Soccer Pitch Lines and Marks – The Penalty Area

The penalty area  is formed by the goal-line and lines extending from it. Its lines start 16.5 metres from the goalposts and extend a further 16.5 metres into the pitch (therefore forming a box).

The penalty area serves for several purposes. The most relevant are to mark the pitch range where the Goalkeeper may handle the ball and where a foul by a defender becomes punishable by a penalty kick in the case of a direct free kick is signaled. The boundary lines are considered as a part of the penalty area.

Indirect free kicks may be awarded inside the penalty area in cases such as a foul for dangerous game (high foot kick or low head move) or when the Goalkeeper receives the ball with his hands from a teammate.

The penalty mark is logically inside the penalty area, distancing 11 metres from the front of the midpoint of the goal line.

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