Everything About 18 Yard Box You Need To Know

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18 Yard Box – To soccer newbies, the pitch markings can be a little confusing. After all, there are various lines, circles, and boxes on the field, all with various rules and regulations attached.

Here, we’re concerned with the eighteen-yard box in soccer. Football Terms explains what it is, how big it is, and what rules you need to think about.


The 18 Yard Box Introduced

The eighteen-yard box in soccer is also known as the penalty area or the penalty box. It measures 44 yards wide and eighteen yards deep, starting from the goal line. The goal frame itself is in the center of the eighteen-yard box, and the penalty spot is situated twelve yards from the goal. The six-yard box is also included within the penalty area. We explain everything you need to know about the eighteen-yard box in soccer below.

Why is it called the eighteen-yard box?

The penalty area gets its name from the fact that it is eighteen yards deep. When you walk from the goal line towards the center of the field, the penalty area measures eighteen yards. It is also 44 yards wide.

It’s for this reason that it’s referred to as the eighteen-yard box, but interestingly, it’s never referred to as the 44-yard box! It’s also referred to as the goal area, penalty area, or penalty box.

This is because any foul committed by a player in the eighteen-yard box results in a penalty kick instead of a free-kick. This is one of the most important rules to remember when thinking about the eighteen-yard box in soccer.

Are all players allowed inside the 18 Yard Box?

Every player on the field is permitted to go inside the eighteen-yard box. In fact, there are no areas on the soccer field that are exclusively for one position. The reason the lines of the eighteen-yard box are so important is that it demarcates the area in which the goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball.

The goalkeeper can touch the ball with his or her hands inside the eighteen-yard box, but if they handle the ball outside the box, they commit a foul and are likely to receive a yellow or red card.

During a match, the only time that players are not permitted to enter the eighteen-yard box is when a penalty is about to be taken. All players must stand outside the penalty area until the kick has been taken and are penalized if they encroach.

Why is the 18 Yard Box important?

The eighteen-yard box in soccer is important because of two main reasons:

  1. It indicates the area in which the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with his or her hands.
  2. Any foul that is committed inside the eighteen-yard box by the defending team results in a penalty kick.

Without the eighteen-yard box, it would be extremely difficult for referees to enforce the rules regarding goalkeepers and fouls committed with an 18 x 44 area of the goalposts!

What is the six-yard box in soccer?

The six-yard box is outlined inside the 18-yard box. It runs out from the goalposts and is six feet deep and twenty yards wide. The six-yard box often confuses people, as it doesn’t seem to have a great deal of significance when you consider the rules of the game!

Primarily, it indicates the area from which a goalkeeper must take a goal kick. So, if an attacker kicks or heads the ball behind the goal line, play is restarted with a goal kick. To restart the game, the goalkeeper must place the ball anywhere within the goal area (six-yard box) before kicking it out to his or her teammates.

Recap: The 18 Yard Box In Football

The eighteen-yard box is an important part of the soccer field and is clearly marked. The goalposts sit at the center of the eighteen-yard box, making it an area of the field that sees a lot of action!

You now have all the information you need about the eighteen-yard box, so you can play the game safe in the knowledge that you shouldn’t give away fouls in the area and also that your goalkeeper can only handle the ball within the lines.

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