A corner kick in soccer gives you a unique opportunity to place the ball in your opponent’s penalty area where your team will have a good chance of scoring a goal. So make sure you take advantage of this chance and put everything you’ve got into it! In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about corner kicks in soccer, including what a corner kick is, when they are awarded, corner kick rules, and most importantly, some useful tips on taking a corner kick so you can give your team the best chance of scoring a goal! First, let’s quickly go over exactly what a corner kick is.
What Is A Corner Kick In Soccer?
A corner kick is a free-kick that is awarded to an attacking team when the ball goes out of play across the defending team’s goal line. In order for a corner kick to be awarded, the following three things must have occurred:
- The last player that touched the ball was from the defending team.
- The ball crossed the defensive team’s goal line between the post and the corner flag (i.e. not into the goal)
- The whole ball must have fully crossed the line.
What Are The Rules For Taking A Corner Kick In Soccer?
Once a corner kick has been awarded, there are certain rules that must be followed. These are listed below.
- The corner kick must be taken from the corner that is closest to the place where the ball went out of bounds.
- The ball must be placed either within the corner arc or with at least some part of the ball touching the corner arc line.
- The corner kick must be taken by a member of the attacking team.
- The ball must be stationary when the corner is taken. Just like when taking a penalty or a free-kick, the ball must be completely still when it is struck.
- Once the ball is struck and clearly moves, the ball is considered ‘in play’ and the game is live again (even if the ball doesn’t leave the corner arc).
- The corner kick taker may not move the corner flag in any way to take the corner.
- Once the corner kick taker kicks the ball, they are not allowed to touch the ball again until it is touched by another player, either on their own team or the opposing team. If they do, then an indirect free-kick is awarded to the defending team.
- All players on the defending team must stand at least 10 yards away from the corner arc until the corner is taken.
In addition to these rules, there are some frequently asked questions regarding the corner kick rules addressed below.
Can You Score A Goal Directly From A Corner Kick?
Yes, you can! Although scoring a goal directly from a corner kick is quite difficult, the rules of the game allow it. In adult play, it is quite rare to see someone score directly from a corner kick, but if you coach youth soccer then you’ve probably witnessed a few goals directly from a corner kick. As players get older, direct goals from corner kicks become less frequent as goalkeepers and defenders become more competent in defending against corner kicks.
Can You Score An Own Goal From A Corner Kick?
No, you cannot. You may be surprised to hear that the official rules of the game state that an attacking player cannot score an own goal from a corner kick. Although this seems almost impossible in an 11v11 game due to the size of the soccer field, it is technically possible. In the unlikely event of this happening, a corner kick would be awarded to the opposing team.
Different Types Of Corner Kicks In Soccer
When taking a corner kick in soccer, there are generally three main types of corner kicks that are taken. These are ‘The Inswinger‘, ‘The Outswinger‘, and ‘The Short Corner‘. Let’s take a look at each of these individually.
With an in-swinging corner kick, the kicker attempts to curl the ball towards the goal. Initially, the ball moves away from the goal but then spins back in as it enters the penalty area and six-yard box. The advantage of an in-swinging corner kick is that if an attacker gets to the ball first they are very close to the goal and it is easier to score. The disadvantage is that there are usually a lot of defenders there too!
With an out-swinging corner kick, the kicker attempts to curl the ball away from the goal as it enters the penalty area and six-yard box. The advantage of an out-swinging corner is that it can be easier for an attacker to generate power if they connect with the ball as it will often be coming towards them. The disadvantage is that they will likely be further away from the goal so it can be harder to get an accurate shot or header on target.
The Short Corner
If a team does not feel confident winning their aerial battles with an in-swinging or out-swinging corner they may choose to take a short corner. To do this an attacking player would join the kicker and ask for a short pass to be made to their feet to bring the ball back into play. Done quickly and effectively, a short corner can be a good way of creating a 2v1 situation in the corner of the field which the attacking team can then exploit to get the ball in the penalty area and create a chance to score.
Tips For Taking A Good Corner Kick
Now that you know all about the rules and the types of corner kicks, let’s take a look at some useful tips for taking a corner kick so you can help your team score every time!
Tip 1: Place The Ball
To take a good corner kick, it is important to place the ball well to maximize your chances of hitting your target. Place the ball within the corner arc at a point where you can comfortably take an angled run-up to the ball and strike the ball cleanly without being impeded by the corner flag. Exactly where you place it will depend on the side of the field you are on and whether you are a right or a left-footed player. The key thing to remember is you want to take an angled run-up, just as you would if you were doing a lofted or driven pass in normal play.
Tip 2: Visual Cues
Give your teammates a visual cue to let them know you are starting your run-up and are about to take the corner. This will give them time to make their runs into the area and try to arrive at the same time as the ball. Most players choose to raise their hand in the air and then drop it back to their side before starting their run-up.
Tip 3: Pick Your Spot
Look inside the penalty area and pick a spot where you want the ball to reach. Once you’ve chosen your spot, be sure to concentrate fully on the ball, keeping your eyes on it as you strike.
Tip 4: Give Your Team A Signal
During practice, you may want to work out a coded signal with your team so that when it’s time to take a corner kick on match day, you can tell them exactly where you are going to place the ball. For example, if you are planning on kicking the ball near the post, you might raise your left hand before taking the corner, and if you’re going to kick the ball towards the far post, you might raise your right hand. In order for this tip to work, however, you need to be skilled enough to hit your target every time, so be sure to practice taking corner kicks a lot before the game.
Tip 5: Practice, Practice, And Practice Some More!
Like all soccer skills, getting good at taking corner kicks takes a lot of practice. So, don’t just wait until match day. If you want to be your team’s dedicated corner kick taker, you’re going to have to practice a lot so you can consistently hit your target and maximize the chances of your team scoring from a corner kick.
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this guide to corner kicks in soccer useful. Before you go, be sure to check out these other articles that you may find useful:
Soccer Penalty Kicks Explained
Soccer Drills To Practice At Home
Fun Soccer Games To Play With Friends
Soccer Field Dimensions