Football is the most popular sport in the world. So few questions will strike in your mind that, how is it played, who plays it and many more questions are answered right here.
Soccer is a team sport played by a team of 11 players against another team of 11 players on a field. The team has one designated goalkeeper and 10 outfield players. They usually specialise outfield players in attacking or defending or both. They typically split a team into defenders, midfielders and forwards, though there is no restriction on players moving anywhere on the pitch. It is known as soccer in North America, but is called football in most of the rest of the world. Its full name is Association Football.
What does a soccer ball look like?
A soccer ball is round, and must measure between 27-28″ in circumference and weigh between 14 and 16oz.
Soccer or football is the world’s most popular sport, played by over 250 million people in more than 200 countries. It is particularly popular in Europe, Central and South America, and Africa, though has a growing influence in North America and Asia.
The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at either end. The size of the pitch for international adult category matches can be between 110-120 yards long and 70-80 yards wide.
The lines at either end of the pitch are called the goal lines, the lines perpendicular to the goal lines are called the touchlines.
The playing surface is usually grass. Artificial surfaces are very rarely used at professional level.
The sport has 17 rules known as the Laws of the Game, which were laid down and are governed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The laws are universal, but they make slight modifications to consider factors such as age, gender and disabilities.
In the team of 11 players, 10 are known as ‘outfield’ players, and are forbidden by the Laws of the Game from touching the ball with their hands or arms. Only the team’s goalkeeper may use their hands, and only inside their penalty area. If the goalkeeper leaves the penalty area, they have the same rules as the outfield players.
Handling the ball deliberately, tripping an opponent, and pushing an opponent are punished either by a direct free-kick – meaning the attacking team can attempt to score immediately when the referee signals for play to continue – that is taken from the position where the foul occurred or a penalty if the infringement occurs inside the penalty box of the fouling player’s team.
Other fouls are punished by an indirect free-kick, which means at least one other member of the attacking team must touch the ball before a goal can be scored.
The penalty area is also referred to as the 18-yard box. The goalkeeper can only use their hands to touch the ball inside their own penalty area. Any defending player who breaks a Law of the Game – commits a foul, as it is known – inside the penalty area, gives the opposition a penalty kick.
A penalty sees the ball placed on the penalty spot 12 yards from the centre of the goal. Any player, including the goalkeeper, can take the penalty while the opposing goalkeeper tries to stop the ball going into the goal. Only the taker and the defending goalkeeper are permitted inside the penalty area.
There is no limit on how many fouls a player can make as in basketball, nor is there a penalty box as in ice hockey.
If a player commits what the referee thinks is a serious infringement, the referee can show the player a yellow or red card. A yellow card is a warning known as a booking, and if the same player commits a offence that the referee thinks deserves a second yellow card, that player is also shown a red card.
If a player is shown a red card, they must leave the pitch immediately. A player can be shown a red card without having first been shown a yellow card if the referee thinks the rule infringement was serious enough.
If a goalkeeper is sent off, a substitute goalkeeper can be sent on to replace them, but an outfield player must be taken off as part of the exchange so that the team plays with 10 players.
A team can have up to four players sent off and still finish the match. However, referees are instructed to stop matches prematurely if a team is reduced to fewer than seven players.