Penalty Kick

A penalty kick (also known as PEN or Penalty) is a way of beginning play in football in which a player is allowed to take a single shot on goal while the other team's goalkeeper is the only one defending it.

When Does it Happen?

It is given when a player in their own penalty area commits an offence that is punished by a direct free kick. The penalty kick is taken from the penalty mark, which is located 11 metres (12 yards) from the goal line and in the middle of the touch lines.

Penalty kicks are also performed in a penalty shootout in some tournaments or matches to determine which team wins after a tied match; these are governed by slightly different rules.

What Factors are Important for Taking a Penalty Kick?

The player who takes a penalty kick needs to have a good:

  • Shooting skill & power
  • Shooting accuracy (Penalty accuracy)
  • Mentality to fool the goalkeeper
  • Composure

What Factors are Important for a Goalkeeper to Save a Penalty Kick?

A goalkeeper who saves a penalty kick needs to have a good:

  • Intelligence to predict the shot direction
  • Diving ability
  • Reflex
  • Moving & Reaction speed

Procedure & Rules

The Penalty Kick is explained under Law 14 in the Laws of the Game. Learn more about Penalty Kick at Laws of the Game (P. 117).