Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A free kick in football describes the situation where a player on the opposing team has committed a foul, and the team receiving the free kick is given the ball to play from the position where the offence took place. At this point, the opposing team's players must stand at least ten yards away from the ball and may not encroach until the ball has been played. There are two types of free-kicks: direct free kick, and indirect free kick.
- Direct Free Kick - Here, the attacking team may shoot for goal with the first kick after the referee has re-started play. If they have a good chance of scoring, the defending team may wish to form a 'wall' between the attacker and the goal.
- Indirect Free Kick - Here, the first kick may not be a shot for goal, but one attacker can tap the ball gently with his foot to allow another team-mate to shoot.
To signal an indirect free-kick, the referee will leave his hand in the air to save confusion if a (illegal) goal is scored (and therefore will not be allowed).
The player who takes a free kick must not take multiple touches of the ball when he or she takes the free kick.
Through the years, there have been many expert practitioners of the art of the direct free kick, adept at swerving the ball past the men-wall. In particular, Brazilians down the generations are renowned for the power and swerve given to the flight of the ball.
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