Learn the rules of soccer for beginners and discover easy ways to modify the game for young players, those with limited skills, or individuals with disabilities.
In Part 1, we learned about the playing field, positions, equipment, playing the ball, and scoring. We will cover the remainder of the basic soccer rules below.
The ball is out of play when it completely crosses the boundary lines on the field or when the referee has blown his whistle to stop play. It isn't out if it's touching the line. Play is restarted by a throw-in when the ball has crossed the sidelines, and by either a goal kick or a corner kick when it has crossed the goal line.
A throw-in is taken along the sideline at the spot where the ball went out of bounds. It is taken by the team not responsible for putting the ball out of play. On a throw-in, the player must:
If any of these rules are broken, the other team is granted the ball at that spot. You can't score a goal directly from a throw-in, and the player throwing the ball in is not allowed to touch it until another player has touched it.
A goal kick is awarded to the defending team when the offense kicks the ball out of bounds across the goal line (end line.) It:
All players must remain outside of the penalty area until the ball is kicked, and a goal can’t be scored directly from a goal kick.
A corner kick it awarded to the offensive team if the ball goes out of bounds across the goal line. It's taken from the quarter circle with the flag in the corner of the field on the side of the field where the ball went out of bounds. On a corner kick:
An offensive player is offside if, when the ball is played, she is closer to the goal than 2 defensive players and the ball, unless:
A free kick is either a direct or indirect kick taken from the place where an offense occurred. The ball is stationary, and all opponents must be 10 yards from the ball.
A direct free kick is awarded if any of the following fouls are committed by a defender in his penalty area:
The kicker can score directly from the kick.
An indirect free kick is awarded for:
It's okay to charge a goalkeeper if she:
A goal can't be scored until the ball has been touched by another player.
A penalty is a direct free kick that is awarded to the attacking team when an offense occurs by a defender inside his own penalty area. On a penalty kick:
The referee may caution a player if he:
The referee may send a player off the field for the rest of the game if she:
For young players, beginners, or those with disabilities, try out some of these modified soccer rules...
To learn more about youth soccer at the national level, check out US Youth Soccer.