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Rules

  • A standard soccer field typically has 22 players, 11 from each team (including the goalie), during a match.

  • No hands: The goalkeeper (goalie) is the only player on the field who can use their hands. All other players must use their feet, head, or chest to control the ball. If the player touches the ball, it’s considered a handball and a foul.

  • Throw-ins: When the ball goes out of bounds on the sidelines, the team who didn’t touch it last gets to throw the ball back into play.

  • Goal kicks and corner kicks: When the ball goes out of bounds behind the goal line (not resulting in a goal), the goalkeeper of the team who didn’t touch it last gets to kick the ball back into play. If the ball goes out of bounds on the sideline in front of the goal, the team who didn’t touch it last gets a corner kick.

  • Direct and indirect kicks: Players can score on a direct kick, which is a kick that goes directly into the goal without another player touching it. An indirect kick is when another player must touch the ball before it can go into the goal.

  • No time limit for possession: There is no time limit on how long a team can keep the ball.

  • The clock doesn't stop: The game clock does not stop, even if the ball goes out of bounds or there is an injury.

    Stoppage time (also known as injury time) is additional playing time added to the end of each half to compensate for stoppages due to injuries, substitutions, or other delays as the clock doesn’t stop in soccer.

  • Offside rule: The offside rule is one of the most misunderstood rules in soccer. The basic idea is that a player cannot be in an advantageous position when the ball is played to them. Being in an offside position is not in itself an offense. An offside offense occurs when a player is in the opponent’s half of the field and closer to their goal than both the ball and the second-to-last opponent.

Fouls

  • Types of fouls: kicking an opponent, tripping, jumping into an opponent, charging into an opponent, pushing, tackling from behind, tackling an opponent prior to making contact with the ball, holding, touching the ball with your hands

  • Yellow card (caution) offenses: unsportsmanlike behavior, arguing with the referee, excessive fouling, delaying the game

  • Red card (player kicked out the game and not replaced by a substitute): serious foul, violent actions against the referee or other players, using their hands to stop a goal, receiving a second caution

Scoring & Timing

  • Goal are scored each time the ball crosses the opponents goal. The team with the most goals at the end of the game (match) wins.

  • Stoppage time (also known as injury time) is additional playing time added to the end of each half to compensate for stoppages due to injuries, substitutions, or other delays as the clock doesn’t stop in soccer.

  • Games are 90-minutes total, split into two 45-minute halves. If the game is tied after 90 minutes, during the regular season the game is a tie, however during competitions overtime is played under various formats:

    • Golden Goal:

      • First team to score during the designated extra time period wins. If a goal is scored, the match ends immediately. If no goals scored in a set amount of time, penalty shootout occurs.

    • Extra Time with Penalty Shootout:

      • Consists of two additional 15-minute halves after the regular 90 minutes.

      • If no winner is determined by the end of extra time, a penalty shootout follows.

      • Penalty kicks: Each team takes turns shooting from the penalty spot, and the team with more goals after a set (usually 5) number of kicks wins. If still tied after the initial set of penalty kicks, it goes to sudden death (each team takes one penalty kick at a time until there's a winner).

Positions

  • Forwards (Strikers): Positioned near the opponent's goal, forwards are primarily responsible for scoring goals and putting pressure on the opposing defense. (Usually 2-3 per team)

  • Midfielders: Positioned in the middle of the field, midfielders play a versatile role, contributing to both offensive and defensive plays. They link the defense and attack, control the flow of the game, and often participate in goal-scoring opportunities. (Usually 3-5 per team)

  • Defenders: Positioned near their own goal, defenders aim to prevent the opposing team from scoring. This group includes center-backs, full-backs, and wing-backs, each with specific defensive responsibilities. (Usually 3 or 4 per team)
    Goalkeeper: The last line of defense, the goalkeeper is responsible for stopping the opposing team's shots on goal. They also play a crucial role in distributing the ball to initiate offensive plays. (Always one per team)

Field Overview

Soccer Field
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