Referee Signal Direct Kick

Direct vs Indirect Kick

NOTE: Information found in this article was cited from the official ?Laws of the Game? which can be found on FIFA.com.

During a soccer game, you may have seen the game stopped by the referee and one team is awarded a free kick. The type of free kick awarded is either direct or indirect. So what’s the difference? Let’s find out!

Direct Kick

Referee Signal Direct Kick

A direct kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

  • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent

A direct kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offences:

  • Holds an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area)

A direct kick is taken from where the offence occurred. The ball must be stationary when the kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

The referee indicates a direct kick by pointing his/her arm forward. The referee does not have to keep his/her arm in that position, unlike an indirect kick which will be discussed further down.

If a direct kick is kicked directly into the opponent’s goal, a goal is awarded. If, for some weird reason, a direct kick is kicked directly into your team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.

Indirect Kick

Referee Signal Indirect Kick

An indirect kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following offences:

  • Touches the ball again with his/her hands after he/she has released it from possession and before it has touched another player
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a teammate
  • Touches the ball with his/her hands after he/she has received it directly from a throw-in by a teammate.

An indirect 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/her hands
  • Commits any other offence, not previously mentioned with the direct kick rule, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

An indirect kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred. The ball must be stationary when the kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

The referee indicates an indirect kick by raising his/her arm in the air. He/she maintains his/her arm in that position until the kick has been taken and the ball has touched another player or goes out of play.

A goal can be scored from an indirect kick only if the ball touches another player before it enters the goal. If an indirect kick is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded. If, for some weird reason, an indirect kick is kicked directly into your team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.

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2 Commentators

On September 22, 2011 Dano said

Probably one of the most confusing calls for new refs and perhaps somewhat intimidating when deciding whether to move forward as a ref; this with the offside rule.

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