Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Penalty Kick: Everything You Need to Know

what is a pk in soccer

A penalty kick, often referred to as a PK, is an exciting and crucial moment in a soccer game. It can determine the outcome of a match and provide a fair opportunity for a team to score. In this article, we will delve into the definition, rules, strategies, and memorable penalty kicks in professional soccer history.

What is a Penalty Kick?

A penalty kick is a type of direct free kick awarded to the offensive team when the defensive team commits a foul inside its own penalty area. The kick is taken from the penalty spot, which is 12 yards away from the goal line. During a penalty kick, only the goalkeeper is allowed to defend the goal, while the other players must stay outside the penalty area. The objective of the player taking the kick is to score a goal by successfully striking the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net.

Difference Between a Free Kick and a Penalty Kick

A free kick is awarded to the opposing team when a foul occurs outside the penalty area. On the other hand, a penalty kick is awarded for a foul committed inside the penalty area. During a free kick, all players can be inside the penalty area, whereas during a penalty kick, only the goalkeeper is allowed to defend the goal. Additionally, penalty kicks are taken from a designated spot, while free kicks can be taken from anywhere on the field.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Griffin Yow Completes Transfer to Westerlo: A New Chapter Begins

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is a Penalty Kick Taken?

During a penalty kick, the ball is placed on the penalty spot, and the player taking the kick takes a few steps back before running towards the ball and striking it. The player’s teammates must stay outside the penalty area, and only the opposing team’s goalkeeper can defend the goal. The aim is to score a goal by accurately kicking the ball into the net.

Who Takes the Penalty Kick?

The player who was fouled is usually the one who takes the penalty kick. However, in some cases, the team’s designated penalty taker, as designated by the coach, may take the kick if they are on the field.

Are Substitutions Allowed Before a Penalty Kick?

The defending team can make substitutions before a penalty kick is taken, as long as they follow the standard substitution rules. However, once the referee has signaled for the penalty kick, no more substitutions can be made by either team.

What are the Rules of a Penalty Kick?

According to Law 14 of the International Football Association Board’s Laws of the Game, the basic rules of a penalty kick in soccer are:

  • The ball must be placed on the penalty spot.
  • The player taking the penalty kick must be clearly identified.
  • Only the goalkeeper can defend the goal and must have at least part of one foot behind or touching the goal line.
  • All players besides the kicker and the keeper must stay outside the penalty area.
  • The kicker must wait for the referee’s signal before taking the kick.
  • The ball must be kicked forward.
  • The kicker may not touch the ball a second time until it has been touched by another player.
  • If the ball hits the post or crossbar and goes into the goal, it’s still a goal.
  • The penalty kick is completed when the ball stops moving, goes out of play, or the referee stops play for any offense.
Tham Khảo Thêm:  TFC's Michael Bradley Takes Pay Cut for Toronto FC's Success


Penalty kicks are thrilling moments in soccer that can make or break a game. They offer a fair chance for teams to score after a foul has been committed inside the penalty area. Understanding the rules and strategies involved in penalty kicks can enhance your appreciation of the game. Whether it’s Andrea Pirlo’s audacious Panenka penalty or the heartbreak of a missed penalty, penalty kicks remain a captivating aspect of soccer.


How often are penalty kicks awarded?
The frequency of penalty kicks awarded varies from game to game, depending on how many fouls the defending team commits inside the penalty area. On average, penalty kicks are awarded in about 1 out of 5 matches in the Premier League.

How often are penalty kicks successful?
Penalty kicks have a high scoring rate, averaging around 75% to 85%. However, success is not guaranteed, as it depends on various factors, including the skills of the kicker and the goalkeeper.

Do all soccer penalties result in penalty kicks?
No, only penalties that occur inside the defending team’s penalty area result in penalty kicks. For fouls committed outside the penalty area, a free kick is awarded instead.

Remember, for more information on soccer statistics and player data, visit Pesstatsdatabase.