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Everett Taylor
Everett Taylor

How Penalty Shooters Became the Most Popular Football Game Online

Penalty Football: What You Need to Know

Penalty football is a term that refers to the situations in which a team is awarded a penalty kick or a penalty shootout in the game of association football (or soccer). A penalty kick is a direct free kick taken from a designated spot inside the opponent's penalty area, while a penalty shootout is a method of deciding a tied match by taking turns to shoot from the same spot. Both scenarios are exciting and dramatic, but also require skill, technique, and mental strength from the players involved.

In this article, we will explore the history, rules, statistics, and tips of penalty football. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this topic. Let's get started!

penalty football

The History of Penalty Football

The penalty kick was invented in 1890 by an Irish footballer named William McCrum, who proposed it as a way of punishing deliberate handballs or fouls inside the penalty area. The idea was adopted by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in 1891 and became part of the laws of the game. The first penalty kick in the Football League was awarded to Wolverhampton Wanderers in their match against Accrington at Molineux Stadium on 14 September 1891. The penalty was taken and scored by Billy Heath as Wolves went on to win the game 50.

The penalty shootout was introduced in 1970 by the IFAB as a way of deciding knockout matches that were tied after extra time. The first penalty shootout in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match was between Tunisia and Morocco in 1977, which Tunisia won 42. The first penalty shootout in a World Cup final tournament was between West Germany and France in the 1982 semi-final, which West Germany won 54. Since then, three World Cup titles have been decided by penalty shootouts: Brazil in 1994, Italy in 2006, and France in 2022.

The Rules of Penalty Football

Penalty Kick

A penalty kick is awarded when an offence punishable by a direct free kick is committed by a player in their own penalty area. The penalty area is a rectangular box that measures 18 yards (16.5 meters) from each goalpost and extends 18 yards (16.5 meters) into the field from the goal line. The penalty spot is a small circular mark that is 12 yards (11 meters) from the center of the goal line and equidistant from the goalposts.

The procedure for taking a penalty kick is as follows:

  • The ball must be placed on the penalty spot by the player taking the kick.

  • The player taking the kick must be identified to the referee.

  • The goalkeeper must remain on the goal line between the goalposts until the ball is kicked.

  • All other players must be outside the penalty area, behind the penalty mark, and at least 10 yards (9.15 meters) from the ball.

  • The referee must blow the whistle to signal that the kick may be taken.

  • The kicker may make feinting movements during the run-up to the ball, but not after completing it.

  • The ball must be kicked forward and must move before it is in play.

  • The kicker may not touch the ball again until it has been touched by another player or goes out of play.

Penalty Shootout

A penalty shootout is used to decide a tied match when no other method of breaking the tie is available or has been unsuccessful. This usually happens in knockout stages of tournaments or cup competitions. The procedure for taking a penalty shootout is as follows:

  • Each team nominates five players to take one kick each. The order of kickers does not have to be announced beforehand.

  • The referee tosses a coin to decide which team kicks first.

  • The kicks are taken alternately by each team from the same penalty spot as in normal play.

  • Each kick is taken under the same conditions as a penalty kick, except that the goalkeeper may be substituted by any player on the field or on the bench.

  • If, after both teams have taken five kicks, the scores are level, the shootout continues with sudden death. Each team takes one more kick until one team scores and the other misses.

  • If, before both teams have taken five kicks, one team has scored more goals than the other could possibly score with its remaining kicks, the shootout ends and the team with more goals wins.

  • If a team has fewer than five players available to take kicks, the shootout continues with the remaining players. If both teams have the same number of players, they take the same number of kicks. If one team has more players than the other, it must reduce its number of kickers to match the other team.

The Statistics of Penalty Football

Penalty football is a fascinating subject for statisticians and analysts, as it involves many factors that can influence the outcome of a kick or a shootout. Some of these factors are:

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How to save a penalty in football

Penalty area dimensions in football

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How to practice penalty kicks in football

Penalty shootout tips for football players

Famous penalty controversies in football

Football penalty kick technique and skills

How to referee a penalty in football

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Penalty shootout psychology in football

How to win a penalty in football

Football penalty handball rule explained

How to improve your penalty conversion rate in football

Penalty shootout history and origin in football

Most penalties scored by a football player

Football penalty VAR decisions and controversies

How to cope with pressure in a penalty shootout in football

Football penalty kick distance and angle

Penalty shootout strategies and tactics in football

Most memorable penalty shootouts in football history

Football penalty kick injuries and risks

How to celebrate a penalty goal in football

Football penalty kick superstitions and rituals

Penalty shootout records and trivia in football

Most unfair penalties given in football history

Football penalty kick drills and exercises

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Football penalty kick laws and regulations

Penalty shootout emotions and reactions in football

Most creative penalty kicks in football history

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How to challenge a penalty decision in football

  • The skill and technique of the kicker and the goalkeeper.

  • The pressure and stress of the situation.

  • The position and angle of the kick.

  • The direction and speed of the kick.

  • The reaction and movement of the goalkeeper.

  • The weather and pitch conditions.

  • The psychological factors such as confidence, motivation, and fatigue.

According to various studies and sources, some of the general trends and findings about penalty football are:

  • The average success rate of penalty kicks in normal play is about 75%, while in shootouts it is about 80%.

  • The most common direction for penalty kicks is to the kicker's natural side (right for right-footed kickers and left for left-footed kickers).

  • The most common height for penalty kicks is low (below 0.8 meters from the ground).

  • The most common speed for penalty kicks is between 20 and 30 meters per second.

  • The most successful penalty takers are those who vary their direction, height, and speed of their kicks.

  • The most successful goalkeepers are those who anticipate the kicker's intention, move early, and dive to the correct side.

  • The first kick in a shootout is crucial, as the team that scores it has a 60% chance of winning.

  • The fifth kick in a shootout is also important, as it is often decisive or puts pressure on the next kicker.

The Tips for Penalty Football

For Penalty Takers

If you are taking a penalty kick or a shootout kick, here are some tips that might help you score:

  • Practice your technique and accuracy in training. Try different types of kicks such as power, placement, chip, or panenka.

  • Choose your preferred spot and stick to it. Don't change your mind at the last moment or let the goalkeeper distract you.

  • Be confident and calm. Breathe deeply, focus on the ball, and visualize yourself scoring.

  • Use your body language to deceive the goalkeeper. Look at one side but shoot at the other, or use your eyes, hips, or shoulders to fake your intention.

  • Hit the ball with pace and precision. Aim for the corners or under the crossbar, and avoid hitting it too high or too weakly.

For Goalkeepers

If you are facing a penalty kick or a shootout kick, here are some tips that might help you save it:

  • Study your opponents' tendencies and habits. Watch videos of their previous kicks or use data analysis to find patterns or weaknesses.

  • Position yourself well on the goal line. Don't stand too close or too far from the center, and adjust your stance according to the kicker's angle.

  • Be confident and assertive. Make yourself look big, move around, or talk to the kicker to intimidate them or put them off.

  • Read their body language and cues. Watch their eyes, feet, hips, or shoulders to anticipate their direction or height of their kick.

React quickly and decisively.

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