In a football field, there is a hole in the penalty mark.

Can we change the mark by moving the ball parallel with the goalline from the original mark?

  • 1
    Could you clarify when this is occurring - during regular play or during a penalty shoot-out ("kicks from the penalty mark")?
    – Philip Kendall
    Oct 14, 2016 at 10:06
  • 3
    This question was downvoted and I don't see why. It seems entirely reasonable that the laws could allow a player to move the ball out of the hole (even though that's not the case). Oct 16, 2016 at 5:08
  • Hi NIMISHAN. There are two answers to this question that both outline why this is not allowed. If you have problems with these answers, please consider leaving comments explaining why. If not, please consider accepting an answer by selecting the tick on the left. Nov 10, 2016 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


No, this is not allowed.

From IFAB Laws of the Game, Law 14.1, The Penalty Kick - Procedure:

The ball must be stationary on the penalty mark.

For free kicks, referees may allow players to move the ball out of a small hole, as there is always some uncertainty as to where the offence occurred and hence where the restart location should be. For penalty kicks, this is not possible, as it explicitly states in the Laws where the ball must be placed.

However, it does not state that the centre of the ball has to be placed exactly over the centre of the mark. If part of the ball is overhanging the mark ,that should be sufficient for the referee (this is consistent with principle applied elsewhere in the Laws that the ball is considered on a line even if only part of the ball is on that line). This allows players plenty of latitude to avoid small holes in the penalty mark.

If the hole is so large that a penalty kick cannot be legally taken with the ball out of the hole, it is clearly dangerous and has potential to cause injury to players who may trip over it or roll their ankle in it. The referee should suspend the match until the ground officials (which at a local level, could be the home team) have filled the hole with sand or dirt and have re-marked it.

The referee does not explicitly have the power to suspend the match due to the field being in a state of disrepair, but it is implied in Laws 1 and 5.

Law 1.2, The Field of Play - Field Markings:

The field of play must be rectangular and marked with continuous lines which must not be dangerous.

Law 5.6, The Referee - Liability of Match Officials:

... decisions may include a decision:

  • that the condition of the field of play or its surrounds or that the weather conditions are such as to allow or not to allow a match to take place

Finally, if this is not a penalty kick during the match, but part of kicks from the penalty mark at the end of a drawn match in in order to determine a winner, the referee may simply move the penalty kicks to the other end of the field.

Law 10.3, Determining the Outcome of a Match - Kicks From the Penalty Mark:

Unless there are other considerations (e.g. ground conditions, safety etc.), the referee tosses a coin to decide the goal at which the kicks will be taken which may only be changed for safety reasons or if the goal or playing surface becomes unusable


The answer is NO.

To be precise this particular case is not treated but the regulation is clear, and is it often possible to view the striker to arrange the mark area with the shoe to make it easier for the shot

From the FIFA rules of the game about position of the ball (law 14 at page 45) says

The ball:

• must be placed on the penalty mark

The player taking the penalty kick:

• must be properly identified

The defending goalkeeper:

• must remain on his goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts until the ball has been kicked.

The players other than the kicker must be located: • inside the field of play

• outside the penalty area

• behind the penalty mark

• at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the penalty mark

  • 3
    Please avoid using the old FIFA Laws of the Game. The newer IFAB Laws of the Game are much easier to reference to and contain changes from the previous years.
    – unbindall
    Oct 14, 2016 at 23:52
  • 1
    I have no idea exactly what the majority of your first paragraph is trying to say, but it doesn't seem relevant to whether the ball can be moved. Plus as studro mentioned, this is something brought up on meta some months ago.
    – Nij
    Oct 17, 2016 at 2:15
  • Then how to over come such situation? Considering time and less resources in the field to recover the issue.
    Oct 17, 2016 at 5:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.