Football is fun, competitive and the most widely-played sport in the world. Football can be played anywhere and by anyone despite age, gender or type of ability! The biggest advantage is without a doubt the flexibility of turf whether it’s playing fields, pitches, gymnasiums, streets, parks or even beaches.According to FIFA’s Big Count survey in 2006, there were 265 million players actively involved in soccer around the world, roughly about 4 percent of the world’s population.
The aim of football is to score more goals than your opponent in a 90-minute playing time frame. The match is split up into two halves of 45 minutes. After the first 45 minutes players will take a 15-minute rest period called half time. The second 45 minutes will resume and any time deemed fit to be added on by the referee (injury time) will be accordingly.
If you’re interested in playing football, take some time to learn about the basic rules and practice the most essential techniques. Train hard, have fun, and always keep a football at your feet!
Understanding The Rules OF The Game
- A match consists of two 45 minutes halves with a 15-minute rest period in between.
- Each team can have a minimum off 11 players and there are usually 4 defenders, 4 midfielders, 2 strikers and 1 goalkeeper( who is the only player allowed to handle the ball within the 18 yard box). And a minimum of 7 players are needed to constitute a match.
- At the time of kickoff, each team’s players need to be entirely on their own half of the field and the opposition must not be within the center circle as the 10 yard mansatory distance on a restart. Once the whistle has blown and the ball is kicked, the players allow going backwards or forwards, the players can move freely wherever they want. The game starts by winning the coin toss to choose a side. The one who win gets to kick off, team change sides at halftime and the team who did not kick off does so in the 2nd half.
- Each team can name up to 7 substitute players. Substitutions can made at anytime of the match with each team being able to make a maximum of 3 substitutions per side. In the event of all three substitutes being made and a player having to leave the field for injury the team will be forced to play without replacement for that player.
- Each game must include one referee and two assistant referee’s (linesmen). It’s the job of the referee to act as time keeper and make any decisions which may need to be made such as fouls, free kicks, throw ins, penalties and added on time at the end of each half. The referee may consult the assistant referees at any time in the match regarding a decision. It’s the assistant referee’s job to spot offside’s in the match (see below), throw ins for either team and also assist the referee in all decision-making processes where appropriate.
- If the game needs to head to extra time as a result of both teams being level in a match then 30 minutes will be added in the form of two 15 minute halves after the allotted 90 minutes.
- If teams are still level after extra time then a penalty shootout must take place.
- Recognize the difference between a corner kick and a goal kick. If the ball goes over the goal line (but not into the goal) and was last touched by the defending team, the ball goes to the closest goal line corner and becomes a corner kick, with possession going to the attacking team.
If the ball goes over the goal line (but not into the goal) and was last touched by the attacking team, becomes a goal kick, with possession going to the defending team. The keeper often takes a goal kick but any one of the 11 players can. On any free kick taken from within the 6-yard goal area the defenders can place the ball anywhere within the area. The ball is not in play until it completely leaves the 18 yard PA (penalty area).
- Recognize when a player is offside. Offside is one of the more crucial rules in soccer, and it’s designed to keep soccer teams from cherry-picking, or packing the 18-yard penalty area with players. A player is determined to be in an offside position when all the following are true:- at the time of a teammates touch of the ball: they are ahead of the ball, in the opponent’s half, and closer to the opposing goal line then the second last opponent (note the keeper is but 1 of 11 opponents; though he is often one of the two last defenders, this is not always the case).
Possession is given to the other team if a player while restricted due to his being in an offside position becomes involved in an active play where the referee will award an INDFK (indirect free kick) from where the involvement occurs, including within the players own half of the field.
- For fouls committed a player could receive either a yellow or red card depending on the severity of the foul; this comes down to the referee’s discretion. The yellow is a warning and a red card is a dismissal of that player. Two yellow cards will equal one red. Once a player is sent off then they cannot be replaced.
- If a ball goes out of play off an opponent in either of the side lines then it is given as a throw in. If it goes out of play off an attacking player on the base line then it is a goal kick. If it comes off a defending player it is a corner kick.
Start Practicing Basic Skills
- Ball control
Good ball control is very important in football because it allows you to move around without losing the ball. Ball control involves keeping the ball close to you so that you can frequently change the pace and direction. Take small steps and guide the ball using your stronger foot (whichever feels most comfortable kicking).
Dribbling is controlling the ball while running. If you want to keep the ball in your team’s possession, you’re going to need to dribble well. Dribbling is all about touching the ball strong enough to carry it forward, but light enough so that it stays at your feet. You can dribble with the inside of your foot, above the toe (with the foot pointed down toward the ground), and even with the outside of your foot. The easiest way to dribble for beginners is probably with the inside of your foot.
Learn to dribble at different speeds. When you’re running down the sideline and you’ve beaten your defender, you’re dribbling will look a lot different from when you’re taking on a defender head-on.
- Passing- Short & Long Pass
A short pass is one that rolls along the ground to make it easier for the teammate receiving the ball to control. You stand on one foot and use the other to kick the ball. Place the foot you’re standing on level with the ball, around 20 cm to the left if you’re right-handed. It should be facing your target. It’s also important that your shoulders are facing your target.
Kick the ball with inside of your foot, to do so turn your foot out and aim to kick the ball with the central part. Bend the leg you’re standing on and turn your other leg side-on. This will give you better stability and a more fluid movement.
Long pass lets you send the ball to a teammate who is far away from you. The ball should go up into the air so that opponents cannot intercept it so easily. Position the foot you’re standing on 20 cm to the left of the ball if you’re right-handed. Kick the bottom part of the ball close to where it’s touching the ground using the top of the inside of your foot. Make sure you keep this leg straight to give the ball more power. When you kick the ball, extend the opposite arm to your kicking foot as this will help you keep your balance.
If you’re really close to the goal and all you need is accuracy, you can shoot using the sweet spot of the inside of your foot, like a pass. Normally, though, you’re going to be farther away and will need power as well as accuracy. Hit the ball to the left of the middle laces of your shoe, with your foot pointed down at the ground. Keep your foot pointed down at the ground as you follow through. Use your hips to swing through the ball. Bring your foot across your body if necessary to generate even more power. This should cause both feet to lift from the ground.
- Ball control
Advancing Your Skills
Think about moving off the ball- Some estimates say that professional soccer players run 6 to 8 miles (9.7 to 12.9 km) during a 90-minute game. That’s a lot of running, and you’ll do most of it when you don’t have the ball. Learn how to get into open space, how to run to where to your teammate expects or wants you to be, and how to run past a defender who’s guarding you.
Get comfortable heading the ball, if permitted or desired- Try hitting the ball with your head right where your hair meets your forehead. Do not use the top of your head! When getting ready to head the ball, don’t lift your head back; move your upper torso back instead. This will give you more power and won’t strain your neck as much. You have to hit the ball, not let the ball hit you.
Practice juggling the ball with your feet and body- Juggling involves receiving and controlling a ball from the air with some combination of your head, shoulders, chest, legs, and feet. You probably won’t need to juggle frequently in a game, but it’s a very important skill to develop as it helps you develop your touch and control.
Work on using your non-dominant foot well- It’s really important to be able to dribble, pass, and shoot the ball with your non-dominant foot. Good defenders will take away your dominant foot and force you to play with your non-dominant foot. If you can’t use your non-dominant foot, you’ll be playing at a clear disadvantage.
Practice taking corner kicks and free kicks- You want to be able to send corner kicks right to the middle of the penalty area, usually up in the air so that a teammate can head or kick the ball in. Free kicks can either be taken quickly and simply passed to a nearby teammate, or you can organize a “set play” in which you kick the ball in a certain area while your teammates execute a play
Be original and spontaneous with your playing style- Try to develop your own playing style, one that suits you. Are you a tricky player who relies on juking out other players? Are you fast enough to beat everyone with sheer speed? Are you great at using your body and power to blast goals? Are you an expert at keeping opponents from getting off shots?
Share Your Thoughts
Understanding the rules, practice to improve and advancing your skills.
Find out what kind of player you are, set goals for yourself on how you can become a more rounded player, and remember to have fun!
If I have miss anything in this article or you have difficult to understand it, please comment below and I will be more happy to help you!