As we all know, soccer is an immensely popular sport worldwide, enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. While some fans are highly knowledgeable about the intricacies of the game, many people simply relish the lively atmosphere.
To help you gain a better understanding of the sport, here's a brief introduction to the rules of soccer.
1. Game Time
The most fundamental rule of soccer is game time. In official matches, the game is divided into two 45-minute halves, with no more than a 15-minute break in between. Each half also includes an injury period, which varies depending on the game's events. This period usually ranges from 1-2 minutes, but in rare cases, it may extend up to 5-6 minutes. The length of time is determined by the referee.
Injury timeouts occur for three main reasons: to treat an injured player on the field, to delay the game, or for any other necessary reason. In knockout games where both teams tie, there may be an additional 30 minutes of overtime, divided into two 15-minute halves.
2. Yellow and Red Cards
Yellow and red cards are awarded to players based on the nature of their offenses. A yellow card is a warning, and if the same offense is repeated, the player will be sent off. A red card, on the other hand, results in immediate dismissal from the game.
A red card is typically shown for malicious fouls or violent acts, intentional handball, abusive language, or when the same player receives two yellow cards in the same match. During a game, players who display poor sportsmanship or use inappropriate language or actions will be shown yellow cards. Those who repeatedly foul, intentionally delay the game, or enter/leave the field without permission may also receive yellow cards.
3. Offside Situations
Offside occurs when a player's foot touches the ball at the moment of a pass, and the player is closer to the opponent's goal line than the second-to-last defender. In such cases, the player is in an offside position. However, offside is not awarded if the player is in line with the second-to-last defender.
When an offside position is detected, the referee may award an offside foul, interference with the game, interference with the opponent, or an attempt to gain an unfair advantage. After the referee has awarded offside, the opponent gains possession of the ball.
4. Penalty Kicks, Free Kicks, and Corner Kicks
Penalty kicks are awarded for any direct free-kick foul that occurs within the penalty area. During a penalty kick, players from both teams cannot enter the penalty area. If a defensive player enters the penalty area, the goal is valid; if an offensive player enters the penalty area, the goal is invalid, and the penalty must be retaken. The goalkeeper is allowed to move around on the goal line during the penalty kick, but not forward.
Free kicks in soccer are divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct free kicks are awarded for offenses such as malicious kicking, hitting, or tripping. Hand touching the ball, pushing, pulling, or abusive behavior also fall into this category. A direct free kick can be shot directly at the goal, and if such offenses occur within the penalty area, a penalty kick is awarded.
Indirect free kicks are awarded for dangerous actions, obstruction, positioning of the ball, and other similar offenses. Unlike direct free kicks, an indirect free kick cannot be scored directly. The ball must touch another player before it can be considered a goal.