Law 13 - Free-kick

Free-kicks shall be classified under two headings: "direct" (from which a goal can be scored direct against the offending side), and "indirect" (from which a goal cannot be scored unless the ball has been played or touched by a player other than the kicker before passing through the goal).

When a player is taking a direct or an IFK inside his own penalty-area, all of the opposing players shall be at least ten yards (9.15m) from the ball and shall remain outside the penalty- area until the ball has been kicked out of the area. The ball shall be in play immediately it has traveled the distance of its own circumference and is beyond the penalty-area. The goalkeeper shall not receive the ball into his hands, in order that he may thereafter kick it into play. If the ball is not kicked direct into play, beyond the penalty-area, the kick shall be retaken.

When a player is taking a direct or an IFK outside his own penalty-area, all of the opposing players shall at least ten yards from the ball, until it is in play, unless they are standing on their own goal-line, between the goal-posts. The ball shall be in play when it has traveled the distance of its own circumference.

If a player of the opposing side encroaches into the penalty- area, or within ten yards of the ball, as the case may be, before a free-kick is taken, the referee shall delay the taking of the kick, until the Law is complied with.

The ball must be stationary when a free-kick is taken, and the kicker shall not play the ball a second time, until it has been touched or played by another player.

Notwithstanding any other reference in these Laws to the point from which a free-kick is to be taken:

  1. Any free-kick awarded to the defending team, within its own goal-area, may be taken from any point within the goal-area.

  2. Any IFK awarded to the attacking team within its opponent's goal-area shall be taken from the part of the goal-area line which runs parallel to the goal-line, at the point nearest where the offense was committed.

Punishment:

If the kicker, after taking the free-kick, plays the ball a second time before it has been touched or played by another player, an IFK shall be taken by a player of the opposing team from the spot where the infringement occurred, unless the offense is committed by a player in his opponent's goal-area, in which case, the free-kick shall be taken from any point within the goal-area.

Decisions of the International F.A. Board

  1. In order to distinguish between a direct and an IFK, the referee, when he awards an IFK, shall indicate accordingly by raising an arm above his head. He shall keep his arm in that position until the kick has been taken and retain the signal until the ball has been played or touched by another player or goes out of play.

  2. Players who do not retire to the proper distance when a free- kick is taken must be cautioned and on any repetition be ordered off. It is particularly requested of referees that attempts to delay the taking of a free-kick by encroaching should be treated as serious misconduct.

  3. If, when a free-kick is being taken, any of the players dance about or gesticulate in a way calculated to distract heir opponents, it shall be deemed ungentlemanly conduct for which the offender(s) shall be cautioned.

1992 Memorandum - Advice to Referees:

If an indirect free-kick is awarded to the attacking team for a foul by the defenders in the goal area, the kick must still be taken from the point on the goal-area line (parallel to the goal- line) nearest the spot where the offense was committed.

[Rules.] [Law 12: The Fouls and Misconduct.] [Law 14: The Penalty-kick.]