Beginner’s Guide to Soccer

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Finally ready to admit that you’ve never learnt the rules to soccer? Felt left out during the FIFA world cup season? Let’s try to change that!

At the bare minimum of soccer there are 11 players in each team, and the essential rule is to not touch the ball with your hands –if you do then there are consequences.

The Field

In soccer terms, it is referred as the “pitch” which is at least 100 yards long and 50 yards wide. It is divided in the middle where there is a center spot and center circle. There are two goal posts on each side, surrounding them is an area called the penalty area and the penalty arc. Each half area is given to one team, which is switched at half time.

Players and Positions

There are ten players and one goalkeeper in one team. The players are divided by offensive or defensive positions. Offensives attack to make the goals and defenders defend their goal. Defenders are on two sides of the goalkeeper and hardly leave his side. Other defenders try to defend the middle and center. The goalie is the only one allowed to use their hands, but it is restricted to the rectangular penalty area extending from 18 yards of each side of the goal. Midfielders are the ones who run the most. They attack as well as defend in home and opponent territory. The Forwards are the ones who attack the front to strike the goals, also known as strikers.

Rules

The referee is the prime authority on the field and his word is law. Even in big soccer matches, his word goes before the camera. He looks out for balls going out of play, if players are in the wrong position and most importantly when a player is fouled. When a player is fouled, he is given at first a yellow card and then a red card. Red Cards send the players off the field.

Free Kicks

Penalty Kick – This kick is awarded when a defensive player fouls an attacking player or his hand touches the ball in the penalty area. It is a direct kick so it has to be shot into the goal by the player alone for it to count.

Corner Kick – This is an indirect kick from (you guessed it) – the corner. It is awarded to the offensive team when the defensive team kicks the ball out of the boundaries over its goal line.

With this basic information, hopefully you won’t be lost watching your next soccer game. However, there is no better way to learn soccer than to play it. Gather your friends and have fun playing soccer for your next work-out.

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