Football, also commonly known as soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. A standard game involves two halves of 45 minutes each, separated by a 15 minute break. The objective of the game is to score by using any part of the body apart from the arms and hands to get the football into the opposing goal.
A goal is scored when the ball a player kicks passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbars into his opponent’s goal. The goalkeeper of each team are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms but restricted to their penalty area. No other player is allowed to touch the ball with his hands while the ball is in play. Players on the field mostly use their feet to strike or pass the ball but at times may use their head or torso as well. Football is the world’s most popular sport with 250 million players in over 200 countries. The sport’s most prestigious tournament known as the Fifa World Cup is held every four years. Popular leagues watched around the world are the English Premier League (EPL), La Liga, Serie A and the German Bundesliga.
Popular Youth Development Formats:
Under 6 years - 5 a side matches (1 goal keeper and 4 field players)
Under 8 – 14 years - plays 7 a side matches (1 goalkeeper and 6 field players)
Under 14 years - 9 a side matches (1 goalkeeper and 8 field players)
14 and over- 11 a side matches
Fun fact - The highest scoring Football game ever played was 149-0
Fun fact - A Football player can run more than 10km in one game
As long as the ball is in play and no infringements of any football rules are being made, the players can score goals. The winner of the match is the team that scores the most goals. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time (golden goal) or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. There are 8 reasons for which the game can be stopped and 8 ways to restart it.
Each period of time starts with a kick-off and the game is restarted the same way every time a team scores a goal.
If the ball goes out on the side lines, the player who last touched the ball concedes a throw-in and the game is restarted with the opposing team throwing the ball back into play
The goal kick is awarded to the defending team, if the attacking team took the ball out of play on the defending team’s goal line. The game is restarted with the defending team’s goalkeeper kicking it back onto the field from within the safety box.
If the defending team touches the ball last and it goes over their goal line but outside of the goal itself, then the opposing team will get a corner kick and restarts the game from the corner nearest to where the ball went out
An indirect free kick is awarded when a team produces a non-penal foul (offside/dangerous play) and the game is restarted with a ground kick that cannot be taken towards goal.
A direct free kick is awarded when the opposing team commits a foul or handball. Unlike the indirect free kick, it can be struck directly towards the goal from outside the defending team’s penalty area.
A penalty kick is similar to a direct free kick which is awarded when the opposing team commits a foul or handball but the offence occurs inside the opposing team’s penalty area. The game is restarted with the player from the attacking team attempting to shoot for goal from the penalty spot with nothing but a goalkeeper to beat
The last reason rarely occurs and is known as the dropped ball. The dropped ball occurs when the referee stops the game for a special reason (a player getting injured, a ball becomes defective or the interference of an external factor) The game is restarted with him dropping the ball from shoulder height in front of two players who will battle for its possession.
Try out Soccer today!
Here are some tips to get you started
WHAT TO WEAR
- A breathable T-shirt, Dri-Fit shirt, tank top or singlet
- Pair of sports shorts
- Football boots to provide a better grip.
- A pair of long socks is recommended along with shin pads.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
- Football socks
ADDITIONAL ITEMS YOU MIGHT NEED
- Ankle guard
- Football gloves if you are the goalkeeper