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In some ways soccer is a fairly simple or pure game. The primary rule is that players cannot touch the ball with their hands or arms while the ball is in play. The exception to this rule is the goalie. The goalie is a designated player whose main job is to protect the goal from the opponents. The goalie is the last line of defense and can catch or touch the soccer ball with their hands. Players also cannot tackle, push, hit, or knockdown their opponents. The typical game play in soccer involves one team that has possession of the ball dribbling the ball and passing it amongst themselves to try and get to where they can kick or head the ball into the goal. The other team is constantly trying to take the ball away. The possession of the ball can change quite often throughout the game. Each soccer team has eleven players including the goalie. The winner at the end of the designated time is the team with the most goals. Each goal counts for one point. If there is a tie, there may be an overtime or there may a shootout to determine the winner.

Soccer Equipment

In a soccer game most soccer players need to wear their team jersey, shorts, socks, cleats, and shin guards. Shin guards are very important as soccer players will get kicked in the shins quite often and will get injured and bruised if they are not wearing shin guards. The rest of the equipment needed to play soccer is a soccer ball, a soccer field, and a goal at each end of the field.

Rules and Regulations

When the ball is in play the rules of soccer are fairly simple. You cannot touch the ball with your hands or arms intentionally unless you are the goalie. You cannot foul another player or be offside (these soccer rules are described below). Other than that, the main rules of soccer are around the starting and stopping of play.

The Starting and Stopping of Soccer Play

At the start of a soccer period or after a goal, there is a kick-off from the center circle. At the kick-off all of the soccer players must be on their side of the field (the side they are defending). Only the player kicking the kick-off is allowed inside the center circle. After the kick-off the ball will be in play until the ball goes out of bounds or the referee calls a penalty.

Other ways of restarting soccer include:


When the soccer ball has gone out of bounds, the team that last touched the ball loses possession and the opposing team gets to throw-in the ball from the point where the ball crossed out of bounds.

Corner kick

When the defending team last touches the ball and it crosses the goal line (and not scoring a goal), the opposing team gets to kick the ball from the corner of the field.

Goal kick

When the offensive team last touches the ball before it crosses the goal line, the goalie gets to kick the ball from the goal box.

Penalty kick

When a foul occurs in the penalty area, the fouled team is awarded a penalty kick.

Soccer Fouls

Soccer fouls can be any number of unfair advantages taken by a player that are called by the referee. These can include tripping, pushing, and touching the ball with the hands. Free kicks or penalty kicks may be awarded to the opposing soccer team. Very unsportsmanlike behavior may result in a yellow card or a red card. Players that get red cards are ejected from the game.

Offside Rule

The offensive player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent's goal line than both the second and last opponent and the soccer ball.

Out of Bounds

Out of bounds occurs when the ball completely crosses over the boundary line. Throw-in When throwing the ball in at throw-in, the ball must be thrown from behind and over the head using both hands. When the ball leaves the thrower's hands, both of his/her feet must be touching the ground.