25, 2007 - Page Updated at 3:45pm
Senior Editor For WagerOnFootball.com Handicapping.
The Rules and definitions
of Soccer/Football for better understanding
online soccer betting.
Soccer Rule 1 - The Field Of Play
Matches may be played on natural or artificial
surfaces, according to the rules of the competition.
Length: From 90 m (100 yds) to 120 m (130
Width: From 45 m (50 yds) to 90 m (100 yds)
Length: From 100 m (110 yds) to 110 m (120 yds)
Width: From 64 m (70 yds) to 75 m (80 yds)
Soccer Rule 2– The
The ball is: spherical; made of leather or
other suitable material; of a circumference
of not more than 70 cm (28 ins) and not less
than 68 cm (27 ins); not more than 450 g (16
oz) in weight and not less than 410 g (14 oz)
at the start of the match; of a pressure equal
to 0.6 – 1.1 atmosphere (600 – 1100
sea level (8.5 lbs/sq in – 15.6 lbs/sq
a Defective Ball
If the ball bursts or becomes defective during
the course of a match:the match is stopped;
the match is restarted by dropping the replacement
ball at the place where the first ball became
If the ball bursts or becomes defective whilst
not in play at a kick-off, goal kick, corner
kick, free kick, penalty kick or throw-in: the
match is restarted accordingly.
Soccer Rule 3 – The Number of
A match is played by two teams, each consisting
of not more than eleven players, one of whom
is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if
either team consists of fewer than seven players.
Up to a maximum of three substitutes may be
used in any match played in an official competition
organised under the auspices of FIFA, the confederations
or the member associations.
The rules of the competition must state how
many substitutes may be nominated, from three
up to a maximum of seven.
In national A team matches, up to a maximum
of six substitutes may be used.
In all other matches, a greater number of
substitutes may be used provided that:
the teams concerned reach agreement on a maximum
number; the referee is informed before the match.
If the referee is not informed, or if no agreement
is reached before the match, no more than six
substitutes are allowed.
Soccer Rule 4 – The Players'
A player must not use equipment or wear anything
that is dangerous to himself or another player
(including any kind of jewellery).
All items of jewellery are potentially dangerous.
The term “dangerous” can sometimes
be ambiguous and controversial, therefore in
order to be uniform and consistent any kind
of jewellery has to be forbidden. Players are
not allowed to use tape to cover jewellery.
Taping jewellery is not adequate protection.
Rings, earrings, leather or rubber bands are
not necessary to play and the only thing they
can bring about is injury.
Soccer Rule 5 – The Referee
of The Referee
Each match is controlled by a referee who
has full authority to enforce the Laws of the
Game in connection with the match to which he
has been appointed.
Powers and Duties
The Referee enforces the
Laws of the Game; controls the match in co-operation
with the assistant referees and, where applicable,
with the fourth official; ensures that any ball
used meets the requirements of Law 2; ensures
that the players' equipment meets the requirements
of Law 4; acts as timekeeper and keeps a record
of the match; stops, suspends or terminates
the match, at his discretion, for any infringements
of the Laws; stops, suspends or terminates the
match because of outside interference of any
kind; stops the match if, in his opinion, a
player is seriously injured and ensures that
he is removed from the field of play. An injured
player may only return to the field of play
after the match has restarted; allows play to
continue until the ball is out of play if a
player is, in his opinion, only slightly injured;
Soccer Rule 6 – The Assistant
assistant referees are appointed whose duties,
subject to the decision of the referee, are
to indicate: when the whole of the ball has
passed out of the field of play; which side
is entitled to a corner kick, goal kick or throw-in;
when a player may be penalised for being in
an offside position; when a substitution is
requested; when misconduct or any other incident
has occurred out of the view of the referee;
when offences have been committed whenever the
assistants are closer to the action than the
referee (this includes, in particular circumstances,
offences committed in the penalty area); whether,
at penalty kicks, the goalkeeper has moved forward
before the ball has been kicked and if the ball
has crossed the line.
The assistant referees also assist the referee
to control the match in accordance with the
Laws of the Game. In particular, they may enter
the field of play to help control the 9.15m
distance. In the event of undue interference
or improper conduct, the referee will relieve
an assistant referee of his duties and make
a report to the appropriate authorities.
Soccer Rule 7 – The Duration
of the Match
Two 45 minute halves. Totaling
90 Minutes. 30 Minutes of Extra Time (overtime).
Followed by a shootout. Best out of 5.
Soccer Rule 8 – The Start And
Restart of Play
A coin is tossed and the team that wins the
toss decides which goal it will attack in the
first half of the match. The other team takes
the kick-off to start the match. The team that
wins the toss takes the kick-off to start the
second half of the match. In the second half
of the match, the teams change ends and attack
the opposite goals.
A kick-off is a way of starting or restarting
play: at the start of the match; after a goal
has been scored; at the start of the second
half of the match; at the start of each period
of extra time, where applicable. A goal may
be scored directly from the kick-off.
Soccer Rule 9 – The Ball in
and Out of Play
Ball Out of Play
ball is out of play when: it has wholly crossed
the goal line or touch line, whether on the
ground or in the air; play has been stopped
by the referee.
The ball is in play at
all other times, including when: it rebounds
from a goalpost, crossbar or corner flagpost
and remains in the field of play; it rebounds
from either the referee or an assistant referee
when they are on the field of play.
10 – The Method of Scoring
A goal is scored when the whole of the ball
passes over the goal line, between the goalposts
and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement
of the Laws of the Game has been committed previously
by the team scoring the goal.
The team scoring the greater number of goals
during a match is the winner. If both teams
score an equal number of goals, or if no goals
are scored, the match is drawn.
When competition rules require there to be
a winning team after a match or home-and-away
tie, only the following procedures, which have
been approved by the International F.A. Board,
are permitted; Away goals rule; Extra time;
Kicks from the penalty mark.
Soccer Rule 11 –
It is not an offence in itself to be in an
offside position. A player is in an offside
position if: he is nearer to his opponents’
goal line than both the ball and the second
last opponent. A player is not in an offside
position if he is in his own half of the field
of play or he is level with the second last
opponent or he is level with the last two opponents.
A player in an offside position is only penalised
if, at the moment the ball touches or is played
by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of
the referee, involved in active play by: interfering
with play or interfering with an opponent or
gaining an advantage by being in that position.
Soccer Rule– Fouls
Fouls and misconduct
are penalised as follows:
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing
team if a player commits any of the following
six offences in a manner considered by the referee
to be careless, reckless or using excessive
force: kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
trips or attempts to trip an opponent jumps
at an opponent charges an opponent strikes
or attempts to strike an opponent pushes an
A direct free kick is also
awarded to the opposing team if a player commits
any of the following four offences: tackles
an opponent to gain possession of the ball,
making contact with the opponent before touching
the ball, holds an opponent, spits at an opponent,
handles the ball deliberately (except for the
goalkeeper within his own penalty area).
Soccer Rule 13 –
Types of Free
Free kicks are either direct or indirect.
For both direct and indirect free kicks, the
ball must be stationary when the kick is taken
and the kicker does not touch the ball a second
time until it has touched another player.
The Direct Free Kick
If a direct free kick is kicked directly into
the opponents’ goal, a goal is awarded.
If a direct free kick is kicked directly into
the team’s own goal, a corner kick is
awarded to the opposing team.
The Indirect Free Kick
Signal - The referee
indicates an indirect free kick by raising his
arm above his head. He maintains his arm in
that position until the kick has been taken
and the ball has touched another player or goes
out of play.
Soccer Rule 14 –
The Penalty Kick
The Penalty Kick
A penalty kick is awarded against a team that
commits one of the ten offences for which a
direct free kick is awarded, inside its own
penalty area and while the ball is in play.
A goal may be scored directly from a penalty
kick. Additional time is allowed for a penalty
kick to be taken at the end of each half or
at the end of periods of extra time.
Position of the Ball
and the Players
The ball: is placed
on the penalty mark.
player taking the penalty kick: is properly
defending goalkeeper: remains on his
goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts
until the ball has been kicked.
Soccer Rule 15 – The
A throw-in is a method of restarting play.
A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
A throw-in is
awarded: when the whole of the ball passes
over the touch line, either on the ground or
in the air; * from the point where it crossed
the touch line; to the opponents of the player
who last touched the ball.
At the moment of delivering the ball, the
thrower: * faces the field of play; has part
of each foot either on the touch line or on
the ground outside the touch line, uses both
hands delivers the ball from behind and over
his head. The thrower may not touch the ball
again until it has touched another player.
Soccer Rule 16 –
The Goal Kick
A goal kick is a method of restarting play.
A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick,
but only against the opposing team.
A goal kick is awarded
when: the whole of the ball, having last touched
a player of the attacking team, passes over
the goal line, either on the ground or in the
air, and a goal is not scored in accordance
with Law 10 .
The ball is kicked from any point within the
goal area by a player of the defending team.
Opponents remain outside the penalty area until
the ball is in play. The kicker does not play
the ball a second time until it has touched
another player. The ball is in play when it
is kicked directly beyond the penalty area.
If the ball is not kicked directly into play
beyond the penalty area: the kick is retaken.
Soccer Rule 17 –
The Corner Kick
A corner kick is a method of restarting play.
A goal may be scored directly from a corner
kick, but only against the opposing team.
A corner kick is awarded when: the whole of
the ball, having last touched a player of the
defending team, passes over the goal line, either
on the ground or in the air, and a goal is not
scored in accordance with Law 10 .
The ball is placed inside the corner arc at
the nearest corner flagpost. The corner flagpost
is not moved. Opponents remain at least 9.15
m (10 yds) from the corner arc until the ball
is in play. The ball is kicked by a player of
the attacking team. The ball is in play when
it is kicked and moves. The kicker does not
play the ball a second time until it has touched
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