So You Want to Be a Soccer Player...

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Soccer has experienced a popularity surge this summer. As the World Cup was taking place, soccer fans (and non-soccer fans) were glued to the television! Fanatics know every term, every position, and every penalty, but some of us may need a crash course to the fast world of soccer. Luckily, your Orlando soccer experts have a guide to get you through your next match.

The Setup

Before you can understand the rules of the game, it’s important to understand how the game is set up. The field must be anywhere from 50-100 yards wide and between 100-130 yards long. Both ends of the field have a goal area and a penalty area. The middle of the field is marked by the center circle.  Each team starts the game with 11 players on the field, which is made up of a goalie, defenders, midfielders, and forwards. All you need to play the game is a soccer ball and two goals!

Look Ma — No Hands!

 

This is the most basic rule of soccer: you can’t use your hands. So what exactly does this mean? If a player deliberately uses their hand or arm to move the ball, this is considered a handball. A good way to remember this rule is that players cannot “handle” the ball. If this happens inside the goalkeeper’s white outlined box, a penalty kick is awarded to the other team. If outside that area, then the ref would award a free kick. The only exception to this is the goalie.

It’s How Long?

 

A match is divided into two halves, each of which are 45 minutes long. Teams will change ends at the end of the half. Unlike football, soccer’s game clock is a running clock and time does not stop until the end of the half; however, the referee does have the ability to add on additional time due to things like injuries. If a penalty kick is needed, additional time is added on at the end of regulation time.

Playing the Game

 

Who will kickoff first is determined by a coin toss. The kickoff starts the match, and players aim to get their ball in the opposing team’s goal. Each goal is worth one point; a goal is scored when the entire ball crosses the goal line.

Now that you know the basics, you’re ready to be an expert for the next match you watch! Curious to know more? Check out our Orlando soccer blog where you can find even more soccer 101, including positions, basic first aid, and common terms.