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The Laws of Soccer 101: Free Kicks

The 13th Law of Soccer deals with “free kicks”. Now, to those of you youngsters out there, free kicks are not the equivalent of a ridonculous sale @ Rackroom Shoes. No, they refer to the kicks soccer players take after penalties.

Now, Law 13 only deals with direct and indirect kicks and leaves the 14th Law to cover PKs. Why?

I have no idea. Law 12 dealing with misconduct was very long though, so maybe the authors were just trying to get some more rules on the books. Anyways, direct free kicks are the result of a careless foul, such as excessively violent tackles or crafty trips. Indirect free kicks come after a player gets a handball or unfairly impedes an opponent.

Because we are dealing with free kicks, I am going to give everyone a pass on the Pop Quiz. Plus, the free kick rules are just about as boring as possible. There is one awesome nugget of Laws of the Game trivia therein though. Did you know if a player kicks a free kick into his own goal, his opponent does not get a goal, but a corner kick? Insane.

I question why this exception to the general rule of scoring even exists. Why would anyone ever take a free kick toward their own goal? Who knows? I sure don’t. But, the rule exists, so I want you to be aware of it. Don’t forget, we have a Final Exam coming up in a few weeks you need to be ready for. Plus, unlike my usual Pop Quiz questions, the answers to the Final Exam will not all be “All of the Above”. Some may even be “None of the Above”. Come back to STO soon to learn about the Free Kick’s sibling, the PK.

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