The soccer rules and regulations are written by the International Football Association Board, or IFAB. The meetings take place at least once a year and the rules and regulations govern all national and international matches of member organizations. Currently there are 17 individual laws that each contain several directions and rules.
1.The field of play
The soccer field is made of grass or artificial grass and it has a rectangular shape. The longer sides of the pitch are called touch lines and the other opposing sides are called goal lines. The goal lines must have between 50-100 yards and they must be of the same length. The touch lines must have between 100-130 yards and they must be of the same length as well. The lines must be equally wide, not to exceed more than 5 inches. The corners f the soccer field are demarcated by corner flags.
The soccer ball has a spherical shape and it must have a circumference of no less than 26.77 inches and no more than 27.60 inches. It has to weigh between 410-450 grams and it must be inflated to a pressure between 0.6-1.1 bars.
3.The number of players
All soccer teams consist of a maximum of 11 players and it is mandatory for one of them to be goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is the only player of the team that is allowed to play the ball with the hands or arms as long as it’s within the penalty area in front of the team’s goal. The laws of the game do not require for the non-goalkeeper players to have a strategical position, this position being decided by the coach.
The basic soccer equipment consists of a shirt, socks, shorts, adequate shin guards and footwear and they are forbidden to wear jewels and watches to not hurt the other players or themselves. The goalkeepers have to be dressed differently than their teammates and the match officials to be easy distinguishable.
The referee takes the final decision on all play related facts and is the only official of the field with the power to start and stop the play and to impose disciplinary measures against players during the match.
6.The assistant referees
Most soccer matches have two assistant referees being assigned to each touchline. They have the duty to judge when the ball is out of the field, when an offside has occurred and they advise the referee on infringements of the rules if they have occurred out of the referee’s view.
7.The duration of the match
A standard adult soccer match consists of two halves that both are 45 minutes long and between them is a half-time break of 15 minutes. Additional time is added at the end of the first half and at the end of the full-time if there have been injuries or incidents that caused a time loss. In some competitions if the overall score is a tie than the match goes in two 15-minute halves and if the situation remains the same than the match is decided at penalty shootouts.
8.The start and restart of play
The kick-off is usually decided by a coin toss. The team that wins the coin toss chooses if they start with the ball or not and which goal they want to attack. After each scored goal the ball is taken to the center of the halfway line of the field and kick-off is given by the team who didn’t score to restart the match.
9.Ball in and out of play
The ball is considered to be out of play when it fully crosses either one of the goal lines or touch lines and if the referee stops the play, no matter what the reason is for stopping the match.
10.The method of scoring
It’s considered that a goal has been scored when the entire ball crosses the goal line with the frame of the goal. The team that scores at the end of the match the most goals is the winner and in case there is the same number of goals for each team than it means the game ended in a tie.
An offside occurs when the attacking player receives the ball while on the opponent’s half of the field and if the attacking player isn’t behind the second last defender.
12.Fouls and misconducts
Direct kicks and penalty kicks are awarded to players when the players from the rival team injure or foul them. Yellow card are given as caution or warning to players that misbehave or injure other players. The red card is used to send a player off the field in conditions of violent conduct, when they receive a second yellow card or in other serious offenses.
Free kicks can be either direct or indirect. For direct kicks as well as indirect hits, the ball must be stationary.
14.The penalty kick
The penalty kick is awarded to a team when a defensive player of the rival team fouls the attacking player or a player from the rival team touches the ball with the hand while they are in the penalty area.
The throw-in is given when the possessing team plays the ball over the touch line. The player who releases the throw-in must release the ball using both hand simultaneously while both feet are firmly planted on the ground.
16.The goal kick
The goal kick is awarded if the offensive team plays the ball out of the bounds of the goal line of the defensive team and only a defender or the goalkeeper can kick the ball back into play.
17.The corner kick
The corner kick is given to the offensive team when the defensive team plays the ball out of the bounds of the goal line. The ball has to be placed within the corner area and players can score directly off of corner kicks.