, there are rules on how the shootout is conducted. Let's learn about them below.

What are the rules of a shootout?

The Shootout, also commonly referred to as Penalties or Penalty Shootout, is the tie-breaker used by several competitions to determine the winner of a match that cannot end in a tie. Normally, this means championships or elimination tournaments games will end with a shootout if the score is tied after regulation and extra time.

How is the winner determined?

The shootout winner is determined by whoever scored the most points after five rounds of shots on goal. The kickers are determined by the managers, who will communicate from the sidelines who is to kick next for their team.

What if the score remains tied after the shootout?

If still tied after five shootout rounds, another round is added until a team has more goals at the conclusion of a round.

How does a shootout work?

Here are the steps of the shootout:

  • Each team takes alternating turns sending a player to the penalty spot to shoot against the opposing goalkeeper.
  • No kicker can take another shot until every other player on his team has taken a shot.
  • All other players for a team are allowed to line up on the midfield line. No other players aside from the goalkeeper and the kicker are allowed in the half. The penalty kicker's goalkeeper is often allowed to stand out of bounds along the touchlines.
  • After each attempt, the kicker returns to the midfield line and the goalkeepers swap out.
  • If before the fifth round, the trailing team has been mathematically eliminated from winning in five rounds, the shootout will end early.

Here are all the terms we covered that are related to the soccer shootouts.