Why Soccer Players Raise Their Hands? Learn Here!

By Alex Mercer

November 7, 2021

In soccer, also known as football, just running and kicking the ball is not enough to win. Players need a solid plan, and to execute the plan, they often use their hands. You must have seen players raising their hands while you are watching a game. So, why do soccer players raise their hands? 

Soccer players raise their hands mainly to communicate with their team members. It is essential to signal with their hands when they take a corner shot. They also use their hands to get the attention of the referee and audience. 

In this article, I will tell you some common reasons soccer players raise their hands. You also see that players often use their hands for various purposes. So, using hands in soccer is not entirely forbidden. 

7 Reasons Soccer Players Raise Their Hands

Soccer players use different hand gestures and hand positions to communicate their ideas during the game. You are probably curious to know what raising hands mean in soccer games. So, here are some meanings behind the gesture: 

While Taking A Corner

Raising hands during corner kicks is one of the standard hand signals of soccer players. When a soccer player takes a corner kick, he raises his hands to tell the teammates to aim at the ball.

Then the team members take their positions. Without the extended hand, the other members will get confused. 

The players can use either one hand or two hands in a corner kick. The soccer team must decide the meaning of the hands during their practice sessions. 

Typically, one raised hand means a corner to the 1st post, and two raised hands mean a corner shot to the 2nd post. However, some teams may use the left hand to signal the first post and the right hand to signal the second post.

Two hands mean the ball will land in the center. But then, again, the team may assign different meanings according to their preference.

To Communicate With The Team

It is impossible to always talk with the team members during a match to tell them what to do. So, they use hand gestures to signal their intentions with each other. They also raise their hands to get the attention of their team members.  

Apart from corner kicks, soccer players also raise their hands to decide on set pieces and free kicks. They use their hands to show where they are shooting the ball and where they intend to fall.

The players also make a quick decision on the positions of each team member through hand gestures like raising hands. 

To Celebrate Goals 

Raising hands after scoring a goal is not a tactic for the game, but it is an emotional gesture. Soccer players often raise their hands because of overwhelmed happiness and satisfaction.

This reaction is also a signature gesture of celebration for many players. 

Not all players need to raise their hands when they score. Many players use this gesture without any intention. However, you may have seen some players raising their hands and pointing their fingers at the sky. 

They use this gesture either to show gratitude to God or dedicate the goal to their loved ones. It is also a common reaction among general people. Their body may naturally react to an exciting moment by raising their hands.  

After Scoring Against Opponent Team

It is common for football players or soccer players to change teams. Hence, there will be times when a player has to face his former team in a match and also score against the team.

But in this case, the players refrain from showing too much happiness after scoring a goal. So, they raise their hands to show respect to their former teammates.

Some players often spend years on a team and become emotionally attached to the team. They may still have respect for their former team. So, they do not hurt the former team members showing excitement after scoring a goal against them.

But not all soccer games have to share the same sentiments. They have the right to celebrate their victory however they want.

Claiming The Ball When It Goes Out

Sometimes the ball goes out of play. Then the team that last touched the ball cannot have possession of the ball. It is a crucial moment for both teams. So, players from both teams raise their hands to claim the ball. 

The players of the team raise their hands to get the referee’s attention so that they can claim the right of the ball. If the team has the right, they must raise their hands or somehow draw the referee’s attention towards them.

The referee then considers both of the team’s claims and decides you will get the ball. 

To Get Attention

It is not always the one who has the football that needs to seek the players’ attention. The other players also raise their hands to show they are available to get the ball. 

The football players are nearly the same height, and they wear the same jersey. It becomes necessary to get attention by raising your hand. So, soccer players often raise their hands and wave to get attention. 

To Communicate With The Referee

Soccer players raise their hands to get the attention of the referee. Most of the time, it is to alert the referee about foul plays.

A referee has to move around the soccer field to make sure the players of both teams properly maintain every rule of the game. But it is not always possible for the referee to keep an eye on every foul play. 

Therefore, the soccer players seek the attention of the referee by raising their hands. They also raise their hands to talk with the referee to demand penalties and free kicks.

They may also raise their hands to object to the referee’s decisions. 

Greeting The Audience

People come to the stadium to see their favorite teams play on the field. They also hope for some interactions with the soccer players.

Thus, the soccer players raise their hands and wave for the audience after scoring or winning a match.

Players may even raise their hands to lighten the moods of their supporters during challenging moments. The audiences appreciate this simple acknowledgment from the players and cheer for them.

This also inspires the players to play harder, and they try their best to win the match for their supporters.

Other Hand Gestures Football Players Use

Besides raising hands, there are many other sign languages and gestures by hand in soccer. Some of the common uses of hands in soccer are:

  • Using fingers to show where the ball is going to be. 
  • Hands up and instantly brought down to indicate the start of a set piece. 
  • Hold hand out and palm open to stop others.
  • Raising a hand, pointing, or tapping the head for a headshot or to pass across the head. 
  • Waving hands to tell the team members to move or form a position.
  • Putting the arm down but keeping the palms open for a teammate to pass the ball. 
  • Clenching fists to tell others to tackle hard or inspire them to face a challenge.  


By now, you must have learned why soccer players raise their hands. The players often raise their hands to communicate non-verbally with their teammates.

The gestures help them make quick adjustments during the match. They also raise their hands to convey their feelings. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope this article was able to help you with your curiosities.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

Our work has been featured on platforms like Mashable.com, SVG.com, and XXL.com.

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