Score a Goal As A Goalkeeper (Punting Rules)

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Goalkeepers often punt the ball downfield, but can they be blocked, and can they score – we take a look at the official rules. The soccer rules are often like a lawyer’s manual, but we make them simple in the must-know guide.

We’ll be exploring some rules surrounding goalkeepers scoring goals. We’ll also look at some real-world examples of extraordinary goal-keeping situations.

If you’d like to learn everything there is to know about goalkeepers, read on!

Goalkeeper tipping the ball over the bar. KHARKIV UKRAINE JUNE 08 Netherlands vs Denmark in action during football match in European soccer league 01 June 08 2012 in Kharkov Ukraine ○ Soccer Blade

Soccer goalie punting rules

  1. The goalkeeper must place the ball inside their 6-yard box from a goal kick. They can pass the ball to a teammate or punt it downfield.
  2. If the keeper has the ball in hand, they are allowed to place the ball or drop-kick it downfield. However, the ball is still in play and can be stolen by an opposition player.
  3. The goalkeeper can’t drop-kick the ball outside of their 18-yard box as it would be considered a handball.
  4. The keeper can dribble the ball, throw it outside the box, and then punt it downfield or pass it to a teammate.
Real Salt Lake Goalkeeper Zac MacMath #18 watches the ball goes out at Exploria Stadium on Saturday February 29, 2020
Real Salt Lake Goalkeeper Zac MacMath #18 watches the ball goes out at Exploria Stadium on Saturday, February 29, 2020

Can you block a goalies’ punt in soccer?

You cannot block the ball when the goalkeeper has it in their hands. They can’t be challenged, and a player can’t stop the keeper from releasing the ball.

Several years ago, you were allowed to touch the ball if the keeper let go to kick it down-field. Some goals were scored like this.

A goalkeeper can’t be challenged when kicking or throwing the ball for safety reasons. A player can stand in front of a goalkeeper but not obstruct.

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Can you block a goal kick?

It is allowed for players to block a goal kick, but the opposing players must stand outside of the penalty box. A goal kick is a dead-ball situation – the ball has gone out of play, and the keeper needs to restart play.

For any dead-ball, the opponents must stand 10 yards away from the ball. So anyone standing on the edge of the box for a goal kick would be a minimum of 12 yards away.

Goalkeeper diving to save during an Attacking Phase of a Soccer Match Italy. ○ Soccer Blade

Can a goalie put the ball down and pick it back up?

It’s illegal for a goalkeeper to pick the ball up once they have put it down. The rules state that a keeper can pick up the ball ‘once per play’.

Once a keeper has put the ball down, it can only be picked up again after a teammate or an opposition player has touched it. If the keeper does pick the ball up, it’s in an indirect free kick

Watch out for the pass back rule

It can be tricky, though; a goalie cannot pick the ball up if a teammate passes it, thanks to the ‘pass back rule’.

This rule has led to a lot of controversy in the past and caused many teams a lot of misfortune.

The rule is down to the interpretation of the referee. So if the ball comes to the keeper off of a teammate, one referee may see it as a deflection while another may see it as a ‘pass back’.

Soccer goalkeeper kicks out the ball during the match at stadium. ○ Soccer Blade
Soccer goalkeeper kicks out the ball during the match at stadium

Can a goalkeeper score a goal for their own team?

Yes, a goalkeeper can score a goal for their team! The goalkeeper is a part of the team; therefore, any goal they score will stand – apart from a throw from their penalty box.

They may even be called into the opposition’s box to attack for a last-minute attack. It might be a rare occurrence, but it does happen from time to time.

See also  Direct Vs. Indirect Free Kick (Soccer Rules + Examples)

While you won’t see a keeper sprinting down the wing, there are some situations where the keeper can be in a goal-scoring position.

One such situation is where a team may be losing or drawing in the dying minutes of a game in a must-win game. If the team has a corner, the keeper will be called out from their goal to join the attack.

Risk Vs. Reward – Goalkeepers in the opposition box

This gives the attacking team an extra player to use in the corner, and keepers are tall and cause another goal threat. It also risks because the referee will likely end the match if the opposing team clears the ball out of their half.

This takes away their opportunity to score on the empty net. However, this is not always the case. It’s a risk the team needs to weigh up.

Real-world examples of goalkeepers scoring

On the 16th of May 2021, Liverpool goalkeeper Allison was called up for a 95th-minute corner. He scored from a header to win the match for Liverpool and reignite their hunt for a top 4 finish in the Premier League.

A striker’s header! Alisson’s goal for Liverpool has Shaka Hislop in awe | ESPN FC
Liverpool’s Goalkeeper Allison Scoring From a Corner Kick

Manchester City manager has also stated that from his world-class squad, his goalkeeper Ederson is the best penalty taker in the squad.

Despite his claims, we have yet to see Ederson take a penalty kick in the league.

Can a goalkeeper score from a drop kick?

A goal from a drop kick will stand. Technically, once the ball is kicked, it is considered in play, and if it does happen to land in the opposition’s net, it will be awarded as a goal.

This is an extremely rare situation in higher leagues, though. In youth matches, goalies are unlikely to be able to kick far enough or accurately enough to land the ball past the other keeper and into the opposition net.

However, on an amateur level, dropkicks have scored goals. In most cases, it was more of a fluke, but the goal stands.

Soccer goalkeeper kicks out the ball during the match at stadium. Ball mid flight. ○ Soccer Blade

Can a goalkeeper score from a goal kick?

A goal kick is considered a direct free-kick; if the ball crosses the line, it’s a goal. It does happen in soccer where a goal kick reaches the other side of the field. Once a goalkeeper lets the ball bounce into the goal from a goal kick.

This is a shock to most, as it would seem like a goal. This is not seen much in the professional game, but you will likely see it in an amateur game.

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Can a goalkeeper score by throwing the ball in the goal?

A goalkeeper would need a super throw to get the ball down the other end of the field, past all of the players – but anything is possible in soccer!

If the keeper throws the ball in the opponent’s goal, it’s not a goal, and a goal kick is awarded to the opposing team.

A strange rule, as it would be fun to see one of those goals! And, of course, if a keeper throws the ball into their own goal, a goal is awarded.

Can a goalkeeper score An own goal?

A goalkeeper is a player on the field just like their teammates, and therefore, if they were to have an embarrassing moment and fumble the ball into their net, it would, unfortunately, be given as an own goal.

There have also been some unlucky goalkeepers, though. In some cases, the ball has rebounded off the post.

The ricocheting ball bounced back off a diving keeper and into the net. The keeper is then left with a very unlucky own goal on their record.

Real-world example – goalkeeper’s own goal

In a fiercely fought Premier League match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, a shot rebounded off the crossbar and into Meslier, the Leeds goalkeeper back.

The ball then bounced into the net off of Meslier’s back. It was given as an own goal to the Leeds United keeper.

Wolves vs Leeds (1-0) | Traore's moment of fortune wins it for Wolves | Premier League Highlights
Leeds’ Goalkeeper Meslier Scores an Own Goal

Know you know how to punt without getting blocked.

Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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Soccer Rules FAQ

How long is a soccer game?

Soccer games include two 45 minute halves, which is 90 minutes of play. Those who have ever watched a game know that, like many sports, real-time is longer than the match time.
In real-time, the length of a soccer game varies immensely. At the bare minimum, it will be 90 minutes of play + 15 minutes of halftime for a total of 105 minutes.

What is offside in soccer?

The offside rule in soccer is to stop player ‘goal hanging’ – standing near the opposition goal. This also stops soccer from being a long ball game, balls hit from one goal to another.

What are yellow card offenses?

+ Charging an opponent – caution if reckless.
+ Holding an opponent – When the ball is in play and the holding continues.
+ Handling the Ball – When a player handles the ball to break up attacking play. If an attacker + uses their hand to attempt to score a goal.
+ Dangerous play – If a player makes an action that can risk an injury to another player.
+ Impeding the progress of an opponent – If a player holds another player back or blocks a player on purpose, that prevents an attack.
+ Breaking up an attack - where there is the possibility of creating a scoring chance.
+ Simulation - where a player tries to con a referee into thinking that they are injured in order to punish the opponent. If a player tries to make out that they have been fouled.

What are the red card offenses?

+ Serious foul play
+ Violent conduct
+ Spitting at a person
+ Deliberate handball – denying a goal-scoring opportunity
+ Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity
+ Offensive, aggressive, abusive language or gesture
+ Receiving a second caution

Soccer field size, size of goal, number of players and minutes played per age;

+ u17-u19 - Halves 2 x 45 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50-100 by 100-130 yards
+ u15-u16 - Halves 2 x 40 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50- 100 by 100-130 yards
+ u13-u14 - Halves 2 x 35 minutes - Number of players 11 vs 11 - Goal Size 8 x 24 - Field size 50-10 by 100-130 yards
+ u11-u12 - Halves 2 x 30 minutes - Number of players 9 vs 9 - Goal Size 7 x 21 - Field size 45-70 by 70-80 yards
+ u9-u10 - Halves 2 x 25 minutes - Number of players 7 vs 7 - Goal Size 6 x 18.5 - Field size 35-45 by 55-65 yards
+ u6-u8 - Quarters 4 x 10 minutes - Number of players 4 vs 4 - 4 x 6 Goal Size - Field size 15-25 by 25-35 yards

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