Soccer by the Rules – Administering the Tie Breaking Procedure When Kicks from the Penalty Line are to be employed

By: Joe Manjone, Ed. D.

Tie Breaking Procedures are recommended in the NFHS Rules Book. The administration of the procedures as listed in the Rules Book will be presented here. Please note that your state may not have adopted these procedures or may partially use them, but in any event, you are required to enforce and utilize the procedures adopted by your state.

Only the Kicks from the Penalty Mark portion of the tie breaking procedure will be discussed here.  The overtime periods that precede the Kicks from the Penalty Mark will not be discussed here as their administration is the same as used throughout the regulation periods.

In administering the Kicks from the Penalty Mark tie breaking procedure, the following guidelines are to be followed:

  • All players from both teams are to return to the team area when the last overtime period ends.
  • The head referee shall select the goal to be used for the kicks.
  • A coin toss will be held and the team winning the toss shall have the choice of kicking first or second.
  • Each coach selects five players who move to the center of the field.  All other players and coaches are to remain in the team area.
  • The coach does not need to provide the order of the kickers to the officials.  One official will write down the number of the kicker and if a goal was scored after the kick is taken.
  • Each kicker will leave the center circle to make the kick, and when the kick is completed will go directly to the team area.
  • One assistant referee will make certain that the goalkeeper does not come off the line, and will judge if the ball crossed the goal line.  This official shall be positioned on the goal line just outside the penalty area.
  • The head referee will make certain that the goalkeeper and the kicker are ready and signal for the kick. The head referee will be in the penalty area behind the kicker and on the opposite side from the assistant referee who is watching the line.
  • One assistant referee will be positioned near midfield and will record the numbers of the players taking the kicks and if the kicks were good.
  • If there are only two referees, the head referee will record the number of the players taking each kick and the number of goals scored.
  • After 5 kicks are taken by each team, the team with the most goals is the winner.  If the number of goals scored by one team after three or four kicks is unattainable by the other team, the winner shall be declared without taking the remaining kicks.
  • If the score remains tied after each team has taken five kicks, the coach will select five more kickers who will go to midfield to start a sudden victory kick-off.  No coin toss is conducted for this second set of kicks.  The order of the kicks is the same as in the first set of kicks.
  • When a winner of the kick-off is determined, add one goal to winner’s score at the completion of all overtime periods and this will be considered the final score.

If you would like to suggest a high school soccer rules change or if you have any questions about this rule or any high school rule, please email me at [email protected]




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