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Advancing the Penalty

Following the National Coaching and Officiating Conference it was identified that within England there are some inconsistencies with advancing the penalty and persistent infringements. This information is important for all coaches, players and umpires

When may "Advancing the Penalty" be used?

Advancing the Penalty may only be used for:

  • Rule 19.2 Deliberate delaying of play when it involves the incorrect setting or taking of penalty where the infringer shall be penalised as a disputing player; and
  • Rule 19.3 Dispute with an umpire.

Are there any other situations allowed within the rule book when advancing the penalty may be used?

  • No.

Advancing the Penalty:

  • Should not be used too frequently, but it is an effective way of dealing with dissent. It is the penalty that is advanced, so it must be set correctly in the new position and all rules regarding the setting of penalties must be observed i.e. Rule 18.3.2 "The penalised player must stand beside and away from the player taking the penalty so as not to impede this player in any way." This means that unless the penalty is advanced into an area where the offending player may not go, the offending player will always move to where the penalty has been advanced to.
  • The penalty should be advanced half a third or less. When advancing into the goal circle it would not be usual to advance the penalty right up to the goalpost unless the infringement was on the edge of the goal circle and it was felt sufficiently serious enough for this to be done.
  • Umpires must take care how far they advance a penalty when it involves the other umpire's area.


Please be aware that any persistent infringements should be dealt with using common sense as per Rule 20: WARNING, SUSPENSION AND ORDERING OFF: For rough or dangerous play, persistent and/or deliberate breaking of the rules, misconduct or any other conduct which is considered inappropriate, the Umpire may, in addition to any penalty awarded.

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