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If a player commits a direct free kick offence in their own penalty area, this results in a penalty kick instead of a direct free kick. However, if the offence is an indirect free kick offence, it remains as an indirect free kick as shown here.

What offences result in an indirect free kick?

  • You should consider changing the accepted answer to Mormegil instead, since Orangecrush answer in not complete by a long way. – Ola Ström Apr 14 at 22:21
12

Inside the penalty box, an indirect free kick, instead of a penalty, will be awarded

  • if the goalkeeper controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds.
  • if the goalkeeper touches the ball with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player.
  • if the goalkeeper handles a back pass.
  • if the goalkeeper handles the ball directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate plays in a dangerous manner.

Sources: This and this. More details about the procedure, positions and rules about indirect free kicks can be read here.

  • 6
    You neglected to include all of the relevant information: An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of the referee, a player: * plays in a dangerous manner * impedes the progress of an opponent * prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands * commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player – Ticky Aug 1 '13 at 9:58
  • You've missed so many offences that result in an indirect free kick. Perhaps it would be better to explain the concept (ie. only direct free kick offences become penalty kicks when the offence occurs inside the penalty area of the team who committed the offence). – Reinstate Monica 2331977 Apr 10 '14 at 0:30
  • 1
    your missing all the offenses that can be committed by other players (everyone except the goalie). – alamoot Jul 7 '14 at 0:10
  • I've had another go at answering this, in light of recent changes. See my answer for more information. – Reinstate Monica 2331977 Oct 1 '16 at 10:51
  • I agree with Ticky, this only answers a fraction of what offences result in an indirect free kick. As so it should not have been accepted as the correct answer. Instead Mormegil answer should have been marked as the correct answer. – Ola Ström Apr 14 at 22:18
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The penalty kick is a kind of penalty used if and only if a team commits an offense warranting a direct free kick inside its own penalty area, in which case, a penalty kick is used instead of the direct free kick. As this does not apply to indirect free kicks, nothing is special there.

The only special case here is that there are specific offenses warranting an indirect free kick which apply only inside your own penalty area; those are specific for the goalkeeper. (Not that those offenses would be handled specially inside the penalty area, just that they cannot occur anywhere else by definition/plain logic.)

Therefore, an indirect free kick inside the penalty area is awarded to the attacking team if either

  • the goalkeeper of the defending team commits any of the following four offenses:
    • controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession
    • touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
    • touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
    • touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate
  • or if any player of the defending team
    • plays in a dangerous manner
    • impedes the progress of an opponent
    • prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands (which is obviously impossible inside your own penalty area)
    • commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

I believe indirect free kicks for the “generic” offenses are quite rare in penalty area; the offense would usually be either ignored completely, or a “similar” offense warranting a direct free kick and therefore a penalty kick would be ruled instead, etc. However, these do happen. A quick example video found with Google: during the 36th minute of Real Madrid CF vs Sevilla on April 29, 2012, Fazio played with a high foot on Ronaldo inside the penalty area, and an indirect free kick against Sevilla for playing in a dangerous manner was awarded. See this YouTube video: Free kick inside the penalty box ? Real Madrid v Sevilla 29. (Please disregard the confused/mistaken title and some comments).

And note that there is one specialty regarding the procedure for an indirect free kick awarded to the attacking team: If the indirect free kick was awarded inside the goal area, the kick must be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the infringement occurred.

  • Player of Defending team impedes the progress of an opponent? Isn't that a penalty. – Yaitzme Feb 21 '14 at 4:52
  • @Yaitzme: No. Holding, tripping, striking, … etc., which is “careless, reckless, or using excessive force“ are offences warranting a direct free kick (or penalty kick if inside penalty area). Impeding the progress of an opponent “means moving into the path of the opponent to obstruct, block, slow down or force a change of direction by an opponent when the ball is not within playing distance of either player”. And this warrants just an indirect free kick. – Mormegil Feb 21 '14 at 9:32
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    Has there been any instance of a team being awarded an indirect free kick inside the penalty box ? (other than the goalie reasons, I mean) – Yaitzme Feb 21 '14 at 10:26
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    Oh, yeah, definitely. While quite rare, this is definitely not unheard of. A quick example found using Google: youtube.com/watch?v=9gnOfzQE8nY – note the confused&mistaken title and some comments. This was an indirect free kick (direct free kick is obviously impossible inside penalty area) awarded for playing in a dangerous manner (playing with a foot very high and near the attacker’s head but not hitting him, which would be a penalty kick). – Mormegil Feb 21 '14 at 12:03
  • This should be marked as the correct answer as it explains the concept - although you've still missed a lot of examples of offences. I don't believe listing them is helpful as there are so many. – Reinstate Monica 2331977 Apr 10 '14 at 0:06
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Indirect free kicks in the box were quite common at all levels of the game until about 20 years ago. It is nearly always for "obstruction". The problem has been that players now deliberately obstruct, which can be seen as "reckless or excessively forceful", hence a direct free kick/penalty. Referees tend to see all obstructions now as deliberate, leading to far more penalties (or calls for penalties from attackers deliberately barging into defenders to try to "win" a penalty) being given. With more games televised there are more controversies about the awarding of pens, especially in "homer" situations. Unfortunately unless players begin to behave better (and stop cheating,) the obstruction rule will continue to lead to direct free kicks only.

  • This is because there is no offence called "obstruction" any more. It's "impeding the progress of an opponent" if there is no contact in what used to be called obstruction, resulting in an indirect free kick. If there is contact, it's now sanctioned as "holding" or "charging", which results in a direct free kick or penalty kick. – Reinstate Monica 2331977 May 2 '14 at 3:02
  • As studro says, the "rule of thumb" in the direct versus indirect free kick issue, is the presence of actual physical contact. That is not just applicable for the "obstruction" situations, but for pretty much all offenses. When there's an offense including physical contact, the correct decision is almost always a direct free kick (or a penalty, when inside the box). When there's a wrongdoing without contact, it's usually ruled an indirect free kick. There are of course a couple of exceptions, but it's a good rule of thumb for those who are not completely sure about the distinction. – Qvist May 2 '14 at 9:12
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It may be easier to list only the offences that result in a penalty kick being awarded (ie. direct free kick offences), as there are a lot less of them. The vast majority of possible infringements result in an indirect free kick, in spite of direct free kick offences being far more common.

A number of the other answers have focused only on Law 12 offences, however, there are many others that result in an indirect free kick. This answer will endeavour to list them all in light of recent changes to the Laws. Pertinent changes have been emphasised.

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if:

  • a player, temporarily off the field of play (ie. for treatment, correcting equipment) re-enters the field of play without permission. The indirect free kick is taken from the location of the ball when play was stopped (Laws 3.8 and 4.5). If the player committed any other Law 12 offence (ie. a foul or misconduct), play is restarted with the appropriate restart for that offence.
  • a player commits an offside offence by interfering with play, interfering with an opponent or gaining an advantage from being in that position (Law 11.2). The indirect free kick is taken from the location at which the player interfered or gained an advantage (up until recently it was taken from where they were located when the ball was last touched by a team-mate) (Law 11.4).
  • a player plays in a dangerous manner. The indirect free kick is taken from where the player played in a dangerous manner (Law 12.2).
  • a player impedes the progress of an opponent without making contact. The indirect free kick is taken from where the opponent was impeded (Law 12.2).
  • a player prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it. The indirect free kick is taken from where the attempted release occurred (Law 12.2).
  • a player commits misconduct (ie. a cautionable or sending-off offence) without the restart being listed elsewhere in the Laws. The indirect free kick is taken from where the player committed the misconduct (Law 12.2).
  • a goalkeeper controls the ball with the hands for more than six seconds without releasing the ball. The indirect free kick is taken from where the goalkeeper was handling the ball when the six seconds expired (Law 12.2).
  • a goalkeeper touches the ball with the hands after releasing it and before it has touched another player, after it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate, or after receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate. The indirect free kick is taken from where the goalkeeper handles the ball (Law 12.2).
  • a player standing inside the field of play throws an object at any person outside the field of play, or a substitute or substituted player throws an object at an opponent standing inside the field of play (Law 12.4). The indirect free kick is taken from where the ball was located when play was stopped (Law 3.5).
  • a player touches the ball a second time once it is in play, before it touches another player, after taking a free kick, penalty kick, throw-in, goal kick or corner kick. The indirect free kick is taken from where the ball was touched for the second time (Laws 13.3, 14.2, 15.2, 16.2 and 17.2). (If the second touch was a deliberate handling by a player other than the goalkeeper within their own penalty area, the deliberate handling offence takes precedence and the restart is a direct free kick or penalty kick accordingly.)
  • after the referee has signalled for a penalty kick to be taken, but before it is taken, a player taking a penalty kick or a team-mate of the player taking a penalty kick commits any infringement listed in the Laws and the subsequent kick does not enter the goal. The indirect free kick is taken from where the infringement occurred (Law 14.2). (If both teams infringe the Laws between the signal and kick, the penalty kick is retaken instead).
  • after the referee has signalled for a penalty kick to be taken, the penalty kick is kicked backwards by the kicker, the kicker feints once their run-up is completed, or a team-mate of the designated kicker takes the kick instead (up until recently, if the ball entered the goal, the penalty kick was taken again). The indirect free kick is taken from the penalty mark (ie. where offence occurred) (Law 14.2).
  • a player unfairly distract or impedes an opponent taking a throw-in, or stands closer than 2m to an opponent taking a throw-in and the throw-in ends up being taken correctly. The indirect free kick is taken from where the player committing the offence was located (Law 15.2).

If the location of the indirect free kick ends up being in the goal area, to be taken by:

  • the attacking team, it is instead taken from the nearest point on the goal area line that runs parallel to the goal line.
  • the defending team, it is taken from any point within the goal area.

(Law 13.2)

protected by user527 Mar 21 '16 at 12:36

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