What are corner kicks in soccer? Laws of the Game

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

What are corner kicks in soccer? In the beautiful game, one of the most exciting moments for the attacking team is when they get the opportunity to take a corner kick. A corner kick is a way to restart play when the defending team has kicked the ball last over their own goal line.

Whether you are a new player or fan of the game, understanding the soccer corner kick rules is crucial since they make up a very important part of the game. In this blog, I will be going over one of the most basic soccer rules, the corner kicks.

corner kicks in soccer

What is a Corner Kick in Soccer

A corner kick in soccer is a fancy way to restart play after the ball goes out of bounds. Corner kicks happen when a defender accidentally or purposefully sends the ball out of bounds on their on goal side.

The attacking team then gets a chance to restart play from the corner arc which gives them an opportunity to cross the ball into the opposition penalty area in an attempt to score a goal. If the attacking team was the last to touch the ball before it went out of bounds through the defending team’s goal line, then the defending team gets a goal kick to restart play.

Corner Kick Rules

Once a corner kick is awarded, there are some corner kick rules, established by FIFA and the International Football Association Board, that the corner kick taker and the rest of the attacking and defending players must follow.

  • The ball must be played from the nearest corner flag post from the spot the ball went out of bounds
  • The corner flag post cannot be moved
  • The ball must be completely still before it is kicked
  • Once the ball is touched, the ball is in play, even if it has not moved from the corner arc spot
  • The defending team must be a required distance of 10 yards away from the corner arc and corner kick taker
  • The corner kick taker cannot touch the ball again until someone else has touched it
  • If the corner kick taker deliberately kick the ball at an opponent the play counts as long as it wasnt in a careless and reckless manner and with excessive force.

Types of Corner Kicks and Their Strategies

A corner kick in soccer is not just a way to restart the game; it’s a chance for teams to score goals and there are different types of corner kicks.

Near Post Corner Kicks:

With this strategy, the ball is aimed toward a teammate near the first goal post so that they can volley or header the ball at the goal in an attempt to score.

Far Post Corner Kicks:

With this strategy, the ball is aimed towards a teammate near the far post. Usually teams will have signals, such as raising one or two arms for either a far post or near post corner kick.

Top-of-the-Arc Corners:

With this strategy, the ball is aimed towards teammates outside the penalty area, giving them more space and time to shoot at the goal.

Short Corner:

Most people may think it makes more sense to cross the ball close to the goal to create a better goal scoring opportunity for their team, however, sometimes the best option is to look for short corners. Instead of crossing the ball, the corner kick taker passes the ball to a player that is nearby to keep possession of the ball and find another way to score.

In swinging Corner:

A soccer in-swinger corner kick means that the soccer ball is curving in towards the goal.

Out swinging Corner:

A soccer out-swinger corner kick means that the soccer ball is curving out towards the goal.

corner kicks in soccer

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you score a goal directly from a corner kick?

Yes, a goal may be scored directly from the corner kick, although that can be extremely rare, but it is possible to catch the goalkeeper off guard. This is called an olympic goal and many professional soccer players have scored these types of goals such as Toni Kroos from Real Madrid.

What are the different types of ways to restart play during a soccer game?

The main ways of restarting play during a soccer match include:

  • Corner kicks
  • Goal kicks
  • Free kicks
    • Direct free kick
    • Indirect free kick
  • Throw ins

What is one disadvantage of corner kicks?

Although corner kicks look like they are an amazing opportunity for the attacking team, there are some downsides. If the attacking team is caught off guard, the defending team can transition to a quick counter attack and become the team on the offensive.


In conclusion, corner kicks are one of the most important ways to restart play that are all awarded the same way, if the defending team kicks the ball out through their own goal line, the attacking team gets a corner kick.

In this blog, I covered everything you need to know about the corner kick, from what it is, to the different types of corner kicks, and much more.

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