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A penalty flag was thrown at a recent football game at Foothill High School
A penalty flag was thrown at a recent football game at Foothill High School. Photo by Jaughn Freeman.
Penalties will always be a factor of the game

Good or bad, players' actions will always be a factor.

In the world of sports, there will always be the penalty. Penalties vary from sports to sports, but generally you never want them to be called on our team. From the fields of cross country to the pools of water polo, every sport is affected by poor choices made.

In cross country, the rules are simple: run your race, and don't cut corners. Interfering with other runners is also frowned upon, and will get you disqualified just as fast as cutting the course.

In football, common sense is generally the norm on penalties. Don't hit the quarterback after the ball is thrown, and don't interfere with the receiver before he makes contact with the ball. Other penalties such as holding are there to keep the game fair, and unsportsmanlike conduct to keep the game verbally nice. There are many basic rules to keep players safe, and breaking these rules results in a loss of yardage for offense, or the offense moving forward while on defense. For example, a pass interference is called at the spot of the penalty, and can vary in distance, unsportsmanlike conduct is a 15-yard penalty or holding another player's jersey is a 10-yard penalty.

In soccer, penalties are broken down by indirect kicks, and direct kicks. Indirect kicks are for fouls that are less dangerous, or less serious. When this occurs, a player must pass the ball to another player before scoring a goal. Direct kicks are when a player fouls another opponent in a couple of different ways. When this happens the player may a direct kick at the goal. Indirect kick fouls are considered a dangerous play (high kicking), offsides, or obstruction of another player. Direct kicks are for contact fouls or hand balls.

In the world of volleyball, stay off the line when you serve, and no holding the ball. Both of these result in a turnover. Improper rotation and hitting the net with a part of the body will also results in a turnover.

Water polo is in a world of its own. With only two refs, and constant movement back and forth in the pool, a lot of things go unnoticed. This brings it to the first rule of water polo: whatever the ref doesn't see goes. Other than that, like soccer, water polo has two types of penalties, pass or a penalty shot. The rules vary a bit there, because small fouls are considered unintentional, resulting in a pass, but larger fouls can result in an ejection, and give the player a penalty shot.

In the world of sports, someone always will screw up, or be overly aggressive, and when this happens, a penalty will be called, and let's always hope it's not against our teams.


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