Simplified Laws of the Game
We encourage parents and other spectators to acquaint themselves with soccer laws to better enjoy the game. For a more thorough understanding of them, read FIFA's (17) Laws of the Game.
A score occurs if the ball passes under the crossbar, between the goal posts, and all of the ball passes completely over the outside edge of the goal line.
If all of the ball passes completely over the outside edge of the touchline (sideline), the restart is a throw-in. The throw-in is taken by the team that did not last touch the ball. An improper throw-in or a throw-in taken from the wrong spot results in a throw-in for the opposing team.
If all of the ball passes over the goal line, it was last touched by an attacking player, and a valid goal was not scored, the restart is a goal kick. The ball is placed in the goal area and kicked by a member of the defending team. All attacking players must remain outside the penalty area until the ball leaves the penalty area. A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing team (you can't accidentally kick the ball into your own goal and score a goal for the opponent, because the ball isn't in play until it leaves the penalty box).
If all of the ball passes over the goal line, it was last touched by a defending player, and a valid goal was not scored, the restart is a corner kick. The ball is placed in the corner arc and kicked by an attacking player.
When the game is stopped while the ball is in play, for reason other than an infraction of the Laws, the game is restarted with a drop ball.
A direct free kick is the sanction awarded at the point of infraction for any one of the ten penal fouls. For the complete working and understanding of these infractions you must read the actual laws of the game. This is but an overview:
- Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
- Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent
- Jumping at an opponent
- Violently charging an opponent
- Striking or attempting to strike an opponent
- Pushing an opponent
- Making contact with opponent before contacting the ball when making a tackle
- Holding an opponent
- Spitting or attempting to spit at an opponent
- Deliberately handling the ball (except by goal-keeper in penalty area)
If one of the ten penal fouls is committed by the defense in their own penalty area, the sanction awarded to the attacking team is a penalty kick. The ball is placed on the penalty mark, the kicker is identified, the goal-keeper is positioned on the goal-line and all other players must remain outside the penalty area and penalty arc and not closer to the goal-line than the penalty mark until the ball has been kicked. The goal-keeper may move laterally along the goal line. Time is extended for a penalty kick taken at the end of half-time, full-time, or over-time.
An indirect free kick is the sanction awarded at the point of infraction for any non-penal foul. Again, this is an overview. The law book must be consulted for a complete working and understanding.
- Dangerous play
- Impeding the progess of an opponent and not playing the ball
- Preventing the goal-keeper from releasing the ball
- Goal-keeper touching the ball a second time with hands after releasing it and before it has touched any other player
- Goal-keeper touching the ball with hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him/her by a team mate
- Goal-keeper handling a throw-in with hands
- Goal-keeper wasting time
Direct Free Kick
On a direct free kick, the ball may be kicked directly into the opponent's goal.
Indirect Free Kick
On an indirect free kick, the ball must touch another player in addition to the kicker prior to a goal being scored. The referee signals an indirect free kick by holding a hand in the air until the ball isplayed or touched by another player or goes out of bounds.
The referee applies the advantage clause to allow play to continue if, in the opinion of the referee, the fouled team would lose their advantage by stopping play to award them a free kick. If the referee applies the advantage clause and the advantage which was anticipated does not develop at that time, the referee shall penalize the original offense.
Off-side (one S only)
A player is in an off-side position if he or she is nearer to the opponents' goal-line than the ball (i.e. in front of the ball), unless the player is in his or her half of the field, or there are atleast two opponents between them and the goal-line. It is not an offense in itself to be in an off-side position. A player shall only be penalized for being in an off-side position if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by a teammate, he or she is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in the play by:
- interfering with play
- interfering with an opponent
- gaining an advantage by being in that position
A player shall not be declared off-side by the referee merely because of being in an off-side position or if the ball is received directly from a goal kick, a corner kick, or a throw-in. If a player is declared off-side, the referee shall award an indirect free kick, which shall be taken by a player of the opposing team from the place where the infringement occurred, unless the offense is committed by a player in the opponents' goal area, in which case the free kick shall be taken from any point within the goal area.
Misconduct Resulting in a Caution (YELLOW CARD)
- Dissent with the referee's decision by word or action
- Unsporting behavior (including removing jersey to celebrate a goal)
- Persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
- Entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee's permission
- Deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee's permission
- Delaying the restart of play
- Failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a kick
Misconduct Resulting in a Send-off (RED CARD)
- Violent conduct
- Serious foul play
- Abusive or foul language
- Spitting at an opponent or any other person
- Denying an opponent a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
- Guilty of a second cautionable offense after having already received a caution
Two of the most misunderstood laws are handling the ball, and off-side. As spectators and coaches, please refrain from helping the referee by hollering out HANDS! or OFF SIDE! If you would like to be in a position to make those calls, please sign up for a referee class and volunteer to officiate some games. Otherwise, it is not useful to assist the referee with these calls.