In a penalty shoot out the referee places the ball for the first kick, blows the whistle, the kick is taken and saved. The field is muddied up and the penalty spot is not clearly marked. One coach complains that the ball was not placed in the correct position, the referee paces out and finds the correct spot is actually 1 yard closer to the goal. He makes the first kicker retake the kick. 1) Should the first kick have counted – if not what if the complaint about the ball position been made after, say, 3 kicks, would all 3 kicks have to be retaken. Perhaps the referee should have had the opposing player take from the incorrect spot to equalize the situation and then all other kicks should have been from the correct position.

My sons team lost on the penalty shoot out, it is too late now but I was curious what the correct decision should have been.

USSF answer (June 25, 2009):
The coach has no right to complain about the distance of the kick. But the referee bears the responsibility — under the Laws and in the spirit of the Game — to ensure that the distance is correct. Yes, the decision to retake the kick was correct, but it would not have been necessary if the referee had done his job correctly.

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