Football Rules

Who makes the football rules?

The official football rules are called the “Laws of the Game” and are revised annually (usually in July) by FIFA, the world football governing body, but youth organizations usually adjust the rules to fit children.

Typical adjustments are field sizes, game lengths, number of football players per football team, the number and frequency of substitutions, “offside” is sometimes not called, and slide tackling is sometimes not allowed. Field sizes, ball sizes, length of games & rules vary by age group.

The FIFA football rules do not require separate football teams for girls and boys, but many football clubs and associations have separate leagues for boys and girls football teams..

All of the following modifications are permissible for a football game:

  • size of the field of the football play
  • size, weight and material of the football ball
  • width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the football ground
  • duration of the periods of a football play
  • substitutions

Dimensions Of The Football Field

The field of play must be rectangular. The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line.

  • Length: minimum 90 m (100 yds) maximum 120 m (130 yds)
  • Width: minimum 45 m (50 yds) maximum 90 m (100 yds)

Markings In The Football Field

The field of play is marked with lines. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries. The two longer boundary lines are called touch lines. The two shorter lines are called goal lines. All lines are not more than 12 cm (5 ins) wide. The football field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line.

The Football Goal Area

A f ootball goal area is defined at each end of the field as follows:

Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 5.5 m (6 yds) from the inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the football field of play for a distance of 5.5 m (6 yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel
with the goal line. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area of a foodball field.

Football Goals

Football goals must be placed on the centre of each goal line. They consist of two upright posts equidistant from the corner flag posts and joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar.

The distance between the goal posts is 7.32 m (8 yds) and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is 2.44 m (8 ft).
Both goalposts and the crossbar have the same width and depth, which do not exceed 12 cm (5 ins). The goal lines in a football field are the same width as that of the goalposts and the crossbar. Nets may be attached to the goals and the ground behind the goal, provided that they are properly supported and do not interfere with the goalkeeper.
The goalposts and crossbars in a football field must be white.

Football Players

A match is played by two football teams, each consisting of not more than eleven football players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A football match may not start if either football team consists of fewer than seven football players.

Football Periods of Play

The football match lasts two equal periods of 45 minutes, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the referee and the two participating football teams. Any agreement to alter the periods of a football play (for example to reduce
each half to 40 minutes because of insuffi cient light) must be made before the start of play and must comply with competition rules.

Goal Scored In A Football Game

A goal is scored in a football game when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the “Laws of the Game” has been committed previously
by the football team scoring the goal.

Team Winning A Football Match

The football team scoring the greater number of goals during a football match is the winner. If both football teams score an equal number of goals, or if no goals are scored during the football match then the match is drawn.

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