How to Play the Game of Soccer

Your new love interest is an avid soccer fan. Or, your child may be participating in his or her first soccer game this week. Regardless of your particular situation, you may not know the first thing about how to play the game of soccer. If so, you need to learn the object of the game and its distinctive set of rules.

Object of the Game

The basic object of the game of soccer is to score more goals than the other team before time expires. Each team consists of 11 members. One player from each team is the designated goalie. Goalkeepers try to prevent the opposing team from knocking the soccer ball into their teams’ goals.

All players, with the exception of the goalie, cannot touch the soccer ball with their hands or arms. As long as they remain within a specified area, goalies can touch the ball and pass it to teammates. The most popular ways to move a soccer ball on the field of play include kicking it with the foot or hitting it with the head.

When a player knocks the soccer ball into the opposing team’s goal, the player’s team receives a point. If the scores are tied at the end of the game, overtime may be played. Or, the teams might complete penalty kicks to determine who wins the game.

Distinctive Rules

Some distinctive rules of soccer include the following:

Length of the game – The game consists of two 45 minute halves. However, a game’s referee can add time to the end of each half because of injuries or other situations.
Fouls – When players act inappropriately during a game, they can be issued yellow and red cards. Red cards result in a player being forced to leave a game. Yellow cards serve as a warning. Fouls result in free kicks for the non-offending team.

The sport of soccer continues to grow in popularity in this country. With more people playing the sport, learning the object of the game and its distinctive rules now is important. Understanding the unique rules of soccer will help you become a knowledgeable spectator or an improved player.