Soccer 101: What Is An Indirect Free Kick?

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In soccer, there are two types of free kicks: direct and indirect. A direct free kick means that the kick can be taken as a direct shot. An indirect free kick means that someone else has to touch the ball before it can be taken as a shot on goal. 

When is an indirect free kick given? Well, usually the indirect free kick is given if a goalkeeper commits a specific offense in his or her own penalty area. These offenses include:

  • Touching the ball again with his or her hands after he or she has released it from possession and before it has touched another player
  • Touching the ball with his or her hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him or her by a teammate
  • Touching the ball with his or her hands after he or she has received it directly from a throw-in by a teammate

An indirect free kick can also be award to a team if the opposing player:

  • Plays in a dangerous manner
  • Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball
  • Impedes the progress of an opponent
  • Commits any offense that stops play that does not warrant a direct free kick

When an indirect kick is awarded, it is taken from the spot where the foul was committed. The player taking the kick cannot touch the ball again until it has touched another player-- and if the indirect kick goes into the goal before touching another player, a goal kick is awarded.