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FROM THE MIDDLE: Changes to kicks from the penalty mark

Reading v Gillingham Gillingham score from a penalty.
Reading v Gillingham Gillingham score from a penalty.

There are a number of instances in football for which players, supporters and football commentators have different names to that used by referees. For instance, what many call the ’penalty shoot-out’, where the match needs a winner but scores finish level, is known to referees as. ‘kicks from the penalty mark’. 

Last week I covered this season’s changes to penalty kicks and there are similar changes to ‘kicks from the penalty mark’ but with different outcomes.

Everyone knows that only players who are on the field of play (pitch) at the end of the game, can take part in the kicks.

It’s obvious that a player who has been sent off can’t take part but there have been changes for anyone who has been cautioned (booked, yellow-carded} during the match. 

Take a goalkeeper who has been cautioned during the game, say for wasting time. Previously If he came off the goal line with both feet at any of the kicks, it would have meant a second caution and a sending off.

No longer. Any cautions issued throughout the game itself will not be carried on into the kicks for the penalty mark. It’s a separate little game.

Also. if the goalkeeper offends during the kicks, the referee will only issue a warning for the first offence. This means that the goalkeeper now has to offend three times during the kicks, before being sent off – warning, caution, caution. Sounds somewhat unlikely but it did happen recently in an MLS match in America.

His team then wanted to bring on a substitute goalkeeper. During the kicks from the penalty mark, a goalkeeper is the one player who can be substituted but only if injured.

The replacement for one sent off, has to be from one of the players already on the pitch.
If the goalkeeper and a player taking the kick, both commit an offence at the same time, irrespective where the ball goes, it counts as a miss and the kicker (only) is cautioned.

One young referee in her second season asked, ‘How do I remember it all?’ Good Question.

By Dick Sawdon Smith

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