Basic Soccer Rules
The objective of soccer is to score more goals than the other team.
The team with more goals wins the game.
To score, the ball most pass completely over the goal-line.
The game is played on a soccer pitch that varies in size. An 11 versus 11 game is usually a little over 100 yards.
Captains are either elected by teammates or chosen by the team’s coach.
Captains must wear an arm-band with the word “captain.”
A captain must be in the game at all times (in professional soccer). If the captain is subbed out he must give his armband to another player.
Starting a Game
To start a game, each team’s captain meets with the referee.
The referee flips a coin and one captain calls “heads” or “tails.”
The winner of the coin flip can choose which goal his team will defend (teams will switch sides at halftime) or whether his team will kick off in the first or second half.
The ball is placed in the middle of the line separating the pitch into an offensive and defensive half.
Players must stay on their half. Crossing the line that separates the pitch is illegal until the ball is passed.
The team NOT kicking off cannot enter the circle until the ball is passed. Anyone on the team kicking off can enter the circle on their half.
The player who “kicks off” must pass the ball forward (across the line that separates the pitch.
The game starts after the kickoff.
Length of a Soccer Game
A soccer game lasts 90 minutes.
There are two 45 minute halfs. There is a break between halfs.
If the score is tied, the game may go into overtime. Overtime consists of two 15 minutes halfs.
The clock never stops. However, there are times when play is stopped (most commonly during injuries).
The unused time is recorded and added on at the end of a game. It’s called injury or stoppage time.
A penalty kick (or PK) occurs when an attacking player is fouled in the defending team’s box.
The ball is placed on the penalty kick spot (a dot inside the goalie box).
The offensive team selects a kicker. Other players must stand outside the box until the ball is kicked.
Play is resumed after the ball is kicked. For example, if the ball hits the post or the goalie blocks it, any player can shoot the ball into the goal.