Basic Rules of Soccer

Basic Rules of Soccer

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with its fairly simple rules and limited equipment needed to play. It is a game that can be enjoyed by many people. This article provides a brief rundown of what you need to know in order to play soccer, including the rules, objectives, and required equipment.

The Objective

soccer association football

The objective in soccer is to score as many goals as possible while simultaneously preventing the opponent from scoring goals. A goal is scored when the entirety of the ball passes over the endline, while going between the goalposts, and underneath the crossbar, without violating any of the rules of the game. The team that scores the most goals during the duration of the game wins. A good soccer strategy perfectly balances the scoring of goals with preventing the opposition from scoring.

Basic Rules

Soccer Rules and Regulations

Below are the basic rules of soccer:

  • A soccer game begins with a kickoff. Both teams must be on their sides of the field during the kickoff.
  • If a player touches the ball with their hands, it is a penalty against that player's team.
  • The ball must be kept inside the field of play, which is clearly marked and maintained by the officials.
  • If the ball exits the field of play the team who touched the ball last loses possession and the ball is given to the opposing team.
  • If the ball goes out of bounds on the sideline, play is restarted by a throw-in. This consists of a player throwing the ball over their head into play while standing behind the sideline.
  • If the ball goes out across the endline, the ball is kicked in to resume play by either a corner kick or goal kick.
  • A corner kick occurs when the ball goes out of bounds off a player in their defensive half. The attacking team then must kick the ball in from the corner of the field.
  • A goal kick occurs when the ball goes out of bounds after being touched by a member of the team in their attacking half. The ball is then placed anywhere on the six-yard line and kicked back into play.
  • Players may not push, shove, kick or trip one another. These actions result in a foul and subsequent free kick.
  • Officials may issue a card (red or yellow) for egregious fouls. A yellow card is a warning and a red card is an ejection.
  • Time does not stop in soccer, and runs until halftime (at 45 minutes) and full time (90 minutes). At the end of both halves, the referee may add “stoppage time” to make up for any pauses in play while the clock was running.

The Field and Equipment

Soccer Field Dimensions

For an official game of soccer, FIFA/IFAB recommend a field with a length of 110-120 yards and a width of 70-80 yards. There should also be a penalty box that measures 18 yards in length and around 44 yards in width. Finally there should be a six-yard box or goal area that is six yards in length and around 20 yards wide.

An official goal is placed on the endline and inside of the six-yard box. An official goal measures eight feet in height and 24 feet in width. Lastly, to play, a soccer ball is needed. Of course, soccer can be played without a regulation field net or ball, it is important to have markers that represent the out of bounds lines, penalty box, and goal area, as well as a goal. However the size and measurements of these markers do not need to be precise in order to play the game of soccer.


Soccer Scoring Rules

A point is scored in soccer when the entirety of the ball passes over the endline, while going between the goalposts, and underneath the crossbar, without violating any of the rules of the game. This can be accomplished in several different ways, including kicking the ball or hitting it with any body part aside from the hand or arm.

A team can even score a goal on themselves if they accidentally cause the ball to go into their own net. This is called an “own goal,” and awards a point to the opposing team. Each goal counts as a point, and the team with the most points at the end of the game wins.


What are the basic rules of soccer?

The objective in soccer is to score goals while also preventing the opponent from scoring. A goal is achieved when the ball completely crosses the endline, between the goalposts, and beneath the crossbar, adhering to all game rules. The team with the most goals at the end of the game emerges as the winner. Players must strive to score or defend goals without engaging in actions such as kicking, tripping, pushing, shoving, going offsides, or touching the ball with their hands.

How do you play soccer?

Soccer players primarily use their feet to play the game. Since the goal is to score more goals than the opposing team, a key objective for most teams is to maintain possession of the ball for as much time as possible. This can be achieved through passing to teammates and dribbling the ball. These actions are all performed in an attempt to create scoring opportunities by either shooting the ball into the net or providing a teammate with the chance to do so.