Penalty kick

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Birgit Prinz in the 73rd minute of the penalty kick to make it 4-0 in the Bundesliga match Frankfurt - Potsdam , May 12, 2008
In the 47th minute of the 1994 World Cup quarter-finals against Bulgaria, Lothar Matthäus converted a penalty to make it 1-0.

The penalty (Engl., Switzerland. , Also Austrian. Penalty [ pɛnl̩tɪ ] ( listen ? / I ), commonly known as a penalty , hand penalty , foul penalty or penalty called) when football is the referee imposed game penalty that instead a direct free kick is imposed on the attacking team in the opponent's penalty area . The penalty shoot-out as part of the procedure for determining a winner must be distinguished from the penalty imposed in the game for a rule violation . Audio file / audio sample

Requirements and consequences

A penalty is awarded if the defending team commits a violation of the rules in their penalty area that would be punished with a direct free kick in the rest of the field (usually a foul or a handball ). The pure rule violation is sufficient, a special severity in the sense of a "penalty worthiness" is, unlike what is occasionally heard in sports journalism, not a prerequisite. According to the rules that have been in force since June 1, 2016, such offenses are also punishable with a penalty kick that the defending team's player commits behind the goal line in the area of ​​his own penalty area or when the latter hits an object (on or off the field of play) Throws opponent located in the penalty area. In addition, a penalty could also be triggered by a team official intervening in the match or a permanently excluded player from the defending team. The decision on a penalty does not change whether the referee must also issue a personal penalty (a warning or - especially in the case of a so-called emergency brake - a removal from the field ) against the player who committed the offense.

A penalty kick often results in a goal and can therefore be a game-changing situation. That is why players try to fool the attacking team into violating the rules, for example by dropping themselves in the opposing penalty area (" swallow "). Such an attempt must be punished by the referee with an indirect free kick for the defending team; in addition, the player who feigned the violation of the rules must be cautioned.


The penalty kick was invented in Ireland in 1891 . The inventor is the linen manufacturer and sportsman William McCrum, who stood between the posts as a goalkeeper for Milford Everton FC in the Irish Football League from 1890 to 1891. The penalty kick was intended as an equalizer if the opponent intentionally trips or kicks. In the same year, the Irish FA proposed to introduce the penalty kick generally, which it did after some debate.

In Germany, the penalty kick was introduced in 1893. Initially, there was no penalty mark in the form of a point in either England or Germany, but a line running parallel to the goal line at a distance of 12 yards (almost exactly 11 meters, which is where the usual name comes from) to the goal across the whole playing field ran, this was also called " Atonement Line ". The penalty kick could be shot from anywhere on this line. The goalkeeper was allowed to move up to five and a half meters from the goal line. In 1902, the penalty area (often referred to as the 16-meter area) was introduced and the penalty line was replaced by today's penalty spot, which is 12 yards from the center of the goal.

Since 1906, the goalkeeper has not been allowed to leave the goal line on the penalty kick. He was allowed to move until the shot on the goal line, which was abolished in 1929, but has been allowed again since 1997.


The penalty kick is taken from a point almost exactly 11 meters (or in the English-speaking standard also 12  yards = 10.9728 m) from the goal line towards the center. In contrast to the free kick, where only the defenders have to keep their distance, on the penalty kick all players except the attacking team's shooter and the defending team's goalkeeper must be at least 9.15 m or 10 yards (9.144 m) from the ball, outside the The penalty area and behind the penalty mark (closer to the center line) on the field. The area that is less than 9.15 m from the penalty mark but is not in the penalty area is marked by the partial circle on the penalty area .

Goalkeeper Bianca Henninger moved illegally in front of the goal line on Esther Sundays' first and second penalty attempt in the decisive shoot-out of the U-20 World Cup match USA - Nigeria , according to the referee's assessment, so that Sunday the third penalty kick after two missed chances could transform.

A penalty kick may only be taken if the goalkeeper of the defending team is standing in the goal and has turned his face and body towards the field of play. The goalkeeper must be on the goal line but may move there. If the goalkeeper refuses to go into his goal, to stand on the goal line, or if he stands with his back or side to the field of play, he must be warned. If this does not solve the problem either, the game captain is to be called in and asked to take remedial action. This can be done by influencing the goalkeeper to behave in accordance with the rules or by changing the goalkeeper (alternatively against a teammate or, if the change quota is not exhausted, by a substitute). If the captain is not willing to do so, or if he is unsuccessful within a period set by the referee, the referee must stop the game.

It must be clearly indicated who kicks the penalty kick, and a shot with the heel (known in Austria as “Fersler”) is also allowed. In addition, the ball must be set in motion (clearly). A backward execution is not allowed (leads to an indirect free kick against the executing team), but it can be deduced from this that the ball may not only be shot forward, but also to the side. If a teammate takes the action, it is not necessary to wait for the penalty kick to take effect; instead, a decision must be made on an indirect free kick in favor of the defending team, and the teammate must be shown the yellow card. Execution must be approved by the referee with a whistle. Only after the ball has been kicked forward is it in play. Now the goalkeeper is allowed to leave the goal line and all players can enter the previously blocked area. If the ball does not go into goal or out, you can then intervene directly in play. For example, the penalty taker may lay the ball on a teammate (indirect execution). The shooter himself may only play the ball again if at least one other player has touched the ball after his shot. This means that the penalty kick taker can take the margin when the penalty kick has been blocked by the goalkeeper, but not when the ball bounces back from the post or the crossbar. If the shooter touches the ball a second time in a row, there is an indirect free kick for the other team at the point where the ball was touched.

The penalty kick is the only continuation of the game for which the playing time must necessarily be extended if it has already expired after the causal rule violation and before the execution. In this case, the game must be extended until it takes effect. The shot is effective when the ball is in the goal, has left the field of play or it is certain that it will no longer enter the goal without action by the shooter or another player who was not involved in the penalty kick. A touch of the ball without secure ball control of the goalkeeper and the post or the crossbar does not end the effect. The rules state that “the ball may no longer move”. If the shot has taken effect, the referee must end the game or half-time immediately if the game time has been extended to take the penalty. In this case, the referee should point out the fact that additional funding will no longer be possible.

The rules expressly allow feinting when taking the penalty kick, including delaying and interrupting the run-up. From the moment the shooter is ready to fire (one foot is next to the ball), a (renewed) interruption of the execution is no longer allowed and represents unsportsmanlike deception. Compared to the previous rule that the referee must execute the To allow the penalty kick and wait for the effect (if a goal was scored, a repetition had been decided, otherwise the game must be continued with an indirect free kick from where the rule violation occurred), the effect no longer needs to be waited for become. An indirect free kick is to be decided immediately, the shooter is to be warned for his behavior.

If a player of the attacking team enters the penalty area or the circle in front of it before the shot, similar consequences arise: If the ball goes into the goal, the penalty must be repeated, in all other cases an indirect free kick must be awarded against the team that has taken the Awarded penalty. A yellow card against a teammate of the shooter who enters the penalty area or part of the circle too early is not mandatory.

If a player of the defending team enters the penalty area or the partial circle too early in the same way, the penalty kick must be repeated if it did not lead to the goal. If there is a hit, the goal is to be recognized and to continue with the kick-off . If there is an offense by both teams, a repetition must usually be decided. On the other hand, according to the rules that have been in force since June 1, 2016, if a player from the defending team enters the penalty area too early and the shooter simultaneously deceives the goalkeeper in an unsportsmanlike manner, only the shooter's violation is punished (yellow card, indirect free kick ) as this is the most serious violation.

If the goalkeeper moves forward after the ball has been released, but before it has been (clearly) brought into play, the effect must be awaited. If no hit is scored, the penalty kick must be repeated. A yellow card is mandatory because "the goalie provoked the repetition through his unsportsmanlike conduct".

If the referee has ordered a repetition, another player (again to be clearly identified beforehand) may also start the execution. Only in the case of a penalty shoot-out ( shooting from the penalty area marker ) is this only possible if the previous shooter can no longer shoot due to injury or exclusion.

In indoor football and on small pitches , the distance between the penalty mark and the goal is regularly shortened.

penalties shoot

In games that absolutely require a winner, the penalty shoot-out is one of the possible ways to determine a winner. The shots are executed as described in the previous paragraph , however, additional shots are not possible. The shooters - initially five per team - are to be determined in advance. The penalty shoot-out ends when one team (based on five shots to be taken per team) is unassailable in the lead. If no decision has been made for each team after the first five shots, another shot will be fired for each team until a decision has been made. A player may only start shooting again when all other players on his team, including the goalkeeper, who were involved in the game at the end of the game, have also shot.

Math and statistics

Geometric determination of the penalty mark

Geometric determination of the penalty spot

If the goal area is extended parallel to the touchline, this line intersects the penalty area border. From this point of intersection, a line is drawn diagonally to the other corner of the goal area. If this construction is carried out from both sides, exactly the penalty mark is obtained as the intersection of these two diagonal lines. It should be noted that the distance between the boundary lines and the goal line is 5.5 meters in the goal area and 16.5 meters in the penalty area (see pitch dimensions ).

This technique is used to control the penalty mark by referees.

In this way, the Swiss referee Martin Salm found in August 2006 at the Stade de Suisse that the penalty spot on the artificial turf was 10 instead of 11 meters. This had not previously been noticed by several Super League referees.


The shooter hits 75 to 80 percent of the time. At the world championships , the rate is over 80 percent. 90 percent of the players shoot into one of the corners.

With a goal size of 7.32 m × 2.44 m, the goalkeeper would have to cover 18 m². According to measurements, the ball is up to 100 km / h fast. He only needs 0.4 seconds for the 11 meters to the middle of the goal and 0.42 seconds for the 11.59 meters to the ends of the goal. Mathematicians from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg have calculated that the goalkeeper would have to fly into the corner at the speed of a 100-meter runner in order to reach the ball. Many goalkeepers therefore jump off before the ball leaves the shooter's foot. If the shooter takes advantage of this and delays the shot at the right moment, he can shoot the ball into the free corner and, according to the Kassel sports scientist Armin Kibele, hits almost 100 percent.

Some goalkeepers manage to save an above-average number of penalties. You have the ability to recognize at least some players where they are going to shoot in order to then fend off a ball that is not quite placed in the right corner. Some goalkeepers also analyze the shooters' behavior in previous games and are therefore more likely to adapt to their preferred corner and shooting technique. A piece of paper that was handed to Jens Lehmann in the shoot-out against Argentina at the 2006 World Cup , on which the probable shooting behavior of the Argentine players was noted, received a lot of media attention . Lehmann held two of the four shots.


For a long period of time, various media have claimed that the Faroe Islands have an official special regulation that the ball may be held by a player on the penalty spot, otherwise it could blow away before the shot in the often prevailing strong winds . However, research by the online portal revealed that both the IFAB and the Faroese Football Association denied the existence of such a regulation.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 1. FFC Frankfurt - FFC Turbine Potsdam 4: 0 (2: 0) . In , May 12, 2008
  2. a b Tobias Rabe: Why is Tim Wiese allowed to fidget at the penalty kick? Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , April 23, 2009, accessed on November 16, 2013 .
  3. Jens Radü: Calculated Ball - Mathematicians calculate the perfect penalty kick , Spiegel Online, August 1, 2005
  4. Ulrike von Leszczynski: Hit probability: Physics professor calculates successful penalty. Die Welt , March 26, 2012, accessed November 16, 2013 .
  5. How does the 911 go in? Süddeutsche Zeitung online, July 11, 2014
  6. Soccer World Cup: Lehmann's secret revealed. Spiegel Online , September 25, 2006, accessed November 16, 2013 .
  7. Phillip Köster: Football rules - "Unscrupulous, bad guys". Spiegel Online , August 6, 2007, accessed November 16, 2013 .
  8. Michael Wegmann: Shooting two pentalty special rules in the Faroe Islands? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! , June 8, 2017, accessed on January 4, 2018 .