Soccer Rules

12 Soccer Rules You Must Know ASAP | Learn The Game!

Whether you call it soccer or football, indefinitely, it is the most popular game around the World.  According to the Library of Congress, there are 240 million players and 300,000 football clubs. That makes it the most played sport of all time.

The game is played in the form of teams, and each team is composed of 11 players, including a goalkeeper.

To score a goal, you must pass the ball into the goal area of the opponent’s team. Players can’t use their hands or hurt another participant purposely. 

That explains pretty much, Right? Technically, no, as these are just the basic soccer rules. To enjoy the game properly, there are many positions, time, and penalty rules that you need to understand first.

Well, worry not! We got you covered. Our enthusiastic soccer-lover team has done detailed research to guide you properly. So, grab the popcorn and dive into our deep football research.

Is It Football Or Soccer?

Many people get confused between soccer and football terminologies. If you’re wondering whether both are the same or not, here’s your answer:

“Both variants i.e. football and soccer, are right. In the US, Canada, and Australia, the game is known as “soccer.” While the rest of the World calls it football.”

In the USA, many leagues also play a soccer variant game known as “The American Football.” The key difference is that players can use their hands to pass the ball, like in rugby.

History Of Soccer

The history of football consists of centuries. But the present-day game arose in 1863 in England. The roots of this game can be traced back to Song Dynasty (960 to 1279 AD). But its modern form has been around for a while.

According to the researcher, the people of the Aztecs Empire also used to play a similar game. At that time, it was more similar to the basketball game.

Ebenezer Cobb Morley is known as the father of soccer associations. While the Walter Chauncey Camp is considered the founding father of “American Football.”

How many rules in soccer?

The soccer game has a total of 17 rules. These rules ensure fair play and the safety of players. Most of the rules are simple and related to kicks, throw-ins, goal kicks, fouls, and misconduct.

Number Of Players In Soccer

The soccer match is played between two teams. Each team has 11 players. Each team is bound to have a designated goalkeeper. So, a team is composed of 10 outfield players and one goalkeeper. 

Soccer Ball Rules

The outfield players can not use their hands or arms. They can kick or control the ball using their feet, head, or chest. Only the goalkeeper can use their hand only if the ball is in the goal area or to pass it to teammates.

What Is The Size Of A Soccer Ball?

The standard circumference of the ball must be between 21 to 28 inches (68 – 70cm). The weight can never exceed over 450g.

Typically, the weight is between 405g to 450g with a minimum pressure of 8 psi to 16 psi.

Soccer Field Rules

There are some common rules and regulations that need to be assured before every match. 

  • The field must be rectangular.
  • It must be green in color. Either real or artificial smooth grass is used.
  • The pitch length must be between 100-130 yards (300 – 390 feet).
  • The width must be between 50 to 100 yards (150 – 300 feet).
  • There must be a “centerline” in the exact middle of the field.
  • A field must have a center circle, two goal nets, two 18-yard penalty areas, and two penalty arks.
  • The four corners are known as flag posts and each corner is 1 yard in diameter.

Apart from that, the goal net must be 8 yards wide and 8 feet in height.

Soccer Hand Rules

As mentioned earlier, you can’t use your arm or hand to pass the ball. Using your hand results in a penalty. The opponent team gets a free kick from the spot of the handball. It is worth mentioning that the ball that hits or touches the player’s arm while playing is not considered handball.

Soccer Time Rules

Like many other sports, there is also a time restriction in soccer. 

  • A professional game is comprised of 90 minutes long.
  • The time is split up into two 45-minute halves.
  • There is a 15-minute break during both halves.

If there is a tie or even score, then the added extra time is awarded.

Soccer Extra Time Rules

For an added time, the score must be the same. There are some other regulations that both teams need to follow:

  • The additional time consists of two 15-minute halves.
  • Both teams are bound to play both halves.
  • There is a sudden death rule.

So, if any team scores a goal in the additional first half time, it still needs to play in the second half.

What happens after overtime in soccer?

If even after the extra time, there is a tie or even score, then the teams go for a penalty kick shootout.

  • A coin flip toss decides which team will kick first. Both teams take five penalty kicks after one another.
  • If the match is still a draw, then the winner is decided in the sudden death situation. 

Generally, the team who makes more successful kicks is declared the winner during the penalties.

How Does A Soccer Game Start?

The game always starts with the kickoff. Both halves start with the kickoff. A kickoff is always decided by the toss. If one team scores a goal, then the other team gets the next kick-off. Only the first kickoff is decided by the toss.

Soccer Kick-Off Rules

After winning the toss, they decided to pick a player to kick the ball. Some rules need to be followed:

  • The ball must be placed accurately on the center mark.
  • Apart from the player, who is going to kick the ball, other players must be in their own half.
  • The ball can be kicked in any direction.

The general rule of thumb is that the referee gives the signal to kick off the ball.

Soccer Card Rules

Generally, soccer referees use two colored cards during the game.

  1. Yellow Card
  2. Red Card

What is a yellow card in soccer?

A yellow card is only a warning. The player can continue the match after getting one yellow card. If a player gets two consecutive yellow cards in a single match, then it is considered a red card. After getting two yellow cards, the player needs to leave the game at once.

What is a red card in soccer?

If a player gets a red card, he/she is dismissed from the game right away. The team also has to face the consequences, as they can’t replace a new player. So, they must continue the game with one less player.

Soccer Substitution Rules

If a player might get injured during the game, he/she is replaced by a substitute. Apart from the 11 players, both teams also have substitutes to exchange.

A substitute needs to follow the game rules. Although there are some substitution rules that both teams need to follow during association matches:

  • The player who is substituting out can not return back to the field.
  • The clock doesn’t stop for the substitution process.
  • It is only allowed when the game is stopped either during out-of-bounds, goal, violation, or injury.
  • Each team is allowed to have three substitutes.
  • A player with a red card can not be substituted under any circumstances.

In the Fifa World Cup games, a total of 5 substitutions are allowed. A year before, Fifa announced that an additional one sub with the previous five is also allowed in the World Cup matches.

Soccer Free Kick Rules

If the player keeps on misbehaving, a free kick will be awarded to the opponent’s team. In the freekicks, the opponent can’t interfere. There are two types:

  1. Direct Freekick
  2. Indirect Freekick

There are some rules and laws that need to be followed while kicking a free hit:

  • The ball needs to be stationary when kicked.
  • If the foul occurs within the penalty area, then the penalty kick will be awarded. 
  • The rest of the players must be 10 yards away from the ball.
  • The player doing the free kick must not touch the ball again unless any other person hits it.

Also, most importantly, the player needs to wait for the referee’s whistle before taking the free kick.

Soccer Penalty Kick Rules

A penalty kick is awarded to the opponent’s team when a serious foul or misconduct happens within the penalty box. A penalty kick does come with some rules and regulations. 

  • The defending goalkeeper is not allowed to move until the penalty ball is kicked.
  • If the defending goalkeeper moves before the kick and the shot does not score, then the penalty kick is retaken.
  • The defending kick must go straight and forward.
  • If the shot is not scored, then the defending team gets a free kick.

Offside Rule In Soccer

To start with, it is best to remember that being in the offside position is not an offense. If the part of the player’s body that can score a goal is past the last defender, only then is the player on the offside.

Keep in mind that you can never be on the offside during a corner kick, throw-in, or goal kick.

Important Rules In Soccer FAQs

There are only 11 players in one team on the field. 1 out of the 11 is the goalkeeper, while others play on both offense and defense.

The game is 90 minutes long. It comprises two halves of 45 minutes with an additional 15 minutes break. A game can also extend to an extra 30 minutes (two halves) in case of a tie or even a score.

A golden rule was to score a goal in the first extra time and win the match. But now, it is prohibited. As there is no sudden death in the game. So both teams have to play both extra halves.

A player is offside when a part of his body that can legally score a goal is past the last defender of the opponent team. It was introduced in 1883 to prevent players from looking for any easy opportunities to score a goal.

When a player tries to be abusive or use foul language, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opponent team. Keep in mind that a player can’t score a direct goal with an indirect free kick. The ball must need to be kicked by another player first.

A soccer field must be at least 360 feet (120 yards) long. The optimal width should be 225 feet (75 yards).

Usually, there are three referees in the match. One referee is senior while the other two assist him. In some games, there can be a panel of referees to judge and call the game. 

Yes, it carries over unless the team reaches the semi-finals. It is mainly to prevent the player from suspension from the final match if he gets a new yellow card in the semi.

Wrapping It Up!

The debate of whether it is soccer or football continues. No matter what you prefer to call it, it is one of the most popular games in the World.

The general rule is that you can not use your hand or any part of your lower arm. While on the field, you can’t misbehave or show foul behavior. It is a team sport, and the whole team can suffer due to one single mistake. The game is usually 90 minutes long, divided into two halves.

We hope that this article helps you to understand football, a.k.a soccer rules, more easily. Well in the meantime, be happy and keep on kicking toward your goal!

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