There are at least two times in a soccer match where a kick-off will take place, so let's learn what a kick-off is before we go any further. Let's also learn about some of the markings in the center of the pitch, all for this one action.
A kick-off is the moment when a ball is kicked into play at the start of both soccer halves, after a goal, or at the start of extra time halves. This is done by a member of a team (determined by either coin toss or who scored the goal) kicking the ball back towards a teammate standing around the outside of the center circle.
A soccer match technically does not begin until the ball is kicked into play, and when the ball is kicked out of bounds, the ball must be brought back into play by a team. There are certain ways this process can be done, so let's learn about these specific rules.
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 get to start a half with a kick-off, and the team scored upon gets to kick-off after giving up a goal.
The Center Circle is the circle in the middle of the pitch with the Center Spot in the center. Players not taking a kick off must stand at the edges of the center circle until the ball is kicked into play.
Every soccer match begins with a kick-off. It starts at the center spot. A kick-off works like this. A coin toss determines which team starts with the ball. Next, a player on that team must pass the ball to another player on his 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.
After a kick-off, 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.
In most cases, the team kicking off will direct the ball back toward their defensive half. Sometimes, the kick-off 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.