Where Can You Score From In Soccer?

One of the most noticeable things when it comes to soccer is the large size of the soccer field. The soccer field is large enough to make you question whether or not a soccer player can score from anywhere on the field.

What makes things worse are the markings on the field that can mean anything for someone who is watching soccer for the first time.

With that said, here are the answers that you are looking for.

Can you score from anywhere in soccer?

In theory, a soccer goal can be scored from anywhere on the field as long as the ball is in play. However in practice, players will most probably prefer to attempt to score when they get close to their opponent’s net in order to increase their chances of actually scoring a goal.

In other words, the soccer rules allow the players to attempt to score from anywhere they want as long as the ball is in play.

But that does not mean that soccer players will literally kick the ball from any position on the field towards their opponent’s net in order to score a goal. 

Although the soccer rules permit any player including the goalkeeper to score a goal from anywhere on the field, it is extremely rare for a soccer player to score a goal from a very large distance due to the large size of the field.

This is why when you watch a soccer match, you won’t see the defenders of a team trying to score a goal while standing in the penalty area of their own team for example. 

They don’t attempt to score from that position because they know the ball won’t have enough momentum by the time it reaches the opponent’s net.

So where do soccer players really score from in general?

Well, according to this study, most of the goals in soccer are scored from inside the penalty area. In other words, most of the goals are scored from an area that is very close to the net.

The study gathered data from 5 successive soccer world cups (Note: the world cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world), and it concluded that 53.6% of the goals scored in these 5 world cubs were scored from inside the penalty area.

That’s more than half the total number of goals. The number goes to show that the closer a player is to the opponent’s net, the more likely that they are going to score.

A lot of goals have also been scored from outside the penalty area and from large distances too. However, the longer the distance, the less likely that a soccer player will score.

So to sum up this section, even though the rules allow a soccer player to score from wherever they want when the game is on, most of the players will score when they get close to their opponent’s net.

We’ve been talking about where a soccer player scores from if the game is already on, but what if the ball goes out of play? In other words, can a soccer player score a goal while putting the ball back in play?

The answer to this depends on how the ball is being put back in play. I’ll list a series of questions and answers that cover the topic in detail. But before we dive into that, if you don’t know anything about the set pieces that are going to be mentioned next, then make sure to check this article to learn more about them in detail.

Can you score from a throw-in?

A goal can’t be immediately scored from a throw-in in soccer. If a throw-in is taken and the ball goes into the opponent’s net without touching any player on the field, then the goal is canceled and the opponent gets a goal kick.

What’s more interesting is that a soccer player can’t even score a goal from a throw-in against their own team.

If a soccer player throws the ball inside their own team’s net for some reason, and the ball doesn’t touch any other player before it lands inside the net, then the goal is also canceled and a corner kick is awarded.

If you think about it, not allowing a soccer player to score from a throw-in makes total sense for 2 reasons:

The first one is that soccer is all about using any part of your body to score except your hands, so why would the rules allow the players to throw the ball inside their opponent’s net using their hands when they are taking a throw-in?

The other reason is that the players most probably won’t be able to score anyways immediately from a throw-in due to the large distance between the sidelines of the field and the goal.

Using your hands to throw the ball with enough force towards a very far target isn’t something that you can very easily do.

Some soccer players do what’s called a flip throw during a throw-in just to be able to make the ball reach the penalty area when they take the throw-in.

You can learn more about the acrobatic flip throw in this article.

Can you score from a free kick?

There are 2 different types of free kicks in soccer. One is called the direct free kick and the other is called the indirect free kick. The main difference between the 2 types of kicks is that a goal can be scored from a direct free kick, but a goal can’t be scored from an indirect free kick.

Direct free kicks are usually a great way to score goals, and there have been many soccer players throughout the history of the game who have managed to score brilliant goals from direct free kicks.

The indirect free kick on the other hand does not allow the player to immediately score a goal unless the ball touches any other player before it lands inside the net. If a direct goal is scored from an indirect free kick, then the goal gets canceled and the opponent wins a goal kick.

Can you score from a goal kick?

Yes, A goal can be scored from a goal kick in soccer. Any player on the team can take the goal kick and not just the goalkeeper. Whoever takes the goal kick is allowed to score against their opponent. 

However, a player isn’t allowed to score a goal against their own team immediately from a goal kick (yes, the rules are sometimes weird). If that happens for some reason, then a corner kick is awarded to the opponent.

Can you score directly from a corner kick?

Yes, a goal can be directly scored from a corner kick. Some soccer players have managed to score brilliant goals immediately from a corner kick by just curving the ball and tricking the goalkeeper of their opponent.

The wind direction can also help a lot when it comes to scoring goals directly from a corner kick because the wind can help the corner kick taker to curve the ball easier. 

On a side note, the corner flags on the corners of the field can help the player determine the exact direction of the wind when they take the corner kick.

While the goals from an immediate corner kick are extremely rare in soccer, they do exist and they are heavily celebrated due to how hard it is to score such goals.

Can you score from a direct kick off?

Yes, a goal can be scored from the kick off in soccer. If for some reason, the player taking the kick off decides to immediately kick the ball towards their opponent’s net and they manage to land the ball inside the net, then the goal is awarded.

Many professional soccer players have been able to pull this off, and it usually happens because the goalkeeper of the opponent team wasn’t ready at all for the ball.

If you want to learn more about the kick off and about how a soccer game starts, you can check this article.

With that said, we’ve reached the end of this article. Here’s a quick table that summarizes the set pieces that allow a goal to be scored without having the ball touch any other player on the field.

Set PieceImmediate goal allowed?
Direct free kickYes
Indirect free kickNo
Goal kickYes
Corner kickYes
Kick offYes

As for when the ball is already in play, a goal can be scored from anywhere on the field.