What Are The 17 Rules Of FootballSoccer


Exploring the 17 Rules of Football/Soccer

Football is a team sport with two teams of 11 players each competing to outscore the other team while adhering to a set of 17 regulations. What are the 17 football rules?

Football, a universally beloved sport, has its origins in England and has transcended borders to become a global phenomenon, with participation spanning over 200 countries. It stands tall as the world’s most popular sport, boasting an impressive following. In the United States alone, more than 100 million individuals regularly engage in the game.

Football encompasses various forms, including association football (commonly referred to as soccer), American football, Canadian football, Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union, and Gaelic football. Each variant of the sport adheres to its distinct set of rules and regulations.

This article delves into the intricacies of Association football, commonly known as soccer, which adheres to a set of precisely 17 rules. Before we embark on this exploration, let’s address a commonly pondered question: Why is Football called Soccer?

Football, like any other sport, operates within a well-defined framework of rules that all players must adhere to. These regulations, known globally as the “Laws of the Game,” serve as the bedrock upon which football is built.

The genesis of these laws dates back to 1863, coinciding with the establishment of the Football Association. Over time, these laws have evolved and been meticulously maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) since 1886.

Let’s explore the 17 key rules that govern Association Football (commonly referred to as soccer):

Law 1: The Field of Play

This rule governs the size and demarcation of the football field, often referred to as a pitch. The pitch can be composed of natural or artificial grass, although recreational matches occasionally occur on dirt grounds. It is divided into two equal halves by a line parallel to the goal line, known as the center line. Additionally, a circle with a radius of 9.15 meters is drawn around the center.

The touchlines must measure between 90-120 meters in length, while the goal lines should span 45-90 meters in width.

Law 2: The Ball

This law outlines the specifications for the shape, size, and material composition of the soccer ball. It stipulates that a standard size 5 ball should have a diameter of approximately 22 cm, with a circumference ranging from 68 to 70 cm. The weight of the soccer ball should fall within the range of 410-450 grams.

Law 3: The Players

Each team must field 11 players, one of whom must serve as the goalkeeper. A team is considered complete with a minimum of seven players. Players are permitted to use their legs or torso to strike the ball but are strictly prohibited from using their hands or arms, except for the designated goalkeepers.

Law 4: The Players’ Equipment

This rule mandates that every player must wear a shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, and appropriate shin protection in accordance with the regulations. While headgear is optional, it is not obligatory. Players are also barred from using or wearing any equipment that may pose a danger to themselves or others, such as jewelry. Goalkeepers must be visually distinguishable from other players and match officials.

Law 5: The Referee

The referee is the ultimate authority on the field, responsible for overseeing the match and making final decisions on all matters, including disputes. Referees have the authority to penalize players, halt the game in the event of fouls, and bear the overall responsibility for ensuring the smooth conduct of the match.

Law 6: The Other Match Officials

Assistant referees, stationed on opposite sides of the field, support the referee in maintaining the game’s decorum. They possess the authority to intervene in the event of an offense.

Law 7: The Duration of the Match

A standard football match spans 90 minutes, divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. These halves are separated by a 15-minute halftime break, with the conclusion of full-time marking the end of the game.

These seven laws lay the foundation for understanding the fundamental rules of football. In subsequent sections, we will delve deeper into the remaining ten laws that govern this beloved sport.

All You Need To Know About The History Of Football (Soccer).

Law 8: Commencement and Renewal of Play

Every soccer match commences with a coin toss. In the center of the pitch, the team captains join the match referee. The victorious captain in the toss selects the goalpost for the first half, while the other team initiates the game with a kickoff.

As the second half unfolds, the teams switch goals, and the toss-winning side resumes play with a kickoff.

Law 9: Ball In and Out of Play

Two fundamental phases define play in a soccer game: the ball in play and the ball out of play.

The ball is considered in play from the onset of each playing period with a kickoff until the playing period concludes. Exceptions arise only when the ball leaves the field of play or the referee halts the game, a rare occurrence.

Law 10: Determining the Match Outcome

The primary objective in Football, or Soccer, is to achieve goals by propelling or passing the ball across the opponent’s goal line and into their goalposts. A goal is confirmed when the ball traverses the goal line, positioned between the goalposts and beneath the crossbar, provided no infringements have been committed by the scoring side.

Law 11: Offside

An offside position occurs when a player’s body, excluding their hands and arms, positions them in the opposing team’s half of the field and nearer to their goal line than the ball.

Being in an offside position, in itself, is not an offense. However, if a player exploits this position to gain an advantage for their team, they may be penalized for an offside violation.

Law 12: Infractions and Misconduct

A foul is committed when a player violates the game’s rules, disrupting the flow of play. As punishment, the opposing team is awarded a free kick.

Misconduct encompasses any action that the referee deems deserving of disciplinary action. The player involved may receive a warning or be ejected from the field. An expelled player cannot be substituted.

Law 13: Free Kicks

Free kicks are divided into two categories:

  1. Indirect Free Kicks: Awarded to the opposing side following “non-penal” infractions or when play is halted to caution or dismiss an opponent without a specific foul having occurred. These kicks may or may not result in a direct goal.
  2. Direct Free Kicks: Granted to the fouled team after certain fouls. A direct goal can be scored directly from these kicks.

Law 14: The Penalty Kick

Penalty kicks are bestowed upon the fouled team when a foul, typically resulting in a regular free kick, occurs within their adversary’s penalty area.

Law 15: The Throw-in

A throw-in is granted when the ball exits the field of play. The team opposing the player who last made contact with the ball is awarded the throw-in.

Law 16: The Goal Kick

Goal kicks are provided when the entire ball, either on the ground or in the air, crosses the goal line, last touched by an attacking team member, and no goal is scored. The goalkeeper executes the goal kick.

Law 17: The Corner Kick

Corner kicks are awarded when the entire ball, either on the ground or in the air, last contacts a defender but results in no goals being scored.

Only the opposing side has the opportunity to score directly from a corner kick. If the ball enters the kicker’s goal, a corner kick is granted to the opponents.

How Is Football Played?

Every player must adhere to these 17 rules mandated by the Football Association, which apply to every game without exception.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the 17 rules of football?

The 17 rules of football, also known as the Laws of the Game, govern the sport of football (soccer). These rules cover various aspects of the game, including how it begins, how goals are scored, fouls and misconduct, and much more.

2. How many rules in football are there?

There are 17 rules (Laws of the Game) in football. These rules, established by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), serve as the fundamental framework for the sport, addressing everything from the field dimensions to player conduct during a match.



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