SOCCER



OBJECTIVE OF SOCCER: Score more goals than the other team by kicking the ball into the goal on the other side of the field.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 22 players, 11 on each team

MATERIALS: 1 soccer ball, 2 goals

TYPE OF GAME: Sport

AUDIENCE: 6+


OVERVIEW OF SOCCER

Soccer, or “football” to the rest of the world, is one of the most widely played sports worldwide. And the sport is gaining a lot of traction in the U.S. in recent years. So, let’s break down all the ins and outs of the sport!

SETUP

Field

The minimum-sized soccer field should be 50-100 yards in width and 100-130 yards in length. There is a line marking the middle of the field, sidelines marking the side boundaries of the field, and goal lines along the width of the field.

The field has 2 goals on each end surrounded by a 6-yard boxed line and a bigger 18-yard boxed line. Finally, each 18-yard box is accompanied by a penalty arc, and each corner of the field has an arc as well.

In the middle of the field is a center mark that is surrounded by a center circle.

Players

A soccer team consists of a goalie (keeper), defenders (center back, full back, wingback), midfielders, and offensive players (strikers or forwards).

Besides the goalie, there is not necessarily a set way that players need to be positioned in soccer, but the most common formation across soccer teams is 4-4-2. This includes 2 center forwards in scoring position, 4 midfielders, 2 fullbacks, 2 center backs, and a goalie.

GAMEPLAY

A soccer game is 90 minutes long and played in 2 45-minute halves. Any time lost from the stoppage of the clock in soccer is added to extra time, played at the end of the game.

Kickoff

To start a soccer game, the referee will toss a coin to determine which team gets possession of the ball first. The team that wins the coin toss kicks the ball to their team to start the game. The other team gets to kick off in the second half.

Moving the Ball

The reason that soccer is also called “football” in other countries is that, well… you use your feet to play! Using Players can also use their heads and chest to control the ball, but only the goalie is allowed to use their hands or hold the ball.

An attacking team will pass the ball to other teammates or dribble the ball downfield and attempt to score by landing the ball in the goal.

Penalties/Fouls

There are a number of different fouls and penalties that can occur in a soccer game. Here are a few examples:

  • Handling the ball
  • Tripping an opponent
  • Holding an opponent
  • Offsides

Free Kick/Penalty Kick

When a player is fouled, the game is temporarily stopped and the player is able to take a free kick from the spot of the foul. The opposing team must stand at least 10 yards away from the kicker. If the player is fouled in the 18-yard goal box, they are able to take a penalty kick and shoot at the goal from the penalty spot. During a penalty kick, only the goalie is able to defend.

Red/Yellow Cards

For major fouls such as cursing, aggressive behavior, leaving the field, or consistent breaking of the rules, the referee may give a player a red or yellow card. If a player is given a red card or 2 yellow cards, they are suspended from the game.

Out of Bounds

When the ball goes out of bounds, there are a few different ways to bring the ball back into play, depending on how the ball went out of bounds.

Corner Kicks

If the ball is kicked out of bounds over the goal line by the defending team, the attacking team is able to kick the ball from the corner arc.

Goal Kicks

If the ball is kicked out of bounds by the attacking team over the goal line, the defending goalie is able to kick the ball downfield to bring the ball back into play.

Throw-Ins

If the ball is kicked out of bounds over the sideline, the other team is able to throw the ball back into play.

Offsides

A player is offsides if they are further downfield than the furthest defender of the opposing team. However, the game is not stopped until an offsides violation occurs, which means the player receives a pass while in an offsides position.

Scoring

To score in a game of soccer, a team must put a ball in the opposing team’s goal. The opposing goalie can block the ball or catch the ball and throw or kick the ball downfield to a teammate. If the ball goes in the goal, the score will only count if the team has committed no penalties while making the goal. A single goal is worth one point.

END OF GAME 

A full soccer game is 90 minutes long as well as any added time. For example, if there were 15 minutes of stoppage time during the 2 halves, the game will last 105 minutes. The winning team is the team that has the most goals at the end of the game.

If the game is tied after the added time, the game either ends in a tie or in a knockout competition, wherein each team completes penalty kicks to determine the winner.

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