I am reading many of your archives with much delight; I came across one in particular (Infringement by Kicker at Penalty Kick – Feb. 2010). You indicated that feinting of penalty kicks was going to be a topic of discussion at the IFAB meeting in March, 2010. I am curious, was there any further clarification or changes that came out of this meeting?
USSF answer (June 10, 2010):
Yes, there was further clarification, with good news for referees and bad news for crafty players. Here’s a quote from the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees (in the back of the Law book):
LAW 14- THE PENALTY KICK
Feinting at the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted as part of football. However, feinting to kick the ball once the player has completed his run-up is considered an infringement of Law 14 and an act of unsporting behavior for which the player must be cautioned.
And see this text in the Memorandum on Law Changes 2010 published by USSF:
USSF Advice to Referees: Players may feint during the run to the ball (so long as this does not involve, in the opinion of the referee, excessive changes in direction or similar delays in the taking of the kick) but feinting actions once the run to the ball is complete are now to be considered a violation of Law 14 by the kicker. This would include clearly stopping and waiting for a reaction by the goalkeeper before taking the kick or any similar clear hesitation after the run to the ball is complete and before kicking the ball into play. In other words, once the kicker has reached the ball, the kick must be taken without hesitation or delay. In most cases, the referee should allow the kick to proceed and then decide on the appropriate action to take based on the outcome of the kick: if the ball went into the net, the goal is canceled and the kick retaken; if the ball did not go into the net, an indirect free kick is given to the opposing team where the violation occurred. In either case, before play is restarted, the kicker must be cautioned for unsporting behavior.