FIFA Soccer rules
The main objective of soccer is to score a goal with any part of the body except the arms and hands. There are 17 Laws of the Game to ensure order and fairness in play. These were formulated by FIFA, the highest governing body of football in the world. The laws were mostly based on the first set of rules formulated by the Football Association, England’s football body, in 1863. Below are the 17 Laws of the Game.
Soccer rule 1: Field of Play
The field of play must be between 90 and 120 meters long (100-131 yards) and between 45 to 90 meters wide (49-98 yards). In international games, the football field dimensions are 100-110 meters (109-120 yards) and 64-75 meters (70-82 yards).
The following areas of the football field must be marked: touchlines/sidelines, goal lines & goal areas, halfway line, center circle, penalty areas, arcs, & spots, and corner arcs. A flag post should be planted on each corner of the field.
Soccer rule 2: The Ball
The soccer ball’s diameter must be 8.6 to 9 inches (22 to 23 cm) and must weigh 14 to 16 oz (400 to 450 grams). If it bursts while in play, the game is stopped and resumed by the referee dropping the ball between two players from opposing sides.
Soccer rule 3: Number of players
A match is not started or continued if there are less than seven players in a team. In official football competitions, the maximum number of substitutions is three. However, in friendly tournaments, there can be as many as six or unlimited substitutions, depending on what each side have agreed on together with the referee.
Soccer rule 4: Player’s equipment
The following soccer equipments are required of each player: a shirt, shorts, socks, shin guards, and football boots. Goalkeepers from both sides should wear a kit that will distinguish them from the outfield players and the referees. Players are allowed to wear head gears but are discouraged from wearing most forms of jewelry.
Soccer rule 5: Head referee
The duties and responsibilities of the head referee in soccer include: ensuring that players wear the proper strip and equipment, signaling the start and end of game, citing and punishing violations of rules, stopping play if a player requires medical attention, deciding whether or not to continue a game, and keeping time.
The referee cites fouls and infringement of the rules and prevents repeated occurrences of unsportsmanlike conduct by cautioning players with a yellow card or sending them off with a red card. Two yellow cards in football is equivalent to a red card. A player who receives a red card in football cannot be replaced so his team must continue the game with one man less.
Soccer rule 6: Assistant referees
They may also bring to the referee’s attention the infringements that he has not noticed of. However, it is always the head referee who has the final word.