Football which is commonly called soccer by most of the fans has become one of the most popular sport of the world. It is sport that is watched and followed by millions all across the globe.
It is a beautiful game that is played within a set of rules that is called as the ‘The Laws of the Game’.
Laws of the game are codified rules that are followed and are given by the International Football Association Board(IFAB).
1. Field of Play
The field of play is commonly referred to as the area where the game is going to be played. In a standard match, the pitch is supposed to be 90-120 meters in length and 45-90 meters in breadth. The length is often called the touchline whereas the breadth is called the goal line.
The playing area is marked using a while line. A line parallel to the goal line runs at the centre of a field. This line divides the pitch into two equal halves. On this line a centre is located and a circle of 9.15 m is marked around it.
2. The Ball
The shape, size and pressure of the soccer ball is also standardised. A standard soccer ball is must be spherical in shape and its circumference must be in the range of 68-70cm. The weight of the ball must be somewhere between 410-450g. The pressure range for inflating the soccer ball must be 0.6-1.1 atmosphere.
3. The Number of Players
According to the game’s standard rules, the sport is played among two teams, each consisting of a maximum of 11 players. Out of the 11 players, 10 players are outfield players, and 1 player is a goalkeeper.
A match cannot begin or even resume if there are less than 7 players (including the goalkeeper) in a team.
The number of substitutions varies from match to match. It is dependent on the competition too. However, in most competitions, three substitutions are allowed per match.
4. The Player’s Gear
The rules mention that the player’s gear should contain a jersey or shirt with sleeves, shorts, footwear, shin protector, and stocks. The socks should be adequately long to cover the whole shin protector. The groups playing ought to have various shades of shirt to be effectively recognizable from their rivals.
5. The Refree
Each football consists of an official who regulates the match and ensures the rules of the game are being followed. It is their responsibility to maintain the decorum of the game. They can penalize a player when a rule has been broken the refree has the power to stop the match at any point when a foul has occurred or when the ball goes out of the play area. The player can be booked by the official for a rash tackle or dissent.
6. Assistant Refrees
The assistant refrees assist the refree in fair and proper conduction of the match. The assistant helps the refree to see if the game is being played according to the rules.
Every associate ref is set on each side of the field and has the ability to flag offsides and mediate when an offense has taken close to the sidelines.
They can help the officials in settling on a choice with respect to foul, handball, and so on.
7. Duration of the Match
A typical football match is played in two halves. Each half is of 45 minutes each. Between the two halves there is a break of 15 minutes.
Towards the end of every half, the official may add on additional minutes suitably that is relative to the length of deferrals, call stoppage time (injury time).
In case there is a tie after 90 minutes and a winner needs to be decided then extra time is provided to the players. Both team players go ahead to play two halves of 15 minutes each.
If there is a tie even after the 30 minutes of the game then the decision is made using a penalty shoot-out.
8. The start and restart of the game
There is a toss of coin that takes place before the kick-off. The team that wins the toss decides whether they will kick-off in the fist half or the second half.
A kick off occurs on various occasions. The situations are as follows: a) when a goal is scored b) at the start of second half c) to start each half of the extra time.
At the time of the kick-off each player of the other team should be atleast 9.15 m away from the center.
9. Ball In and Out of the Play
The ball is considered out of the play only in two situations. One condition is when the ball crosses the goal line or the touch line. The other situation is when the refree blows the whistle to pause the game. In all other situations the ball is considered to be out of play.
10. Methods of Scoring
A kick is considered to be a goal only if the complete ball crosses the goal line (between the goal posts and under cross bar). Direct, freekick or penalty kick also provide no infringement of the law.
11. Offside Rule
This is considered as one of the most trickiest rule of the game. The rule states that if a particular player is nearer to the opponent’s goal line than the second last opponent and the ball then the player is considered to be in the offside position.
The player is penalized by the refree if he/she is found in the offside position and he/she is gaining an advantage over the position.
If the player receives the ball directly from a goal-kick, throw-in, corner-kick then a penalty is not given.
12. Fouls and Misconduct
Misconduct occurs when a player purposely pushes, holds, or kick his/her adversaries. Fouls happen when the activity is generally incidental when a player is attempting to get the ball from the opponent when the ball is in play. A refree can punish a player and issue a yellow card or red card contingent on the seriousness of the foul or conduct of the player. The principal yellow card permits the player to proceed with the match, though the subsequent yellow card got by that player will liken to a red card. At the point when a player is shown a red card he/she should leave the field.
13. Free Kicks
There are two categories of free kick. One is the direct free kick and the other is the indirect free kick.
In the indirect free kick the ball must be passed to another player before the ball is proceeded towards the goal.
In a direct free kick the player the player chooses to score a goal without passing to the other player.
14. Penalty Kick
A penalty may be given to the team when a player of the opposition of the team has committed a major foul or he/she deliberately handles the ball on his own in his own penalty area.
The ball is kept at the penalty area. One the player and the goal keeper are allowed to be in the box when a penalty kick is taken.
15. Throw In
A throw in is awarded to the team when the ball is touched by the opposing player before it crosses the touch line. While throwing the ball the player must have both his feet on the ground and both hands on the ball. The payer must then throw the ball from over his/her head.
16. Goal Kick
A goal kick is awarded to a team when the opposition team fails to score a goal even after the ball has completely crossed over the goal line. In such a situation the ball is kicked from any position within the goal by the defender of the opposing team. The ball must then pass the penalty area. The ball cannot be touched by the player before it has been touched by another player.
17. Corner Kick
A corner kick is awarded to an attacking team when the defending team puts the ball completely over the goal line without it having to pass in between the goalposts and under the crossbar.
The ball is placed on the corner flag. The opposing players must be atleast 9.15 m away from the corner arc until the ball is in play.