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difference between a free and a penalty kick?

I need to know the difference between a free and a penalty kick. Because I am learning to be a ref

Free kick given for minor offences eg early scrum engagement. More options available to players from penalty eg kick for goal, for touch and retain possession or scrum option. With free kick its either tap and go, garry owen or if kick to touch possession goes to opposition.


For an even more detailed answer to your question look at which will give you the referee signals as well as vidoes to help you know what decisions to make.


thankyou guys



A point to remember is that the penalised team have to retreat 10 meters but may start their charge as SOON as the non-penalised team starts to move, whether thay have kicked the ball or not.

David, what's your point here? The penalised team must retire and keep retiring the necessary distance. That applies to both the penalty 21.7a & b and the free kick 21.8a & b. Can't see how the opposition can advance until the kick is taken which requires the ball to leave the hand and move a visible distance 21.4c.

Andy; if you fast forward to laws 21.8 e & f you can see that as long as a player is back the required 10 metere then he can start his charge as soon as the kicker starts his motion to kick. If the kicker is slow and methodical then this is quite possible. I also belive that if a player (ie scrum-half) places the ball on the mark for another player to kick then this is an indication of the ball in play.

My point to Callum is that as a "rookie" referee you should be aware of potential flashpoints in the game and this certainly one of them.

See where you are going, David, but not sure, as either a coach or a ref, I've seen that. With the exception of the Mark, most free kicks tend to be tap and go. Not sure I've ever seen a free kick taken as a place kick and certainly would find it hard to interpret a #9 placing the ball on the ground for his #10 or #15 to kick as grounds for the defenders to advance.

Offside at any kick is always an interesting area to manage.

Got some Sevens to watch this weekend!

Charge down at free kick is common, search Cory Jane takes one on the schnoz on youtube to see a funny example.

*Youtube clip added by Sportplan Team

thanks guys again, i Will remember your advice when the time comes

Sorry Steven but to me the video shows a charge down from a 22 drop out and not a free kick. I may be wrong!!!

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