What Is a Set Piece In Soccer?

set piece

What Is a Set Piece In Soccer?

A set piece in soccer is a restart of play, usually following a stoppage in play. There are three main types of set pieces in soccer: free kicks, corners, and throw-ins. Each type has specific rules governing how it must be taken, and each can be used to create scoring chances for the attacking team.

Types of Set Pieces

Free kicks: Can be awarded for various reasons, including fouls, dangerous play, and offside. When a free kick is awarded, the opposing team must retreat to a designated distance from the ball, and the kicking team may then take the kick without interference. Free kicks can be taken from anywhere on the field of play, making them potentially very dangerous scoring opportunities.

Corners: Awarded when the ball goes out of bounds over the goal line after being last touched by the defending team. The attacking team then takes a corner kick from inside the corner arc at the nearest point where the ball went out of bounds. The opposing team must clear all players out of the penalty area before the corner can be taken, making corners another good opportunity to score.

Throw-Ins: Occur when the ball goes out of bounds over the touchline. The team that did not touch the ball last gets to take the throw-in, and all players on both teams must remain behind the touchline until the ball is thrown in. After the throw-in is taken, play resumes as normal.


Set pieces are important because they offer teams a chance to score goals from a static position. This differs from open play, where players constantly move and have more space on the field. With set-piece plays, teams can use specific strategies and formations to try and score goals.