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Raise Hand When Taking Corner Kick?

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What does it mean when soccer players raise their hand or arm when they're taking a corner kick or even free kick? Some players raise their hand just before they take a corner kick. Why? It's not like it's in the rules of soccer that you have to raise your hand when taking a corner...

Is it to signal to their teammates that they're going to strike the soccer ball and to start their runs to the near or far post or to break away from their defender...Is it really necessary though to alert your own players when you're going to take the kick? Seems a bit silly to me.

Can't your teammates see that you're moving towards the ball and you're about to kick it? Can't they time their runs off of that rather than needing you to raise your hand?

And your own players should know what type of run up you take before striking the ball on a corner kick. Does it help your players making their runs or jockeying for positions if you raise your hand? I don't really think so. But, on a corner, with everyone jumbled together in the box, it might be hard to actually see the corner kick taker, so raising the arm might be helpful...

Actually, the advantage lies more with the defenders, since they can see the player taking the corner raise their hand and know when the players are going to make their runs. The offensive players lose the advantage, since they know the player taking the corner kick and know how he or she steps up to strike the ball and when they're going to strike it. Raising the hand as a signal is just unnecessary...

Although, again, when there's so much going on in the goal box, making it hard to see, sometimes a hand signal is useful. Still though, doesn't it help the goalkeeper too, who now knows when the ball is about to come into the box...

David Beckham, perhaps the best corner kick taker in the game, doesn't raise his hand before he kicks the ball. Beckham just starts the kicking motion and the players make their runs to the ball. Nice and simple.

If anything, the raising of the hand disrupts the play, makes it less fluid. The player can't focus as much on just whipping in a good corner kick but instead has to think about raising the hand so the players can start their runs.

Here Beckham actually scores with a corner kick for the LA Galaxy. I didn't see his hand go up:


Watch Beckham take this corner for England - no hand up on this corner either. However, he could have said something to teammates before he walked over or the play was most certainly setup prior to the game - saying this is what we are doing on corners in general. In the modern game of soccer, that seems like the protocal - set the play before the game and practice it over and over.


Watch Beckham take this corner when he played for Real Madrid, again, didn't see him raise his arm/hand before he strikes the ball:


To me, the raising of the hand is a waste of time. What do you think? When you're taking a corner kick do you raise your arm up? Again, I'd say raising the hand alerts the other team more than it helps your team see your going to strike the ball.


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