kicking of a ball. Now, the sport has grown to a global pastime, including men?s and
century, English soccer began spreading over Europe. Other countries also caught on, but
the United States was one of the most reluctant, and one of the last to implement soccer
it didn?t gain popularity until the 1970?s.
goal, which results in a point scored by the team kicking the ball. There are only three
officials involved during play: The referee, and two linesmen.
The equipment used in soccer is also very simple. In addition to the field itself, all that is
needed for a game is two goals (eight feet high and eight yards apart) and a ball. Each
player wears hard plastic or padded shingaurd, covered by long socks, for protection
during play. Cleats are also worn for traction on the field. A goalie may also wear a
special padded shirt, and gloves to protect his or her hands. A standard field, as regulated
by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (or FIFA), has a length between
100 and 130 yards, and a width of between 50 and 100 yards.
The rules of play for soccer have deliberately been kept simple. The referee makes most
and the teams are allowed to pass, dribble, juggle, head, kick, and shoot the ball to place
it down the field, and (hopefully, or eventually) into their opponent?s goal. If the ball is
kicked off the field over the length of the field, the other team is given a throw-in, where
the ball is thrown over the player?s head, and back onto the field. If the ball is kicked over
the goal, or across the width of the field, either a corner kick results (by the offensive
team, where the ball is placed on the corner of the field and kicked into play) or the
defensive team is awarded a goal kick, where the ball is placed on the corner of the goal
box, and kicked back into play. If a goal is scored, the ball is taken back to the center of
the field, and the team scored against kicks off.
Other penalties include direct and indirect free kicks, and penalty kicks. For offenses such
as shoving and tripping, either a direct free kick (offenses not in the goal box) or a penalty
kick (inside the goal box) is awarded. Both allow goals to be made directly from the
kicks. If a minor offense is being punished, then an indirect free kick is given, form which
a goal cannot be scored.
Most soccer games have 45-minute halves, and the clock is not stopped except for
injuries or deliberate time wasting. In professional soccer, only three to five substitutions
are allowed per half. Generally, more are allowed in lower leagues.
currently participate in the sport. It is not just becoming a national pastime, but a pastime
loved and shared by people all over the world.