With the increasing popularity of Women’s World Cup Soccer many girls may want to start playing soccer this fall. While playing youth soccer and High School soccer is fun, playing soccer in college is a significant step up from high school and club soccer. Only the best take part in intercollegiate soccer in college, especially for those on top NCAA Division 1 soccer teams. Only a fraction of youth players ends up playing at any level of college soccer. Even a move to a Division 3 soccer squad will be a considerable adjustment from youth soccer. The sooner you learn the more fun you will have. Let’s play soccer!
Playing soccer doesn’t have to be complicated. Soccer is a relatively simple and straightforward sport almost anyone to play. To play soccer, you need to know the game rules and how the game is structured. You also need to learn the necessary skills and positions of the players on the field. It’s also important to spend time on the soccer field playing soccer when you’re learning how to play the game.
Object of the Game: The aim of soccer is to score more goals than your opponent in a 90-minute playing time frame. The match is split up into two halves of 45 minutes. After the first 45 minutes players will take a 15-minute rest period called half time. The second 45 minutes will resume and any time deemed fit to be added on by the referee as a result of injury time.
Players & Equipment: Each team consists of 11 players. These are made up of one goalkeeper and ten outfield players. The pitch dimensions may vary slightly but are roughly 120 yards long and 75 yards wide. On each pitch you will have a 6-yard box next to the goal mouth, an 18-yard box surrounding the 6-yard box and a center circle. Each half of the pitch must be a mirror image of the other in terms of dimensions. The equipment that is needed for a soccer match is a pitch (field) and a ball. Players can wear studded soccer cleats and shin pads. The goalkeepers will additionally wear padded gloves as they are the only players allowed to handle the ball. Each team will have a designated captain.
Scoring: To score the ball must go into your opponent’s goal. The whole ball needs to be over the line for it to be a legitimate goal. A goal can be scored with any part of the body apart from the hand or arm up to the shoulder. The goal itself consists of a frame measuring 8 feet high and 8 yards wide.
Winning the Game: To win you have to score more goals than that of your opponents. If the scores are tied after 90 minutes, then the game will end as a draw apart from in cup games where the game can go to extra time and even a penalty shootout to decide the winner. Players must use their feet to kick the ball and are prohibited to use their hands apart from goalkeepers who can use any part of their body within the 18-yard box.
To start here are six fundamental guidelines to playing the game:
Unless you’re the goalie or are attempting a throw-in, you’re not allowed to use your hands in play. In soccer, hands refer to anything from your fingers to your shoulders.
When the ball crosses the sideline and goes out of bounds, a throw-in is taken by a member of the team who didn’t kick it out. The player will plant both feet on the ground, using both hands to throw the ball straight overhead and back into play.
Goal and corner kicks:
These are taken when the ball is kicked out of bounds behind the goal line. If the offensive team kicks it out, the defensive team takes a goal kick from inside the goal box. If the defensive team kicks it out, the offensive team takes a corner kick from the corner nearest to where the ball left the field.
Direct and indirect kicks:
Every kick is considered an indirect kick unless it comes from a foul or hand ball. You can score on a direct kick by kicking the ball directly into the goal, whereas on an indirect kick the ball must be touched by another player before you can score.
Game in play:
So long as the ball is on the field inside of bounds, the game is considered in play. The only exception to this rule is if the referee calls for an infraction or offside.
It’s the referee’s or coach’s responsibility to monitor safe play and fouls, but, in general, the intent is to go for the ball, not the player. You can’t kick, trip, jump at, charge, strike, push, or hold an opponent. If a foul does occur, the team who was fouled gets a free, direct kick at the location of the foul.
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