The goal from the penalty area on a football field | live healthy

The penalty area – or the 18-yard penalty area as it is also known – is an area of ​​the football pitch with its own special rules. As the name suggests, some of these rules relate to penalties and the awarding of penalty kicks. But the penalty area also serves other purposes, limiting when and how the ball can be played.


The penalty area is a square marked on the pitch in front of the goal. The box extends 54 feet in front of the goal line and 54 feet either side of the goal. The penalty spot – which marks the spot from which shots are taken – is in the middle of the penalty area. The penalty arc forms a semi-circle at the top of the penalty area, 30 feet from the penalty spot, but is not considered part of the penalty area.


Normally, when a player commits a deliberate foul – such as intentionally pushing or kicking an opponent – ​​the opposing team is awarded a direct free kick. When a direct free kick is awarded, the defending team can defend themselves by approaching 10 yards from the ball to block the kick. But if a team deliberately fouls inside their own penalty area, the opposing team is awarded a penalty instead. When a penalty kick is taken, only the goalkeeper can defend against the shot. All other players must remain outside the penalty area.

Goalkeepers handling the ball

The goalkeeper is a notable exception to football’s ban on playing the ball with the hands. But the goalkeeper is limited by the penalty area. Inside the penalty area, a goalkeeper can handle the ball with impunity, but if he touches the ball with his arms or hands outside the box, it is considered a kick ball. the hand and the opposing team will be awarded a direct free kick from the place where it took place.

Goal kicks

Goal kicks – kicks taken by the defending team after the attacking team has played the ball out of bounds on the backline – must be taken from inside the goal area. The goal area is a smaller area inside the penalty area. During a goal kick, the ball is not in play until it has left the penalty area; players of both teams must wait for the ball to leave the penalty area on a goal kick before touching it and opposing players must not enter the penalty area until the ball has left the area .