Basic Soccer Rules

Basic Soccer Rules

Note:  For beginner players there is no need to place too high an emphasis on learning the rules – it is far more important to concentrate on teaching them to feel comfortable with soccer ball and the necessary skills required to play.

  1. The start and restart of play – A coin is tossed and the team which wins the toss decides which goal it will attack in the first half of the match.  The other team takes the kick-off to start the match.  The team that wins the toss takes the kick-off to start the second half of the match, and the teams change ends.
  2. The ball in and out of play – The ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the goal line or touch line whether on the ground or in the air, or play has been stopped by the referee.  The ball is in play at all other times.
  3. The method of scoring – A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goal posts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the laws of the game has been committed previously by the team scoring the goal.
  4. Offside – A player is in an offside position if she or he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent, and involved in the play.   A player can not be offside from a throw in, corner kick, goal kick or in their own half.
  5. Direct free kick – A direct free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offences, and is taken from where the offence occurred:
  • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges at an opponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball
  • Holds an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Handles the ball with her or his hands deliberately
  1. Indirect free kick – An indirect free kick (a goal cannot be scored from an indirect free kick) is awarded to the opposing team from where the offence took place
    • The Goalkeeper takes more than 6 seconds to release the ball from her or his possession
    • The Goalkeeper touches the ball again with her or his hands after it has been released from her or his possession and not touched another player
    • The Goalkeeper touches the ball with her or his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to her or him by a teammate
    • The Goalkeeper touches the ball with her or his hands after he or she has received it directly from a throw in taken by a teammate.
    • If any player plays in a dangerous manner
    • If any player impedes the progress of an opponent
    • If any player prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from her or his hands
    • If any player commits any other offence for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player
    • The penalty – the penalty kick is awarded against a team that commits any of the ten offences for which a direct free kick is awarded, inside its own penalty area and while the ball is in play.  The penalty kick is taken from the penalty spot, 11 metres from the centre of the goal.
    1. 8.       The throw in/goal kick/corner kick

    took place if:

    • A throw in is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the touchline, either on the ground or in the air from the point where it crossed the touchline to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball.
    • A goal kick is awarded when the whole of the ball, having last touched a player of the attacking team, passes over the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and a goal is not scored.
    • A corner kick is awarded when the whole of the ball, having last touched a player of the defending team, passes over the goal line, either on the ground or in the air, and a goal is not scored.