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High Country Soccer Association


This is our 4th edition of What's Up DOC where the Director of Coaching answers a question from the membership. If you have a question that you'd like the DOC to answer for the membership you may submit them via email to [email protected].

What is the difference between free-kicks that are 'direct' and 'indirect'?

Great question. Here's the simple difference between direct and indirect.
  • Direct Free Kicks may be struck directly into a goal without touching any other players.
  • Indirect Free Kicks must touch at least 1 other player, from either team, after the touch of the free kick taker.
You can tell whether a free kick is direct or indirect based on the referees signal. Specifically, on an indirect free kick, the referee will raise an arm straight into the air and hold it there until the ball touches a 2nd player. 

Is this type of restart direct or indirect?
  • Kickoff - Direct
  • Corner Kick - Direct
  • Goal Kick - Direct
  • GK Punt - Direct
  • Throw-In - Indirect

Infractions resulting in a Direct Free Kick

  • Kicking or attempting to kick
  • Tripping or attempting to trip
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushing an opponent
  • Tackling an opponent
  • Holding an opponent
  • Spitting at an opponent
  • Handles the ball deliberately

Infractions resulting in an Indirect Free Kick

  • GK handles ball for longer than 6 seconds
  • GK handles the ball with hands for a 2nd time in the same possession before it has touched another player
  • GK handles the ball after it was passed back by a teammate
  • Dangerous PlayImpeding the movement/progress of an opponent
  • Preventing the GK from releasing the ball from their hands
  • Offside
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