Soccer Rules – Learn to play the game properly
A typical game of soccer comprises of 11 players a team. Here are the soccer rules , also known as the “laws of the game” that you must keep in mind when playing a game.
Law 1: Field of Play
This is the area the game is played within, it most commonly is marked by painting white (or black) lines on
the grass. Figure 1.2 shows the basic layout of the field. Common dimensions are 100 meter (touch line) by 50 meters, although it is not uncommon to have smaller field sizes due to unavailable space or to accommodate Juniors playing small sided games.
Law 2 : Type of Ball
The ball is a spherical shape and is sized 1 to 5 (5 being the largest). Regulations state size 5 balls are to be used in all matches age 12 and up.
- The ball is to weigh no more than 450 grams and no less than 410 at the start of the match
- have a circumference of no more than 70cm and no less than 68cm.
- a pressure between 0.4 and 0.6 atmosphere at sea level.
Law 3 : Number of Players
A maximum of 11 players and minimum of 7 are allowed per team. Youth leagues below the age of 12 may play with fewer players in order to help develop player understanding and ball control. One player from each team must be the earmarked as the goal keeper; this player is allowed to use their hands within their penalty area. The goalkeeper must also wear a deferent colour shirt to the rest of the team to allow them to be distinguished.
Law 4 : Equipment for Players
All players must wear shin guards/protector, this is to prevent injury of the lower legs. Each team must wear the same coloured shirt to allow easy identification of teams. If cleats are worn, they must be specifically designed so that the studs do not protrude on the front of the boot, as well as have no sharp edges that could potentially harm other players.
Law 5: Referees
It is the referee’s job to control the game by enforcing the 17 laws. One distinct difference to most other sports is the referees may let the game continue when a foul is committed if he or she believes that there is an advantage to the fouled players team. This rule is the “advantage clause”, and the referee will call “play on” and or do a hand motion placing both hands forward (figure 1.3)
Law 6: Lines men and women
Two linesmen are used to assist the referee in the enforcing of the laws. The linesmen job it to indicate to the referee when the ball is out of play, a corner kick, a goal, players are offside and when fouls misconduct take place. When the referee is informed by the linesmen, it is up the referees to make the final decision and he or she may or may not take the linemen’s advice.
Law 7: Duration of Match
The duration of the match depends on the age of the players, standard time is 45 minute halfs, but is not uncommon for lower level leagues to play 40 minute half’s, and juniors to play less than 30 minute half’s.
Law 8 : Start of game play: Drop balls and kick offs
A game is started by taking a kickoff, this is done by placing the ball in the center of the ground, and kicking it forward. kickoffs are also used to restart play after a goal is scored or to begin play after half time.
The team that begins with the kickoff is determined with a coin toss before the game, the winner has the choice to kick off or change the direction each team is playing (also know as direction team is running).
a goal can not be scored by the first kick after a kickoff, this is deemed “direct” from kickoff and will be disallowed. A drop ball is the second method of restarting of the game and is done if the game is to be stopped while the ball is in play, for a reason other than an infraction, for example an injury.
Law 9 : Ball in or Out of play
The ball is deemed out of the field of play when it is completely outside the goal line, touch line and goal line. if any part of the ball is still inside the line then the ball is deemed still in play (figure 1.4). The referee will indicate who is to free throw the ball back into play, this is the opposite team to the one that last touched the ball before it exited the field of play.
Law 10 : Scoring a Goal
The ball must full cross the goal line below the cross bar and between both posts to be deemed a goal. All players may score goals for opposition as long as it was not directly from a goal kick, penalty kick or kickoff.
Law 11 : Offside
when an offensive player is in the oppositions half of the field, the or she has to have at least two oppositions players between him and his opponents goal line at the moment the ball was passed to him. (figure 1.5)
Offside and an “offside position” are not the same; being in an offside position is allowed as long as the player does not have anything to do with the game play, offside on the other hand is defined as being in an offside position, while involved with the game play.
There are a few exceptions to the offside law, a player is not offside if he received the ball directly from;
-a corner kick
-a goal kick
-an opposition player
Law 12- Fouls and Misconduct
The two types of fouls in soccer are a penal or major fouls and non-penal know as minor fouls. The nine major types of of major fouls are as follows;
-Holding another player
-Handling the ball with your hands(other than the goal keeper)
-Hitting a or spitting at another player
-Pushing another player
-Tripping another player
-Charging a player from behind
-Jumping up at a player
-kicking another player
-Charging another player in a rough way.
If one of the following offences are committed the referee will blow his whistle and award a “direct” free kick, if within the 18 yard box, a penalty will be awarded.
There are also 5 non-penal minor fouls, they are as follows;
-Dangerous play, for example a high kick that endangers another player.
-Fair charging and obstructing another player intentionally while not in playing distance of the ball
-charging the goalkeeper while in the goal area
-law infringements by a goalkeeper
-Wasting time intentionally
If one of the following were to occur, the referee will blow his whistle and award a indirect free kick to the opposition team.
The two kinds of misconduct are as follows;
A players actions resulting in a yellow card being given, this is a warning, player may continue to play.
A players actions results in a red card, two yellow cards also equal a red card.
A player that is given a red card to to leave the field of play for the remainder of the game, and is not allowed to be replaced by another player.
LAW 13 : Free Kick
The Two kinds of free kicks are direct and indirect.
Direct free kicks;
The player taking the free kick may be directly kick the ball into the goal to score, and is not required to touch any other player, the major fouls outlined in law 12 result in this direct free kick being awarded.
Indirect free kicks;
Before entering the goal, the ball must touch one or more players from either team after the free kick is taken.
When taking a free kick the following rules apply.
- The ball must not be moving when kicked
- the referee will indicate if the free kick is indirect by raising one are straight up above his or her head.
- opposition players must be 10 yards from where the ball is placed for the kick.
- The person taking the kick may do so if the opponents are within 10 yards.
- the person taking the kick may request the referee moves back the opponents 10 yards
- if the kick is taken within 10 yards of the oppositions goal, they may stand on the goal line.
- a free kick taken by a defending team inside of there own goal area may be taken from anywhere within that half of the goal area
- an indirect free kick taken by the attacking side within the defending sides goal area is to be taken on the edge of the 6 yard box, nearest to where the foul was committed.
- The player taking the free kick must not touch the ball after taking the initial kick until another player from either team has touched the ball.
Law 14 : Penalty Kicks
A Penalty kick is awarded to the attacking team when a player from the defending team commits a major foul within the penalty area. The kick is taken from the penalty mark, only the defending goal keeper and the attackers penalty taker are allowed to be inside the penalty area while the kick is being taken. The goal keeper is required to stand on the goal line, and not move forward towards the ball until the ball has been struck. If the defending goal keep moves off the goal line or the any of the defending teams players enter the penalty area before the ball is struck, and the attacking team does not score, the penalty is retaken. If the attacking teams players encroach the penalty area, and the shot is scored, no goal is awarded and the penalty is re taken, if no goal is scored the defending team is awarded a indirect free kick for where the attacking team entered the penalty area.
Law 15 : Throw ins
A throw in of the ball is used to restart the game when the ball has exited the field of play, this is taken by a player from the team that did not touch the ball last.
Both feet must be placed on the ground, and both hand holding the ball. the ball is pulled behind the head and and thrown over the head, with equal extension of both arms (figure 1.6) Both the throwers feet must remain behind the goal line, and he or she may not touch the ball until it has touch at least one other player from either team. if a player id in an “offside position” while receiving the ball directly from the thrower is not “offside”.
Law 16 : Goal Kicks
the box marked out directly in front of the goal is know as the goal area or 6 yard box. If the attacking team is last to touch the ball before it crosses the goal line, the defending team is awarded a goal kick to re-start play. This kick is to be taken within the goal box, on the same side half of the box the ball went out. Any team member from the defending team may take the kick, and the defending team
may have 2 players within the penalty area. No Player from the defending team is allowed to be within the penalty area until the kick has been taken and the ball has left the penalty area, if the ball fails to leave the penalty area when kicked or if a player from either tame touched the ball before it leaves the penalty area, the goal kick will be taken again. Then a goal kick is taken, a player in an offside position that receives the ball directly from the goal kicker, (untouched by either player from both teams) is not “offside”.
Law 17 : Corner Kicks
If the ball exits the field of play over the goal line, and is last touched by the defending team, a corner kick is awarded to the attacking team. This corner kick is to be taken within the arc on the corner of the field, on the side of the goals the ball exited play. The player taking the corner kick is allowed to kick the ball directly into the goal. The corner kick once taking his or her initial kick is not allowed to touch the ball until it has touched at least one other player from either team. Then the attacking team is taking the kick, the defending team is required to be back 10 yards from where the ball is placed. Attacking players that are in an offside position, and receive the ball directly from the corner kick are not deemed “offside”.