The new penalty kick rule (1891)

August 3, 1891
Rule 13: Foul play near goal.
The new rule in the laws of the game of football which was adopted unanimously at the International Conference held in Glasgow in June last is likely to exercise a very potent influence on the conduct of the game this season. In order to make its provisions clear to our numerous football readers we present them with this illustration and interpretation, which, we think, will be of service to the officials, players, and spectators interested in the game.

Rule 13 reads that: “If any player shall intentionally trip or hold an opposing player, or deliberately handle the ball, within twelve yards from his own goal line, the referee shall, on appeal, award the opposing side a penalty kick, to be taken from any point twelve yards from the goal-line, under the following conditions:
(1) All players, with the exception of the player taking the penalty kick and opposing goalkeeper (who shall not advance more than six yards from the goal-line) shall stand at least six yards behind the ball.
(2) The ball shall be in play when the kick is taken, and a goal may be scored from the penalty kick.”

“A” represent the goal; “B” represents the goalkeeper, who on a penalty kick being taken against his side cannot advance more than six yards beyond his goal-line; “C” represents the man who takes the free kick; “D” represents the players on both sides, who must, according to the rule, stand behind the player taking the free kick.

It is specially to be noted that, no matter where a foul occurs within the 12 yards line, the player taking the penalty kick can place the ball on any point of the line 12 yards from goal he chooses, all his opponents except the goalkeeper being six yards behind him. So that the kicker and the goalkeeper are left face to face, the one to defend and the other to attack.

A goal may be scored from such a place kick without the ball touching the goalkeeper. The player taking the free kick cannot unless the ball has been played by the goalkeeper take a second kick; he cannot kick again either should the ball rebound off the goal-posts.

Great caution will have to be exercised by referees and players in regard to this rule, and we hope our efforts to make it plain will prove of service in this direction.

(Scottish Referee: August 3, 1891)

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