Here are some basic rules for the sport of Football, also known as soccer in many parts of the world, which is undoubtedly the world’s most popular sport.
- A football match is played by two teams, with each allowed no more than 11 players on the field at any one time, one of whom is a goalkeeper.
- A match is played in two 45 minute halves.
- The game begins with the toss of a coin, and the winning captain decides which goal to defend or to take the first kick off.
- All players must use their feet head or chest to play the ball. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to use their hands, and only within their designated goal area.
- The aim of the game is to score a goal, which is achieved by kicking or heading the ball into the opposition team’s goal.
- If the ball touches or crosses the side line, it is thrown back in by the team that was not the last to touch the ball.
- The game is controlled by a central referee, and two linesmen. They award free kicks and penalties when rules are broken. For continual breaking of rules or for a bad foul, the player may be sent off.
When the ball is in play the rules of soccer are fairly simple. You cannot touch the ball with your hands or arms intentionally unless you are the goalie. You cannot foul another player or be offside (these soccer rules are described below). Other than that, the main rules of soccer are around the starting and stopping of play.
The Starting and Stopping of Soccer Play
At the start of a soccer period or after a goal, there is a kick-off from the center circle. At the kick-off all of the soccer players must be on their side of the field (the side they are defending). Only the player kicking the kick-off is allowed inside the center circle. After the kick-off the ball will be in play until the ball goes out of bounds or the referee calls a penalty.
Other ways of restarting soccer include:
Throw-in: When the soccer ball has gone out of bounds, the team that last touched the ball loses possession and the opposing team gets to throw-in the ball from the point where the ball crossed out of bounds.
Corner kick: When the defending team last touches the ball and it crosses the goal line (and not scoring a goal), the opposing team gets to kick the ball from the corner of the field.
Goal kick: When the offensive team last touches the ball before it crosses the goal line, the goalie gets to kick the ball from the goal box.
Penalty kick: When a foul occurs in the penalty area, the fouled team is awarded a penalty kick.
Soccer fouls can be any number of unfair advantages taken by a player that are called by the referee. These can include tripping, pushing, and touching the ball with the hands. Free kicks or penalty kicks may be awarded to the opposing soccer team. Very unsportsmanlike behavior may result in a yellow card or a red card. Players that get red cards are ejected from the game.
The offensive player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal line than both the second and last opponent and the soccer ball.
Out of Bounds
Out of bounds occurs when the ball completely crosses over the boundary line.
When throwing the ball in at throw-in, the ball must be thrown from behind and over the head using both hands. When the ball leaves the thrower’s hands, both of his/her feet must be touching the ground.