A penalty kick (commonly known as a penalty or a PK) is a method of restarting play in association football, in which a player is allowed to take a single shot on the goal while it is defended only by the opposing team's goalkeeper. Unlike a poorly timed slide tackle which often times results in a more or less clear cut decision for a penalty kick, indirect free kicks are given when a player commits an infringement that is less serious in nature. A penalty consists of a foul in the 18 yard box.

The shot is taken from the penalty mark, which is 11 m (12 yards) from the goal line and centred between the touch line, while the goal is defended only by the opposing team's goalkeeper.

If the defender hinders a possible goalscoring opportunity, it is considered a penalty. Yellow and Red Cards After awarding a free kick or penalty kick, a referee may take further disciplinary action against a player by showing him a yellow or red card. In association football, a penalty kick is awarded to the opponent when a direct free kick foul has been committed by a team within its own penalty area. A penalty kick is awarded if any of the offenses are committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play. A penalty kick is awarded when a defender, while within his own penalty area, commits a penal foul (normally punishable by a Direct Free Kick) against an attacker or against the Spirit of the Game. When the kick is laid up the goalkeeper is not allowed to leave his/her line before the ball has been kicked. A penalty kick is awarded for an infraction within the penalty area. Free kicks awarded in the penalty area are always indirect free kicks.

when is a penalty awarded in football