Introduction to Football


What is football?

Association football more commonly known as football or soccer, a sport played between 2 slides of 11 players with a spherical ball. Football is the worlds most popular sport.

Outfield players move the ball with any part of the body except their hands or arms, whilst the ball is in play. Only the goal keeper can use their hands and this is only in their penalty area. When the ball goes out of play at either side of the pitch an opposing player from the side which did not put the ball out of play can throw the ball back into play using their hands. Both feet must remain on the floor behind the throw line. Both hands must remain on the ball until it is released from behind the throwers head.

The object of football is to outscore your opponents. A goal is scored when the entire ball crosses the goal line between the goal posts. A draw is when both teams score the same amount of goals during the allotted time.


A match consists of two 45 minute periods known as the first and second half. In some instances, extra time can be played, two 15 minute periods. If side remain level after extra time a replay or penalty kicks can occur. Each team will take 5 penalties each, if scores remain level after both teams take their allotted 5 penalties then sudden death occurs. The first team to miss their penalty will lose if the opponents have scored their sudden death penalty kick. Extra time and penalties tend to only occur in tournaments and cup competitions. League games will result in a draw if both teams score the same amount of goals during the 90 minutes.

Who is football for?

Football has been a sport predominantly played by men, however in modern times there has been a huge growth in the number of women participating in the game. National and international has seen a significate growth in participants and attendances in women’s football.

Girls and boys play in mixed sex leagues up until 10 years of age. Then they must play in single sex leagues.

Football tends to be none competitive up until the age of 10, whereby weekly fixtures are played over the course of a season, however there is no league. Score is kept during a game.

Football academies are available and soccer camps/schools where children can go for training and to develop technical skills, to build confidence and learn the rules of the game.

There are amateur, semi pro and professional teams as well as local (Sunday league) teams. Although local teams now play both Saturdays and Sundays. The level players compete at is dependant on ability.


Each player will wear football boots, studs, blades or moulded this is depended on the pitch conditions.

Shin pads must be worn by all players, to protect their shins. Some players ware ankle pads, however these are not compulsory.

Goal keepers are allowed to wear gloves.

Football kit is t-shirt, shorts and socks.  Teams will provide kits. Training ware, boots and shin guards are provided by the player.

The ball is spherical and differs in size depending of the age of the teams.

The pitch

Adult pitch range from 100 – 110 yd in length and 70 – 80 yds. in width. A rectangular goal is in the middle of each goal line. A goal consists of two goal posts and a cross bar. Posts are 8 yds. apart. The posts are 8ft high. Nets are placed behind each goal and are attached to the posts and cross bars.

The penalty box (goal keeper’s area) is a box in front of each goal and is 18 yds in length and width. There is a 6 yd box within the 18 yd box in front of the goal, this is where a goal kick is taken. A goal kick is awarded when the ball crosses the goal line off an opposing player from the opposite team to the goal keeper in that goal. If it comes of any player including the goal keeper who are defending that particular goal then a corner kick is awarded. A corner kick is a free kick taken from the edge of the goal line within the D around the corner flag.

There is a penalty spot in the centre of the goal, 12 yds out.

In the centre of the pitch is the centre circle this is where the game kicks off at the start of each half and after every goal.


A referee insures the rules are abided with. He awards free kicks (when a player commits a foul), penalty kicks for a foul within the penalty area of the opposing team, corner kicks and throw ins. Linesman stand on opposing side lines and assist the referee in decisions including offside and which teams throw in it is. They can advise the referee on any decision, however the referee has the final say.




  • Kick off – the start of each half of play and after each goal, taken from the centre circle.
  • Throw in – when the ball crosses the touchline.
  • Goal kick – when the ball crosses the goal line. Awarded to defending team if an attacking team is last to touch the ball.
  • Corner kick – when the ball crosses the goal line. Awarded to the attacking team if an defensive player touches the ball last.
  • Indirect free kick – awarded for non-penal fouls or technical infringements such as obstruction, or when play is stopped for a caution. A goal cannot be scored direct from an indirect free kick.
  • Direct free kick – awarded for penal fouls. A goal can be scored direct from a direct free kick.
  • Penalty – awarded for a foul committed within the opposing penalty area.
  • Red card – awarded by the referee for a foul, which is considered a serious breach of the rules, including when the referee considerer the conduct dangerous. A red card is also given for two yellow cards. A player must leave the filed of player immediately and is not permitted to return.
  • Yellow card – a yellow card is awarded by the referee for a breach of the rules that he does not consider serious or dangerous. A player who receives a yellow card is known as getting “booked” as the referee records the players name in his book.
  • Substitution – 11 players are allowed on the pitch unless a player has been sent off or a team has made the maximum of 3 substitutions. 3 substitutions are allowed out of 5 out field players and a sub goalkeeper. You are not allowed to sub a player who is in the course of being sent off or already dismissed.