“The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn't move, kick it until it does”. Rightly quoted by Phil Woosnam, the game of football only involves kicking the ball from one end to the other. Enjoyed and played by people of various cultures and civilizations worldwide, the main objective of the game is to move the ball across the opponent’s goal line, if it is your team with the ball. In case the ball is on the opponent’s side, your team’s objective is to stop them from making any further progress to your goal line. Often cited as a complicated game, football, on the contrary, follows only a few simple rules that make the game easy to play. Read on to know the basic rules of football.
Rules & Regulations Of Playing Soccer
Aim of the game
The main aim of the game is to score the majority of goals by the end of the match. A team can score a goal by moving the ball into the opponent team’s goal line. The team with the higher number of goals wins the match.
Each team consists of eleven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. The other ten players are classed as outfield players. The goalkeeper, also called goalie, protects the ball from entering the goalpost.
According to the basic rules, a football pitch is 105 meters long and 68 meters wide. A line is drawn across the halfway that also includes a center circle having a radius of 10 yards (9.15 m). This makes the center of the pitch where the kick off takes place at the start and restart (start of the second half) of the match. The goal is a rectangular area situated on both sides with a length of 8 yards (7.32 m) and 8 ft (2.44 m) height.
The match is played in two halves, each half lasting for a time period of 45 minutes. However, additional time is added at the end of each half, to overcome any stoppage during the play, on account of any injuries or disturbances. The teams swap their position at halftime to play fair and avoid any advantages provided by playing in one direction.
The game of football is controlled and overseen by a referee, to ensure enforcement of all the basic rules. He takes all the major decisions, right from goals being scored to when a match can be called off, due to bad climatic conditions. The referee is assisted by two assistant referees known as linesmen. These assistants do not enter the field, but guide the referee by staying along the side of the pitch.
One of the most basic and important rules of football is that no player can touch the ball with his/her hands during the play, except for the goalkeeper. The players need to make use of their feet to hit the ball (hence, it is named football). However, players can use any other part of their body, except forearms and hands, to hit the ball, for instance, chest, elbows, knee, etc.
Whenever a player commits an act which is considered illegal according to the laws of the game, he is said to have committed a foul. A referee can call a foul when a ball is handheld, a player is attacked bodily from behind, a player is knocked down without getting the ball, etc.
A penalty is any unfair means used to stop the goal-ward advance of the player. When one of the players is fouled in the penalty box, a penalty kick is given to the other team. The player takes a kick from the penalty spot and the goalpost remains unguarded, except for the presence of the goalkeeper.
Punishment for Offences
Whenever a player consistently offends the rules of the game, the referee is likely to take action against the player by showing a yellow or red card. A yellow card implies caution to the player. In case the yellow card is shown for the second time, the player must leave the field immediately and is not allowed to further play.
A red card, when shown to a player indicated that he is expelled from the match and must leave the field immediately. A red card can be shown for extreme offenses such as serious foul play, violent conduct, spitting, using offensive or abusive language or gestures and deliberately handling a ball to prevent a goal.
A free kick is awarded on the occasion of two events. First, a direct free kick is given when continuous fouls take place to harm a player like shirt-pulling and deliberate hand-ball. A direct free kick allows the player to hit a direct shot at the opponent’s goal. The second free kick awarded is indirect free kick for any dangerous foul conducted by an opponent.
In the second type, a direct shot at the goal is not permitted and the shot must come from the second player, after the kick is taken. In case the shot hit directly reaches the goal, the goal is awarded to the opponent’s team. To perform a free kick, the opponent’s team must be at least 10 yards away from the ball until it is delivered.