The corner kick in football. Explained, history and how it works

defending a corner kick

When your team is allowed to take the corner kick, it is one of the most thrilling moments in a soccer match. You have the potential to practically single-handedly advance the ball towards the penalty area of the opposing team, increasing the likelihood that your team will score.

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History of the corner kick

A kick over the goal line under the original 1863 Football Association rules was handled similarly to a conversion in modern rugby: if an attacking player touched the ball down first, the attacking team was given a free-kick at goal, while if a defending player did, the defending team was given a goal-kick. 

Later, these regulations were streamlined, and by 1867, a goal-kick was given in every situation, regardless of whose team touched the ball.

Clubs in the Sheffield area played their own unique brand of football during this time. Similar rules were included in the legislation that the newly established Sheffield Football Association issued in early March 1867. A goal kick was given whenever the ball crosses the goal line, regardless of which team touched it.

The corner kick was successfully incorporated into the Football Association’s rules in 1872 by the Sheffield Association. The Sheffield rule, as previously said, was the same as the new FA regulation. It is now referred to as an Olympico goal.

Corner kick definition

A corner kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football when the ball has gone all the way to the sideline without scoring and is last touched by a member of the defending team. The free kick is taken at the corner closest to where the ball crosses the goal line.

corner kick in football

Procedure corner kick

While pointing at the corner area on their side of the field to indicate that a corner should be granted, the assistant referee does not necessarily mean that the kick should come from that side. By extending his or her arm aloft and pointing to the corner where the kick is to be made, the referee signals the corner.


The corner kick is retaken if it is made with a moving ball or from the incorrect location.

Opponents must retire the necessary distance. If this isn’t done right away, it may be considered misbehavior and result in a yellow card.

A player that persistently holds up the start of play receives a warning.

If the kicker touches the ball again before it has been touched by another player, it is against the rules; in this scenario, the opposing side is given a direct free kick from the spot where the offense was committed, unless the second touch was also a more serious handling infraction.

corner kick meaning

Tactics in taking and defending a corner kick

The corner taker will often cross the ball for numerous attackers to head into the goal by positioning them close to the goal.

In an effort to force the ball to be played to a location that can be more easily defended, the opposing team may decide to form a wall of players. The requirement that defensive players stay at least 10 yards away from the ball until it enters play prevents this from happening frequently.

In order to protect the goal in addition to the goalie, the defensive team may additionally choose to direct a player to position himself beside one or both goalposts. 

The idea behind situating a player next to a goalpost is to protect more of the goal area, maintain the opportunity to play an offside trap since offside does not apply for the initial touch from a corner, and/or make up for the positioning and/or reach of the goalkeeper.

Determining how many players are required to defend a corner is another decision for the opposing team. However, this reduces the likelihood of a counterattack if possession is regained, allowing the attacking side to commit more men to approaching the goal. 

All players are moved into a defensive zone, increasing the likelihood that the attacking side will retake possession of the ball and launch a fresh attack if the ball is cleared from an initial cross.

A team may commit all of its players, including its goalkeeper, to the attack in cases where a set-piece, such as a corner, is given to a side down by one goal near the end of a game where allowing another goal would have little impact (i.e. in a knockout competition).

Man versus zonal marking

Man marking and zonal marking are two well-liked tactics for defending corners. Man marking is the practice of assigning an attacking player to each defensive player at a corner with the goal of preventing the attacking player from heading the ball. 

The second strategy, zonal marking, places each player in a specific region of the box to defend (their “zone”). When performing zonal marking, players must be the first to the ball when it enters their area and head it away from danger before an attacking player can get to it.

Offences and sanctions

corner kick rules

A kicker is given an indirect free kick if they touch the ball again after it enters play but before it touches another player; if they commit a handball offense:

  • There is a kick given directly from a kick off, throw in.
  • Unless the kicker was the goalie, in which case an indirect free kick is given, a penalty kick is given if the offense took place inside the kicker’s penalty area.

The referee permits play to continue if a player accurately executes a corner kick and then purposefully kicks the ball at an opponent to play it again, provided the kick is not made carelessly, recklessly, or with excessive power.

The kick is retaken for any additional offenses.

Above is some rules of the corner kick. Over the course of soccer history, corner kicks have been used to score a great number of significant goals. It’s crucial that you are aware of and comprehend the corner kick rules whether you are playing soccer on the field or watching from home, especially considering how crucial they are to the game. We hope that through this post, you can know more about football rules.

Readmore: Offside Rule In Football Explained: Everything You Need To Know

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