The Laws of the Game

How to play Football (the official rules from FIFA)
Rahman Mohamed

The FIFA Men’s World Cup is coming this summer to Brazil and FIFA Women’s World Cup next year to Canada. But do you know how to play the game?

Here’s a breakdown of the official “Laws of the Game” (last modified at their 127th Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, 2013)

  1. Make the field the way they say
  2. Use an approved ball
  3. Maximum 11 players on each team and minimum 7 players; otherwise the game’s not allowed to start; one of them has to be the goalkeeper. And there are rules you have to follow if you’re substituting.
  4. Don’t wear anything that’ll harm you while you’re playing. Wear a shirt, shorts, shoes, socks, and shin guards. And make sure the colours of the two teams are different
  5. The ultimate authority of the game: THE REFEREE. Refs can change their mind and no one can argue.
  6. The Referee gets two Assistant Referees
  7. Two halves, 45 minutes each with a maximum 15 minute break in between
  8. To choose who gets to start the match, toss a coin. The team that wins sends two players. Ones kick the ball to a teammate; you just have to make sure all your other teammates and your opponents are on their own side of the field before you start (No cheating!)
  9. The ball is only out of play if it crosses the boundaries of the field; even if it rebounds of a ref and stays in the field it’s in play
  10. A goal is scored when the ball passes the goal line. The winning team has the most goals.
  11. If the player crosses an opposing team’s boundary before the ball he’s offside. If that happens the opposing team gets a free kick
  12. If a player misbehaves towards the opposing team (commits a foul) the opposing team gets a free kick. There’s a list of fouls and the ref knows it.

One misbehaviour is when a player “handles the ball deliberately (except the goalkeeper) within his own penalty area” or if a goal keeper touches the ball with his hands after he lets go and before it touches another player.

A penalty kick occurs when the foul happens inside the penalty area.

If the ref thinks a player is really bad he can get a warning from the ref with a “Yellow Card”. A player who’s even worse can get a “Red Card” and be sent off the field. You can be sent off for using your hands to prevent the opposing team from scoring.

  1. If you take a Free Kick you have to follow the rules. If you don’t you have to take it again.
  2. If you take a Penalty kick you’ll get extra time. But you have to follow the rules.
  3. When you throw the ball in after it goes out, throw it into the field (not into the crowd).
  4. If the ball goes behind the back line, is out of play and the last player that touched was on the attacking team, the goalkeeper gets to kick it in. It’s called a goal kick. If players don’t follow the rules the goalkeeper gets to do it again.
  5. If the ball goes behind the back line, is out of play and the last player that touched was on the defending team, someone from the opposing team gets to kick it in from the closest corner. It’s called a corner kick. If players don’t follow the rules the goalkeeper gets to do it again.

Canada hasn’t qualified for a World Cup since 1986 (the first time and only time it qualified for any FIFA World Cup). February, 2014 the Canadian men had slipped 2 points to 113 (the highest they’ve been is 40); women hadn’t changed and were just a bit higher at 7 (the highest they’ve been is 6).

The Battle For the World Cup; coming soon to a screen near you! The encores are coming to Canada live; August 5-24, 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and June 6-July 4, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup; as host country Canada qualifies! But our rankings are high!


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