Soccer Kickoff

Soccer Kickoff

The start of any soccer game features one team kicking the ball from the center of the field, known as a kickoff. There are certain rules and procedures that must be understood regarding kickoffs. Read on to learn about kickoffs and how they are conducted.

What is a kickoff in soccer?

A kickoff in soccer is the moment when a ball is kicked into play at the start of each half, after a goal, or at the start of extra time halves. This is done by a team member (determined by either coin toss or who scored the goal) kicking the ball back towards a teammate standing outside of the center circle.

What are the rules of kickoffs?

All players from each team must remain in their defensive halves until the ball moves, and the official blows the whistle to start the match. Each team will start a half with a kickoff, and the team who was scored on gets to kickoff after giving up a goal.

soccer center circle

The center circle is the circle in the middle of the pitch, where kickoffs take place. There is a spot in the center of this circle for the ball to be placed for each kickoff. Players not taking a kickoff must stand at the edges of the center circle until the ball is kicked into play.

Where do kickoffs happen?

Every soccer match begins with a kickoff at the center spot. A coin toss determines which team starts with the ball. Next, a player on that team must pass the ball to another player on their team. The ball can move either forward or backward. All other players must remain outside of the center circle until then. The first pass officially begins the match, and the official will start keeping time for the first half.

What happens after the kickoff?

After a kickoff, the ball is in constant contention. Players attempt to maintain possession by dribbling, running, and passing between teammates as they maneuver closer to the opposing goal in an attempt to score a goal.

Kickoff Strategy

Prior to the ball being kicked off, all players must be lined up on their respective sides of the field. No opposing players are allowed to be inside of the center circle. Typically, the player taking the kickoff will kick the ball back towards their defensive end for a teammate to receive. This gives the kickoff team more time to set up before being pressured by the opposition. The team taking the kickoff may also elect to overload one side of the field with players. This strategy can help get shots early in the game, as the defense may be outnumbered or caught off-guard.

Here are the terms that are related to kickoffs in soccer.


Who takes the kickoff in soccer?

The team that takes the game’s opening kickoff is decided by a coin toss. The team that doesn’t take the first kickoff will take the first kickoff of the second half. For each kickoff that happens after a goal, the team that was just scored on takes the kickoff. The specific player that takes each kickoff is determined by the team’s coach, although it is typically a forward.

How does a soccer match start?

A soccer match always starts with a kickoff in the center circle. A coin flip is conducted by the referee to decide which team takes the kickoff. The team that wins the coin toss will have the choice of either starting with the ball or defending their preferred side in the first half. Once the ball is kicked for the opening kickoff, the clock starts and the game has officially begun.

Where should you kick the ball on a kickoff?

In most cases, the team kicking off will direct the ball back toward their defensive half. Sometimes, the kickoff team launches the ball downfield and toward the wing to link a pass with a winger or attacker that took off running as soon as the ball entered play. If successful, the attacking team can surprise the defense and score a goal very quickly.