How to Play Soccer

Soccer, or football as it’s known in many parts of the world, was first invented in in the mid 1800s. The first set of modern rules were devised by Cambridge University in 1848. It is a game played by people of all ages worldwide. Soccer is known as football around the world because the game is played by kicking a leather ball with your foot. In the USA, they call it soccer because it did not gain in popularity until after another game known as American Football was invented and became very popular. There are hundreds of rules in the game of soccer but these are a few basics to get you started.

Basic Objectives of Soccer

The object of the game, in it’s most simplistic terms, is to pass the ball back and forth between teammates until you take a shot into the other team’s net to score a goal. The game is 90 minutes long with two 45 minute halves. Whoever scores the most goals at the end of the game wins. If there is a tie, the game is either declared a tie or there is a shootout to determine a winner.

The Soccer Playing Area

Soccer is played either inside or outside but indoor soccer has different rules and regulations than outdoor, or traditional, soccer. Soccer is played on a grass field that is usually very soft, clean grass that is very well maintained. The field is typically between 100 to 130 yards long and between 50 to 100 yards wide. There is a rectangular net at each end of the field.

On the field, there are several important lines drawn using paint or chalk. There are the out of bounds lines drawn as a rectangle with the above dimensions. There is also a straight line drawn down the center of the field, cutting it lengthwise in half. On each end of the field, there is a rectangle 40 yards wide by 16 yards long that denotes the penalty area. There is also a smaller rectangle inside of this one that is 20 yards wide by 5 yards long that denotes the goalkeepers area.

Soccer Player Positions

In soccer, there are traditionally 11 players on each team. In some leagues, however, it is played with as few as seven on each team. These players are divided into different classifications known as soccer positions; goalkeepers, attackers, midfielders and defenders.

How to Play Soccer

How to Play Soccer

The goalkeeper is usually revered as the most important position on the field. He stands in front of the goal and tries to stop the other team from scoring. The goalkeeper is special in that he is the only player on the team that is allowed to use his hands whenever he wants to, for any reason.

The other soccer positions are loosely based as to where they stand on the field and what their specialty is. Attackers (or strikers) are the players trying to score the goals. Defenders (also called stoppers) try to stop the other team from scoring. Midfielders help out both the attackers and defenders in trying to do their jobs. There are usually four attackers, three midfielders and three defenders on each team. Strikers generally stay on the other team’s half of the field. Midfielders typically remain in the center and stoppers stay on their own side of the field.

Rules of Soccer

The main rules of soccer is that you are not allowed to use your hands unless you are the goalkeeper. If you do happen to use your hands, play is stopped and the other team is awarded possession of the ball via a free kick. During a free kick, the ball is placed at the spot of the foul and the other team can kick the ball wherever they choose to start play again.

The ball must stay inside the marked field of play. If the ball leaves the field, whoever touched it last loses possession and forfeits it to the other team. If you kicked it out from your own half of the field, the other team gets to perform a corner kick. A corner kick is kicked from either corner of your half of the field from out of bounds to inbounds, usually kicked towards the net to try and score. If you kick it out of bounds on their half of the field, they are allowed a throw in. A throw in is the only time you are allowed to use your hands. The ball is thrown into the playing field (using both hands at the same time).

There are also penalties determined by a referee. Penalties are generally called by causing contact with another player that is not allowed. General bumping and incidental contact is usually allowed. Kicking, tripping, hitting or intentionally causing another player injury is a penalty. They are called in two forms: a yellow card and a red card. A yellow card is for a minor penalty such as accidentally tripping a player while trying to take possession of the ball. A red card is for more severe penalties such as punching a player or intentionally injuring another player. If you receive a red card, you are ejected from the game and your team must now play the rest of the game with one less person on their team. You will also receive a red card if you receive two yellow cards during the same game.

These are only a few of the basic rules of soccer. During your game play, you may experience vast interpretation of the rules as determined by the referee. The referee can officiate the game in any way he sees fit within the realm of normal gamesmanship. Soccer is well known as a good source of exercise and companionship.

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