Free Kicks can be one of the most dangerous set-pieces when placed in the right position.
There is, therefore, so much importance in having players in the correct position.
As well as trying to get the upper hand to prevent a goal from being conceded.
Has a result, many questions are asked on why people are positioned in certain areas.
Along with why a player will have a specific stance when this set piece is given.
So in this post, I will be answering some of the most commonly asked questions in regards to free kicks.
1. Why Do Footballers Cover Their Groin?
If you have seen any defending team set up for a free-kick, you will notice how they will be covering their groin.
Now its no secret that when the football is pelted towards that region, it hurts bad.
I have had that happen to me countless times in football, where its left me rolling on the field.
It is not every free-kick where players will put up this stance.
Instead, its primarily just for dangerous free kicks, where the player is lining up a shot.
Not only is it more likely that they will hit that area, especially with a knuckleball.
But with how hard players hit the ball, covering this area is almost a priority.
So the best way to protect that area is to cover your groin with your hands.
Now you may be thinking, what if it hits your hand, as that can be a free kick in itself.
Well, in this case, its typically fine because the hands are tucked into the body.
Plus, the ball is likely to be fired at them hard from a short distance.
Its only when the hands are outstretched or in a natural position that they are penalised.
2. Why Are Footballers Lying Down On The Floor?
If you’re getting ready to watch a free kick, you may be wondering why one footballer is lying down on the floor.
The reason for this is to prevent a footballer from doing a low driven free-kick under the wall.
As when players go to block a free kick, they will typically jump and make themselves bigger.
This is in an attempt to stop the ball from hitting the target.
However, because players will be high in the air, a gap under the wall becomes vacant.
So the player over the free-kick will kick it under, anticipating the wall to jump.
Now let me tell you something interesting, this is relatively new in football.
As years ago before I would say 2012, practically no one would attempt this style of free-kick.
It was though a free-kick goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League against Bayern Munich back in 2013 that changed the game.
As you can see from the video above, as the players jumped, he hit straight under, catching everyone by surprise.
Ever since then, with more players trying this, teams have become wiser to it.
With the defending team getting one player to lie down on the floor just behind the free-kick.
That way if the attacker goes low, it hits the player. If they go high, it hopefully hits the wall.
3. Why Are Indirect Free Kicks Given?
Indirect free kicks of given when a player passes it back to the keeper, and they pick it up.
Since goalkeepers can’t pick up pass backs, an indirect free kick is awarded instead of a penalty.
Due to most keepers knowing the rules, these aren’t given often.
However, when a keeper does forget and picks the ball up, the ball will be placed at the spot of the foul.
Unlike a standard free-kick, where a player can shoot at goal.
For these, the ball must be touched once since its indirect.
So what you will have typically is either a pass being made or a layoff so that someone can shoot.
Here are a few examples of indirect free kicks:
4. Why Is Vanishing Spray Used In Football?
Now, if you don’t know when a free kick is given, a defending team must step back 10 yards.
This would be measured by the referee, who would then tell them exactly where to stand.
However, this has been an issue over the years, as the defending players would either sneak forward.
Or just argue with the referee, saying the yards were incorrect.
So a bit like VAR and Goalline Technology that was brought into the game to change it, the vanishing spray was introduced.
The reason why vanishing spray is used is so that the referee can mark out two lines.
One for the ball, so that the attacking player doesn’t adjust the position of it.
As well as one for the wall, so they can’t creep forward.
Ever since 2014, we have seen the positive effects of it.
As no longer can players cheat or gain yards, as if they do, the referee will be able to tell straight away.
Those are some of the most common questions asked about free-kicks answered.
If you have anything to ask on free kicks, that you would like clarifying then do let me know 🙂