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Recommended Soccer Equipment | Rules of the game | Basic Soccer Positions

Recommended Soccer Equipment

FIFA governs soccer competition on youth and amateur levels worldwide by registering players and overseeing national soccer federations. In the United States about 20 million people play soccer. Almost every urban community has at least one amateur association, and many rural communities do as well. Local leagues are governed by their state’s soccer association. The 50 state associations fall under the control of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the governing body for all U.S. soccer. The USSF in turn falls under FIFA.

FIFA laws recommend the following player equipment:

Soccer uniforms consist of jerseys, shorts, socks, shin guards and shoes with cleats (short knobs on the bottom of the shoe). Players wear cleated shoes for better traction while they are running. Cleats give them increased speed and maneuverability. Soccer rules require players to wear only one piece of protective equipment, shin guards. Shin guards are small shields worn on the front of the leg between the knee and top of the foot. They protect the lower leg against kicks. The jerseys must include a number on the back so that game officials (and fans) can identify players quickly. Goalkeepers must wear a color that distinguishes them from the rest of the players on the same team. This way, the referee can easily know which player is allowed to use the hands within the penalty area. Goalkeepers’ jerseys and shorts often have extra padding stitched into the arm and hip areas to protect them when they dive to make saves. Most goalkeepers also wear special gloves that help them grip the ball.

“Soccer,” Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007
http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Rules of the game

No Hands

The first rule of the game is simple: No Hands! The way this rule is explained is that a player cannot purposely use their hands, in other words, handle the ball. If a ball were to hit a players hand (fingertip to shoulder), this is not considered a hand ball. The referee must determine if the incident were accidental or purposeful.

Kick-offs, Corner Kicks & Goal Kicks

A kick-off signifies the start of a soccer game. It also signifies the start of each new quarter and a new play, after a team has scored. The players take their given positions on their own half of the field and the ball is placed in the center of the field. The play can begin only after the referee blows the whistle. Once the ball is tapped or kicked, it is considered “in play”. A corner kick or goal kick is taken when the ball leaves the field across a goal line. 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” by any player. The opposing team should be at least 4 yards from the ball. The corner kick is taken from the corner nearest to where the ball left the field.

Throw-ins

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 that both feet must remain on the ground and the ball must be thrown with both hands over the head.

Two-Touch Rule

When putting a ball into play, the player cannot touch the ball twice in a row. Often times the player may not have moved the ball much distance and will attempt to take another kick on the ball. This is not allowed. Another variation of this rule is that a player cannot throw the ball in and then immediately kick it. It must be handled by other players first.

Fouls

The referee can call fouls on any players that commit any major infractions intentionally. These are kicking, tripping, or jumping at an opponent; violently charging, striking, holding, pushing, or spitting at an opponent; tackling an opponent that does not have the ball; or touching the ball with the hands. If a player commits any of these offenses inside his own penalty area, the opposing team is awarded a penalty kick.

Basic Soccer Positions

Fullback/Defender

A player who plays in the rear defensive third of the field. Focus is on stopping the opposing teams attackers from scoring.

Forward

A player who is responsible for most of a team’s scoring. They play in the attaching third of the field, where they have the most opportunities for shots on goal.

Goalie/Goalkeeper

This player is positioned in front of the goal net. The focus is to try to prevent shots from crossing the goal line into the net; this is the only player allowed to use their hands and arms in soccer, but only within the 18-yard penalty area.

Halfback/Midfielder

A player who plays in the middle third of the field between the forwards and defenders. Their focus to play both defense and the offense through ball control and passing.

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