Football is one of the world’s oldest sports and also it happens to be one of the most popular and most recognized sports. The Football World Cup is the pinnacle of all international sports. To back it up, there are also tournaments like the Euro Championship, Cops America, and the African Cup of Nations. Among the domestic leagues, there is the English Premier League(English), La Liga (Spanish), Series A(Italy), and Bundesliga(Germany). Before we get to the football rules lets shed some light on the basics of the game.
The Objective of the Game of Football
The aim in the game of football is to score more goals than your rival in a 90 minute playing time frame. There are two halves of 45 minutes each. There is a 15 minute rest period after the first 45 minutes called halftime.
The Football Rules Basics
There are 11 players in every team, with one goalkeeper and ten outfield players. The pitch area may vary from ground to ground but are usually 120 yards long and 75 yards wide. In terms of dimensions, each half of the pitch must be a mirror image of the other. Each pitch has a 6-yard box next to the goalmouth and an 18-yard box surrounds the 6-yard box and there is a center circle as well.
Football is minimalistic in terms of the types of equipment required. All you need for a soccer match is a pitch and a football. Additionally, you can find players wearing studded football boots, shin pads, and matching strips. As the only players allowed to handle the ball, goalkeepers wear padded gloves additionally. Each team has its respective designated captain.
A goal is considered scored once the ball goes into the opponent’s goal. The whole ball has to be over the line for it to be a legitimate goal. One can score a goal with any part of the body apart from the hand or arm up to the shoulder. The goal post consists of a frame measuring 8 feet high and 8 yards wide.
The Winning Criteria
To win a soccer game, you have to score more goals than your opponents. If even after 90 minutes of the game the scores are level the game ends as a draw. However, in cup games, the game can go to extra time and even in a penalty shootout to decide the winner. Players must use their feet to kick the ball and use of hands apart from goalkeepers is prohibited. Goalkeepers can use any part of their body within the 18-yard box.
Main Football Rules:
- A match is played over two halves of 45 minutes each with a 15 minute rest period in between.
- Each team can have a set of 11 players with one goalkeeper who is the only player allowed to handle the ball within an 18-yard box. A minimum of 7 players is required to constitute a match.
- The football field is made up of either natural grass or artificial grass. The size of the pitch may vary within 100-130 yards in length and 50-100 yards in width. The pitch is marked with a rectangular shape around the outside showing out of bounds. There are two six-yard boxes, two 18 yard boxes, and a center circle. A spot for a penalty is placed 12 yards out of both goals and the center circle must be visible as well.
- The ball used in the game of soccer must have a circumference of 58-61 cm and needs to be of circular shape.
- Each team can nominate up to 7 substitute players. Substitution can be made at any time of the match. Each team can make a maximum of 3 substitutions per side. In the case when all the three substitutes have been made and a player has to leave the field for injury, the team is forced to play without a replacement for that player.
- Each game of soccer must have one referee and two assistant referees. The referee acts as a time-keeper and makes decisions like fouls, free kicks, throw-ins, penalties, and added-on-time at the end of each half. The referee may consult the assistant referees regarding a decision at any time in the match. The assistant referee’s job is to spot offside, throw-ins for either team. He assists the referee in all decision-making processes wherever appropriate.
- In case the game ends in a draw as a result of both teams being level after allotted 90 minutes then 30 minutes are added in the form of two 15 minute halves.
- If teams are still level even after extra time then a penalty shootout takes place.
- For it to constitute a legitimate goal, the whole ball must cross the goal line.
- When the players commit a foul a yellow or red card is issued depending on the severity of the foul. It all boils down to the referee’s discretion. The yellow card is a warning and a red card means the dismissal of that player. Two yellow cards equal on red card. Once a player has been sent off, he cannot be replaced.
- A throw-in is given once the ball goes out of play, off an opponent on either of the side-lines. It is given as a goal kick once it goes out of play, off an attacking player on the baseline. It is given as a corner kick when comes off a defending player.
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The Offside- Football Rule
To be onside, a player must be placed behind the last defender when the ball is played to them. If the player is in front of that last defender then he is regarded to be offside and a free-kick to the defending team is given. A player cannot be caught offside in his own half. If the ball is played backward and the player is in front of the last defender then he is considered to be not offside.