When a penalty kick is taken, all players except the penalty taker and the defending goalkeeper must be at least 9.15 m (10 yards) away from the penalty mark. In addition, the players must stay behind the ball and outside of the penalty area. A player may enter the field of play during the taking of a penalty kick.
There are exceptions to this rule. If a player is injured or is acting in accordance with FFA rules during the taking of the penalty kick, they are allowed to remain on the field of play. The only time this is not the case is if a player is clearly trying to block the penalty kick.
Penalty kicks can be taken from any position on the field other than in front of the goal. The only requirement is that there is enough space between the opponents' players.
If a player is standing over the penalty spot, it is considered to be within the penalty area. However, if a player is standing outside the six-yard box but still within the playing area, then this would not be considered a penalty.
It is important to note that when a penalty kick is taken, the opposing team will usually move one player to their left to protect the net. This means you should try and take your penalty kick to the right side of the penalty area if you want to score a goal.
Only the kicker and the goalie of the opposing team are permitted within the penalty area; all other players must be within the field of play but outside the penalty area, behind the penalty mark, and at least 9.15m (10 yd) from the penalty mark (this distance is denoted by the penalty arc). A player may move inside the penalty area if he passes between the lines of the penalty box and returns to his original position before the ball is kicked.
The only exceptions to this rule are if the goalkeeper goes into an unconscious state (see below), or if they make themselves "invisible" to the ball using body language (for example, if they stand still or hide behind their teammates). In these cases, any player can enter the penalty area.
In addition to the rules regarding the penalty area, there are also some general guidelines for goalkeepers and defenders when a penalty kick is taken:
If you are a goalkeeper, you should wait until just before the penalty is taken to decide how to defend the penalty area. Do not walk around the perimeter of the penalty area looking for opponents. Instead, stay in the middle of the field and cover the center spot with your foot while watching the ball.
Penalty kicks are usually taken from the spot where the foul was committed. If you are a defender, you should try to stop the penalty shooter by positioning yourself between him and the goal.
Free kicks must be taken 5 yards from the ball if requested by the team taking the kick. Jumping in front of the ball to prevent a quick free kick may result in a yellow card. Penalty kicks are taken 8 yards from the goal line for fouls committed inside the penalty area. The goalkeeper can come out of the box but must stay 10 yards away from the ball.
There is no limit on how far back a defender can be when defending against a kick, but they cannot enter the penalty area or take more than two steps without control of the ball. If a defender is not positioned correctly, the opposing team may be able to score with just one touch of the ball.
A free kick is awarded when the referee sees an opponent commit a serious foul, such as charging, punching, kicking, or any other act that could lead to a red card. If there is no obvious offense, then the referee will usually call for a free kick after viewing the tape of the play during the break between halves. On average, a free kick is given to the opposing team about every 30 minutes.
The team that wins the coin toss gets to decide whether it will attack first or wait for the opposition to do so. Should the team that loses the toss go into its own end before taking the kick-off, the opposing team has the right to ask for it to be re-taken from the beginning.