Soccer Lingo and Terminology
Soccer Terms For Kids
Shot: Any attempt to kick the ball into the goal.
Pass: A ball kicked from teammate to teammate.
Assist: The pass that goes to the player that scores the goal.
Header: Hitting the ball with your head.
Save: The goalie blocks a shot.
Volley: When a player kicks the ball while it is in the air.
Trap: Stopping the ball with your body in order to control it.
Punt: The goalie dropkicks the ball.
Rules and Technicals
Goal (net): Goal is also a term that refers to the net (which is where you try to score).
Goalie: A position in soccer with the job of guarding the goal. They are the only player allowed to use their hands.
Forward: Attacking position, are the furthest up the field and are the ones scoring the most goals.
Penalty Area: Made up of two boxes, the six and 18-yard boxes. The goalie may use his hands anywhere in the area. Below is an image of it.
Referee: The person in charge of enforcing the rules of a soccer game. There is a main referee and two assistant referees.
Handball: A violation whenever a non-goalie touches the ball with their hand or arm.
Penalty/Penalty Kick: If a foul occurs in the goalie box it is called a penalty. One player from the team that was fouled gets to attempt a penalty kick. The ball is placed 12 yards away from the goal, and only the goalie is allowed to try and stop it.
Yellow card: If an action is thought to be flagrant, the player is cautioned and given a yellow card.
Red card: Ejection from the game, it occurs either by one exceptionally bad action or receiving two yellow cards.
Soccer Terms for Coaches
Formation: The arrangement of all 11 soccer players on the field. Two examples are 4-4-2 (four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards) and 4-3-3 (four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards).
Offsides: A penalty that occurs when an offensive player is positioned behind the last defender, as shown below.
Wall: An attempt to block a free kick, a team will set up a row of a couple of players 10 yards away from the kick.
Professional Soccer Terms
Manager/Coach: The person in charge of a team, is responsible for making substitutions and choosing a strategy.
Transfer: A trade of a player to another team in exchange for money.
Champions League: A tournament between the best club teams in Europe.
World Cup: The biggest soccer tournament, it occurs every four years and is made up of 32 nations that must qualify.
Relegation: If a team finishes in the bottom three of its league, it is demoted the following year to a worse league.
Promotion: Contrary, if a team finishes in the top three of its league, it will be promoted to the league above it, replacing the three teams that were relegated.
Finally, here are a few slang words used by the soccer community.
Hattrick: One player scores three goals in a single game.
Nutmeg: A player kicks the soccer ball through another player's legs. An example is shown below.
Bar down: The soccer ball hits the underside of the crossbar but still goes in the goal.
Own goal: A player scores a goal in the net that he is defending.