International Soccer Rules

International Soccer Rules - Introduction

Soccer is by far the most popular sport played around the world.

About half of the population in the world enjoyes soccer as a sport and it is really amazing how popular soccer has become considering that it has been around for only about 150 years.

Some Nations such as Argentina, Brazil, England, Italy etc. are deemed as "Soccer Countries" because of the huge fan passion for this sport. Soccer is pretty much a religion in these Countries.

World Cup is the biggest event that happens every four years and brings the best Countries to compete against each other. During this great event International Soccer Rules have to be followed by the players and enforced by the referees.

There are 17 International Rules of Soccer that have been written by World Soccer Governing Body, FIFA. These Rules of International Soccer do not differ from the official soccer rules followed by every major league of soccer around the world.

Rules of International Soccer are enforced by the referee to keep the game clean, fast and under control.

International Soccer Rules or the 17 Rules of International Soccer

International Soccer Rules - 1. The Field

The field of play is the surface on which the soccer game is played and is one rule that is different in International matches than in league matches.

According to official soccer rules for International Soccer, field has to be:

Field length: minimum 100 Meters (110 yards) and Maximum 110 Meters (120 yards) and the Field width: minimum 64 Meters (70 yards) maximum 75 Meters (80 yards). The field has to have a rectangular shape with the length being longer than the width.

Each goal is 7.32 meters long and 2.44 meters high. Diametar of the center circle is 18.30 meters and the distance between the penalty spot and the goal is 11 meters according to international rules of soccer.

International Soccer Rules - 2. The Ball

The official soccer rules show that the ball has to be between 68 and 70 centimeters in circumference and the weight has to be between 410 to 450 grams. Soccer ball tends to be made out of leather or other similar material.

International Soccer Rules - 3. The Number of Players

Each team starts the game with 10 outfield players and 1 goalkeeper. Goalkeeper has to wear a different color jersey so he/she can be easily distinguished from other players and the referee.

Each team is allowed to have 7 players on the bench and use maximum of 3 substitutions during any competitive soccer match. The player substituted is not allowed to come back into the game once he/she is out. Minimum number of players is 7 outfield players and a goalkeeper according to rules of international soccer.

International Soccer Rules - 4. Player's Equipment

Every player on the same team has to wear the same color jersey, shorts and socks, matching the rest of the team. Each player is also required to wear shinguard's and soccer shoes or cleats. Any piercings or jewelry has to be covered and taped up for safety according to the official rules of soccer.

International Soccer Rules - 5. The Referee

Just like every sport out there, soccer needs officials to keep the game under control as well. The referee will enforce the 17 Laws of Soccer International Rules.

The Center Referee is helped by the two linesman referees and a fourth referee that shows injury time, enforces substitutions and keeps the coaches in their area. Lately we have also seen 2 additional referees, one behind each goal to help the Center Referee with close calls on goal and penalty area as the rules of international soccer state.

International Soccer Rules - 6. Assistant Referee's

Assistant referees are the two linesman on each half of the field and opposite sides. The linesman is there to help the center referee with offside, out of bounds, fouls, goals and any other rule obstructions. The linesman can signal but the center referee is the one that decides on weather to blow his/her whistle or let the game continue. Lately we have also been introduced to additional two referees that are behind each goal. Their job is to make sure that everything happening inside the penalty box is legal.

Internationale Soccer Rules - 7. Duration of the Game

The official soccer match is played in two 45 minute half's with 15 minute break in between. The clock does not stop for out of bounds or any other reason that the game may be stopped. At the end of each half the center referee adds extra time, usually 3 minutes.

A soccer match can go for additional two 15 minute half's if the game is tied during a knockout type of match where the winner has to be decided. If the game is still tied after the extra time penalties will decide the winner as international rules of soccer state.

International Soccer Rules - 8. Start and Restart of play

Each soccer match starts off with a kick off from the center and the game is restarted from center after each goal scored.

When the ball goes out of play on the sidelines, the game is stopped and the player touching the ball last concedes a throw in. The play is restarted by the opposing team throwing the ball back into play.

Goal kick is awarded when the attacking team touches the ball last before it crosses behind the defending teams goal line. Game is restarted by kicking the ball into play from the goalkeepers safety box. If a defender touches the ball last before it crosses the defending teams goal line a corner kick will be awarded. The game is resumed once the attacking player puts the ball back into play from a corner closest to where the ball went out.

Indirect free kick is awarded when a team produces a non-penal foul, game is stopped by the referee, or the ball is picked up by the goalkeeper after it was deliberately passed to him/her by a teamate. The game is restarted with a ground kick that cannot be taken towards goal according to international rules of soccer.

Direct free kick is caused by a foul or handball and unlike the indirect free kick it can be struck directly towards the goal.

Penalty kick is awarded after a handball or a foul is committed inside the penalty area. The game is restarted by the attacking player taking a clear shot on goal from 11 meters out. Its 1 vs 1 with the goalie and in most cases goal is scored.

Dropped ball happens when the referee stops the play for a special reason such as injury, defective equipment, or any other external factor. The game is restarted by the referee dropping the ball in between two players who will in most cases give the ball back to the team that had the possession when the game was stopped.

International Soccer Rules - 9. Ball In and Out of play

According to the International rules of soccer, ball is in play all throughout the match until it completely leaves the field of play marked by the bounding lines that form a rectangle. The complete circumference of the ball has to go out of bounds for it to be out of play. When the ball goes out of play, it is restarted by a throw in or a goal kick. Substitutions can also take place when the ball goes out of play.

International Soccer Rules - 10. Methods of Scoring

As long as the ball is in play and no infringement of soccer rules are caught by the referee any player on the field can score goals. A goal is scored when the whole circumference of the soccer ball crosses the goal line where the goal is. Rules of International soccer state that goals can be scored with any part of the body except the arms.

International Soccer Rules - 11. Offsides

Offside is called by the linesman referee against the attacking player that is in advantage on goal when the ball is last played by his/her teammate. Being in advantage means that the attacking player finds him/herself in the position to be 1 vs 1 with the goalie before the ball is played to him/her. International rules of soccer state that offside is restarted by the defending team kicking the ball back into play from where offside infringement was made.

International Soccer Rules - 12. Fouls and Misconduct

Fouls happen when a player unintentionally kicks or trips another player while going for the ball. Misconduct happens when a player intentionally kicks, trips, swears, spits or does anything to disrupt the sportsmanship in this sport. Fouls can only occur when the ball is in play but misconduct can happen when the ball is out of play as well. The referee will decide on a disciplinary action of the player.

International Soccer Rules - 13. Free Kicks

Free kick is awarded to a player that was tripped, pushed, kicked or obstructed in any way while in possession of the ball. Free kick can be taken directly on goal and the wall has to be 9.15 meters from where the ball is placed.

International Soccer Rules - 14. Penalty Kick

Penalty kick is awarded to the attacking team when their player is fouled inside the penalty box or if the defender handles the ball with his/her hands. The game is stopped and referee points to the white dot located 11 meters from the goal. Everyone has to be outside the penalty box when the shot is taken and it is simply attacker vs the goalkeeper shot from 11 meters out. When the ball is kicked it is officially in play and the game is continued.

International Soccer Rules - 15. The Throw In

Throw in is awarded when the whole circumference of the ball goes out of play on the sidelines. Ball is awarded against the player who last touched the ball. Official soccer rules state that the player taking the throw in has to keep his feet outside the side line, with both feet touching the ground and the actual throw in must be executed with the ball over the thrower's head.

International Soccer Rules - 16. Goal Kick

Soccer game is restarted many times using a goal kick. Goal kick is awarded to the defending team once the attacking player last touches the ball before it crosses the defending teams byline or goal line. Rules of international soccer state that the ball has to be kicked hard enough to leave the penalty area or the kick will be re taken.

International Soccer Rules - 17. Corner Kick

Corner kick happens when the ball crosses the goal line of the defending team and is also last touched by the defending player. Corner kick is considered a direct free kick from the corner side where the ball went out. The ball has to be placed inside the corner arc and the defender has to be 9.15 meters away from the ball.

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International Soccer Rules
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