Soccer Rules FIFA, which is the international football (soccer) association that defines the rules of the game, has provided the official rules in HTML format. Here is a link to the Laws of the Game 2021.

Another great, free reference from FIFA is their document called Questions and Answers to the Laws of the Game 2021.

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Soccer Rules

Middle school soccer rules Please remember that the US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) issues their own “official” modified FIFA soccer rules for players under the age of 12. Soccer rules PDF, These modified rules are essentially guidelines for the appropriate number of players, field size

Official Modified Under 6 Playing Rules
Official Modified Under 8 Playing Rules
Official Modified Under 10 Playing Rules
Official Modified Under 12 Playing Rules

Local and state soccer organizations are strongly encouraged to adopt the soccer rules from the USYSA.

Here is a brief overview of the rules to get a beginner going. For official rules or if you are considering becoming a coach or referee please refer to the links above.

1. No Hands are allowed to be used

Only the goalie is allowed to use their hands.

In addition:

First, the rule for a hand ball includes using any part of the body from the tips of the fingers to the shoulder.

Second, the proper way to look at this soccer rule is that a player cannot “handle” the ball. A ball that is kicked and hits a player’s hand or arm is not a hand ball. This means that the referee must use his or her own judgment to some extent in determining whether or not a hand ball is accidental contact or a purposeful attempt to gain an advantage.

football rules, There is also a situation in which the goalie cannot use his/her hands. This is sometimes called the back-pass rule. Goalkeepers cannot pick up a pass that came directly from one of their teammates. In this case, the goalkeeper must use his feet. Infraction of this soccer rule will result in an indirect kick from the point of the infraction.

2. Fouls

rules of football, A player cannot kick, trip, jump at, charge, strike, push, hold, or spit at an opponent. Soccer can be a physical, contact sport when two opposing players both want the soccer ball and that bumping or going shoulder-to-shoulder while competing for a ball is not a foul until the hands or elbows come up. This is a bit of a judgment call and not all referees will call it the same way.

3. Direct and Indirect Free Kicks

football info, On a direct kick you can score by kicking the ball directly into the goal. On an indirect kick you cannot score. An indirect kick must be touched by another player before it can go into the goal – that is the kicker and a second person.

As a parent on the sideline, you can tell whether the kick is direct or indirect by looking at the referee. For an indirect kick, the referee will hold one arm straight up in the air until the second person touches the ball. No arm up, it’s a direct kick.

There are many soccer rules around that causes a direct or indirect kick. A direct kick comes from a contact foul or hand ball. Everything else is indirect.

4. Throw-ins

football information, A throw-in is taken when the ball crosses a sideline and leaves the field. The two basic soccer rules for a proper throw-in are to have both feet on the ground and to throw the ball with both hands over the head. It is common to allow players under the age of 8 to take more than 1 attempt.

5. Goal Kicks / Corner Kicks

A corner kick or goal kick is taken when the ball leaves the field across the endline. If the offensive team kicks it out, play is restarted with a goal kick. If the defensive team kicks it out, play is restarted with a corner kick.

The goal kick is taken from anywhere inside the goalie box, it can be taken by any player, not just the goalkeeper. The corner kick is taken from the corner nearest to where the ball left the field.

When a goal kick is retaken this is because the FIFA soccer rules state that the ball is not back “in play” until it leaves the penalty area. No one can touch the ball until it leaves the penalty area, and if the ball is not kicked properly to leave the area, the kick must be retaken.

6. Yellow and Red Cards

This is the way punishment is given in soccer ball game. The FIFA soccer rules give the guidelines for when to give a yellow card to a player and when to give a red card. I’m not going to get into the specifics here.

If a player is given two yellow cards in the same game, that is equal to a red card. A red card can be given at any time without the player first receiving a yellow card. When a player gets a red card, they must leave the game and their team must play short. An ejected player cannot be replaced.

7. Two-touch Rule

A player cannot touch the ball twice in a row when putting the ball in play. You will see this called many times in youth soccer. It applies everywhere. You will see it frequently on kick-offs or direct and indirect kicks. If a person barely hits the ball and decides to take another kick at it, that is a two-touch. This also applies to throw-ins. A person cannot throw the ball in and then kick it.

8. Penalty Kick

A penalty kick results from a contact foul or hand ball by the defending team within the penalty area – the large box on either end of the field. So it’s a type of direct kick also. The ball is placed on the penalty spot, 12 yards in front of the center of the goal.

All players must remain outside the penalty area and the penalty arc until the ball is kicked. The goalkeeper must have both feet on the goal line until the ball is kicked.

If after the ball is kicked, it rebounds off of the goal or the keeper and stays on the field, the ball is “live” and anyone can play it.

9. Offside

Check your local league soccer rules first. There’s a good chance that this rule won’t be called for the U8 or younger teams. The first thing to know is that you cannot be offside on a corner kick, goal kick, or throw-in.

Also, it is not an offense for a player to be in an offside position. The player must be involved in active play as determined by the referee to be called offside.

As quoted from the FIFA soccer rules:

A player is in an offside position if: he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.

An offensive or attacking player can’t be ahead of the ball and involved in the play unless there is a defender between him and the goalkeeper.

You can’t be offside if you are standing on your half of the field. Also, the offside rule applies when the ball is kicked, not when the player receives the ball.