Penalty area (football)

From Academic Kids

The penalty area (colloquiallly also known as the 18-yard box or penalty box), is an area of an association football (soccer) field. It is rectangular and extends 18 yards (16.46 metres) to each side of the goal and 18 yards in front of it. Within the penalty area is the penalty spot (or penalty mark), which is and 12 yards (11 metres) from front of the goal, directly in-line with the centre of the goal.

Fouls punishable by a direct free kick (i.e. handling the ball and most physical fouls), committed by the defensive team within the penalty area, may be penalised by a penalty kick. A penalty kick is taken from the penalty mark.

The penalty area has other functions, including:

  • Goalkeepers: The area delimiting the area in which a goalkeeper may legally handle the ball;
  • Goalkicks: The ball is not in play until it has left the area, and opposing players must remain outside the area until this time;
  • Defensive free kicks: Again, the ball is not in play until it has left the area, and opposing players must remain outside the area until this time;
  • Taking of penalty kicks: players other than the kicker and the goalkeeper must remain outside the area (and also 10 yards from the ball and behind the penalty spot) until the kick has been taken.

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