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Soccer Corner Kick

(aka Corners). A corner kick in soccer is a method of restarting play. When the ball goes out of bounds over the soccer end line (aka the ‘Goal Line’) and was last touched by the defending team, the attacking team inbounds it from the nearest corner by kicking it in from the Soccer Field Corner Arc (note: this doesn’t apply if a goal was scored). Defenders must stay 6 yards back if U-8, 8 yards if U-10 & 10 yards back if U-12 or older. (If they don’t, they might get a soccer yellow card). The ball may be placed anywhere inside the Corner Arc or on the Corner Arc lines. There are 2 types of corners: a “Long Corner in soccer” and a “soccer Short Corner“. A player is not offside if he receives the ball from a Corner Kick. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves. A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick. The kicker may not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player. (See “Short Corner” & “Soccer Long Corner“, and “Soccer Offside Rule“).

Below is what the official FIFA rules say about Corner Kicks:

A corner kick is a method of restarting play.

A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing team.

A corner kick is awarded when the entire ball, having last touched a player of the defending team, passes over the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and a soccer goal is not scored in accordance with Law 10. Law 10 is “The Method of Scoring” and basically says that a goal is scored when the entire ball — not just part of the ball — passes over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided there wasn’t a foul or a law broken in the process of scoring the goal (an example of when a goal would be disallowed is if the team scoring the goal was “offside“). Click here to see a diagram of a soccer field.


  • The ball is placed inside the corner arc at the nearest corner flagpost.
  • The corner flagpost is not moved.
  • Opponents remain at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the corner arc until the ball is in play.
  • The ball is kicked by a player of the attacking team.
  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.
  • The kicker does not play the ball a second time until it has touched another player.

Soccer Short Corner

A soccer corner kick where the soccer ball is put into play with a short pass instead of a long soccer kick. Once put into play, the “Offside Rule” applies. (See “Corner Kick” and “Long Corner“). See “Short Corner Set-Play & Corner Kick Attacking Strategies” on Premium.

Soccer Long Corner

A corner kick that is kicked to the front of the soccer goal in hopes an attacker will kick or head it in, as opposed to a “short corner” which is passed in. A Long Corner is a type of “Cross” to “Center The Ball”. (See “Short Corner“).

Soccer Cross

(aka Cross the Ball, Center The Ball, Cross It, Cross, Crossing Pass or Crossed Ball). A very important term & concept to teach U-10 & older, because “soccer crosses” are a very important way to create scoring opportunities. To “cross the soccer ball” means to kick the ball from the side of the field across the field toward the area in front of the opponent’s goal in order to create a scoring opportunity. A cross is a “square pass” to the area in front of the goal (If a player passes the ball across the field to a teammate out of scoring range, it is not called a “cross”, but is called a “square soccer pass“). A crossed ball is usually a “pass to space” (as opposed to a “pass to feet”). Even at the pro soccer level, the passer usually isn’t passing to a specific person; he’s just concentrating on kicking the soccer ball to the front of the goal (often while on the run) because doing so often creates a scoring opportunity. (This is hard to do. Try kicking the ball sideways while running). A good cross will be to the area in front of the goal & about 7 to 20 steps out from the goal; if it is too close to the goal the goalkeeper will pick it up or catch it & if it is too far out the receiver won’t have a shot. At the high school level and older, a lot of crosses are “soccer air balls” that create the opportunity to score on a “header”. I think it is better to use the term “center the ball” rather than “crossing pass” when giving directions to young players, because if you say “crossing pass”, a young player thinks he should look for someone to “pass” it to. I’ve found it is better to teach your outside F’s to “center the ball” without worrying whether a receiver will get there. Yes, they will sometimes center it when no one is there but it will teach soccer receivers that they must “go to goal” & get in position to receive these “crosses” so they can make a one-touch or two-touch shot. Tell your receivers to stay 3 or 4 steps behind the ball when they run with the dribbler (i.e., the player who will make the cross) so they won’t be called offside & so the ball won’t go behind them. If they are even with the ball they will either have to stop & wait on it or will overrun it & it will go behind them. By staying 3 or 4 steps behind they should be able to slow down & reach the soccer ball but still have forward momentum which will give them power on a one-touch shot. A more important reason to stay 3 to 4 steps back is so the cross doesn’t go behind them. If it does, they have lost the soccer scoring opportunity. If they are behind the ball they will have a chance; if the ball goes behind them, they won’t). Tell them that when they reach the ball they should just block the ball with the inside of their foot & use a very short backswing; if they take a big backswing they will probably mis-kick. Placement is the key, not power. Crosses should go straight across. This is because if the cross is at a forward angle, it is harder for the receiver to kick it (since it is going away from him) & it is easier for defenders to clear it (because it is going toward them) and it is easier for the goalkeeper to catch it. A “Long Corner” is a type of “Cross” to “Center The Ball”. (See “Soccer Finish“, “Soccer Attacking Plan“, “First Soccer Attacker“, “Soccer Rebound“, “Center The Soccer Ball” & “Soccer Creating Space“).