Congratulations! The soccer player in your life, whether it be your son or daughter, has decided to join the exciting world of soccer. The sport may seem easy enough: all you have to do is kick the soccer ball down the field and get it in the net, right? Well, not so fast.
There is a definite technique behind getting that ball into the net, a technique that can only be perfected through commitment and hours and hours of practice. That being said, here is a guide to the basics of soccer from QueensCast, supporters of the Orlando Pride soccer team.
The Basics of Soccer
The Pitch: The are really no set dimensions in the sport of soccer. There are minimum and maximum lengths and widths. Fields can be no smaller than 100 yards and no bigger than 130 yards in length, and they also have to be at least 110 and 120 yards in width. No matter what size the field is, the goal must be eight feet in height and eight yards wide. The box that appears in front of the goal must be exactly six yards.
The Clock: Usually, the game clock runs for 90 minutes. But there is stoppage time. This means that when the clock is running, but play has paused, the referee takes that “stoppage time” and adds it back to the game clock. This is not an exact science, though. Also, the players play until the referee blows the whistle.
The Referee: This is the man or woman in charge of being sure no fouls are occurring and if he or she sees one, a punishment is handed out in the form of cards. A yellow card is the way of the referee telling the player that he or she is breaking a rule and to stay within the rules. A red card means that the incident is serious and the player committing the infraction must leave the game for good and cannot be substituted. When a team has 10 instead of 11 players, it is called “playing a man down.”
The Ball: Balls come in all different sizes. While a soccer player just starting in youth soccer may use a size three, regulation size at the upper levels use a size five ball. Here is an interesting tidbit: balls used to be made with leather, which can absorb water. Imagine soccer players having to kick and maneuver water-laden balls!
This is just a short guide to help acclimate your soccer player to the very basics in soccer. For even more tips for the new soccer player in your life, please browse the rest of the QueensCast blogs. Oh, and by the way: Go Orlando Pride!