Soccer, overtime, has gone from a very disorganized and
dangerous sport to a now much disciplined sport. However there are
many rules that accompany the sport. There are rules and regulations
set down by FIFA and MLS that determine the size of the ball, the
dimensions of the field, and the equipment that must be worn. These
rules are created to keep soccer the same all over the globe and to
support respectful, appropriate behavior.
Rules and Regulations
first major regulation that is enforced by FIFA is the ball. The
soccer ball should be spherical and made of a suitable material such
as leather. The soccer ball should be no more than 28 inches in
circumference. It also should be no less than 27 inches in
circumference. It also should way no more than 16 ounces and no less
than 14 ounces at the start of the match. The ball is very important
in soccer. A standard ball should be used all over in order to
assure that play is as similar as possible
The size, dimensions,
and material of the field are also strictly enforced. Depending on
the competition, the field should be made of either natural grass or
artificial material. The playing field should be rectangular with
the goals centered opposite each other on the short sides. The long
sides, also called touch lines, should be between 100 and 130 yards.
The width of the field, also known as the goal lines, should be no
more than 100 yards and no less than 50 yards. The entire field must
be marked. The field is split into two halves. The middle line
should include a circle with a 10 yard circle centered along it.
There are goal areas
on both halves of the field which surrounds the goalposts. From each
side of the goal, the line extends 6 yards outward and then extends
into the field of play at a right angle. This line runs six yards
into play where it makes another right angle and forms a line
parallel to the goal.
There is another
boundary very similar to the goal box around the perimeter of the
goal box. This is called the penalty box. This is exactly the same
as goal box, except, instead of extending 6 yards, it extends 18. It
also extends 18 yards into the field, and the sides are connected by
a line running parallel to the goal line.
The end result should look like this:
Another vital part of
soccer is the goal. The goal is fairly simple. It is made primarily
of two main parts. The main part, the frame, is the main structure.
The frame consists of a crossbar, and tow side posts. The two side
posts should be eight yards apart. The crossbar and the ground
should be eight feet apart. The net is connected to the back of the
side posts and the crossbar. It loosely extends backward to stop the
ball from going too far past the goal.
During soccer, players
are required to wear certain pieces of equipment for protection. All
players must wear plastic or some other hard mater, shinguards.
These help protect soccer players from being kicked in the shin, and
to prevent balls from hurting their shins. Players are also required
to wear cleats. These help give players a good grip on the grass.
This can often prevent slipping, sliding, and prevent loss of
must be worn to show whose team everyone is on. Shorts are often
required to be worn; however, referees will allow pants in the event
that cold weather is present. Goalies, the players who protect the
goal, are supposed to wear a different colored jersey that will help
distinguish them from other people on the field.
Like all sports,
soccer has certain positions in which everyone plays. Most games
have eleven people per team. All teams play with one goalie;
however, goalies may be taken out if an extra attacker is needed.
The goalies are the only players on the team who are allowed to use
their hands. However, they are only allowed to use their hands
inside the sixteen yard box. If they use their hands in any other
part of the field, it is considered a hand ball and the other team
is awarded a free kick. The goalie’s job is to keep the other team
from kicking (or heading) the ball into the net.
The next position is
called the defense. Most teams play with three defenders, a center,
right, and left. Defenders’ primary job is to help the goalie
defend the net. However, they are not allowed to use their hands as
goalies are. Most defenders are not supposed to go on the
opponent’s side of the mid-line. They are allowed to, however,
most coaches want players to stay back as to not allow the other
teams attackers behind them.
The next position is
the midfielders. The midfielders are a mix between defenders and
forwards. They play in front of the defenders (the farthest back
except for the goalie). There are usually five midfielders. There
are two attacking midfielders and three defending midfielders. As
their name describes, two of them slightly favor offense and the
other three slightly favor defense. The attacking mids are usually
either on the right side or the left. There is usually a center,
left, and right defensive mid. The attacking mids play a few feet in
front of the defending midfielders. The midfielders can score and
defend, and they are permitted to cover the entire field.
The final position
on the field is the forwards, or attackers. These are the people
that are expected to score most of the goals. There is a left,
center, and right forward. They do not defend much, as they are
almost an exact opposite of defenders. They are not usually allowed
to go on their side of the mid-line however, in the situation where
the coach wishes to bring back more defenders; they can come past
the mid-line. These are how most soccer teams are set up. However,
some teams use different formations to utilize their strengths and
minimize their weaknesses.
Fouls and Penalties
Like every sport,
soccer has fouls. Players must abide by the rules, otherwise they
will be punished. Most penalties result in a free kick, near the
spot of the foul, for the apposing team. Fouls such as these include
hand-balls, unintentional or light tripping, shouldering, or not
playing the ball. A hand-ball is when a player, not the goalie,
touches the ball with their hands, whether incidental or not. A
goalie can be called for a hand-ball if he touches the ball outside
of the 18 yard box. A tripping is when you trip the apposing player.
If the referee determines that the penalty is intentional or very
severe, they may award you with a card (See below paragraph).
Another penalty is shouldering. This is when a player purposely
lowers his shoulder or attempts to knock over the other player, it
is called shouldering. Unless very severe and intentional, you
cannot usually be carded for it. Not playing the ball is very
similar to shouldering. It is when a player doesn’t play the ball,
or when he or she doesn’t even attempt to go for the ball, only
tries to move the apposing player away from the ball purposely.
If a field player
touches the ball, or commits any other foul inside his or her own 18
yard box, the other team is awarded a penalty kick. The penalty kick
is a one-on-one match between the goalie and the player taking the
kick. The ball is placed about 10 yards out from the goal and in the
However, a severe
penalty may result in a card. A card is like a warning. A yellow
card can be given to a player when they commit a moderately bad
foul. Such as purposely tripping someone, a dangerous slide in the
back, or swearing can result in a yellow card. Two yellow cards and
you are thrown out of the game. A red card, is an immediate
ejection. Penalties such as a hard, intentional slide in the back of
the legs, slide tackling the goalie, or arguing with the referee can
result in a red card. Often, you are suspended for future games as