Nobody is unaware of this fact that football is the most popular sport in the world and as watched by billions of people every year. But just like any other sport, the internationally famous football is played with some fine rules that are known as the Laws of the game. According to the International Football Association Board, the Laws of the games are officially defined as the codified rules of association football.
The Laws of football include everything from the number of players playing in a team to the size and capacity of the field. It mentions the Nature and type of the ball thrown, foul and goal scoring criteria, offside Rules, etc. Referee is assigned the responsibility of interpreting laws and ensuring that nobody breaks the law. He is also responsible to ensure that the game is fair and nobody cheats. These Laws of football are administered by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). They assemble once a year to discuss and debate on the changes needed to existing Rules at that time. Come on let’s take a look at these laws of the game/ Rules of football.
1. Football Field
It is not like if you want to play football you can choose any field with varied measurements. There is a certain measurement of field of play that is given by IFAB. It is usually the surface of earth where the game is officially played. According to laws of game, in a standard match of 11 per team, the football field must be 90- 120 m and length and 45 to 90 m in breadth (goalline)
The surface of play is marked with white lines and one of them runs parallel to the goal line dividing the field of play in two halves. The Centre of the field is also located on the same line around which a circle of 9.15 m circumference is drawn.
Every equipment used in the game of football from ball to players uniform has been standardized. There is a certain weight, height and length for a standard football. The ball must be with a circumference of 68 to 70 cm. It should weigh 410 to 450 grams as it is the standard weight for a football.
3. The Number of Team Players
Both teams in a game consist of the same number of players to ensure a fair game. According to the laws of game given by the IFAB, each Team should consist of 11 players maximum out of which 10 play in the field while one acts as goalkeeper. But not to confuse 11 players should be maximum in the team while the minimum number is 7 including goalkeeper. No match can be played if anything has less than 7 players.
4. Equipment of Players
As you already know, a player has to use some equipment mandatorily. According to the official rules, these equipment include a jersey or shirt with sleeves, footwear, socks, shorts and shin guards. But to distinguish between the teams, players are suggested a different color code. The standardization also applies to these equipment as the socks should be long enough to cover the entire shin guard.
As we already told you, the referee is responsible to ensure a fair game and he has the power to stop the game at any point if he finds any player breaking the rules. Referee is one of those officials in a football match who regulate it and maintain the decorum of the game by enforcing the rules. He can penalise any player for breaking the rule or committing a foul. In earlier times both teams’ captains used to play the referee.
6. Assistant Referee
You might think that a single person staying in the middle of the game can oversee and regulate the entire game. To be correct, he is not alone. The referee is assisted by assistant referees who help him to conduct a fair match. They are positioned at the side lines or sides of the field to catch any offence or violation of offside rules near the sidelines. They can help the referee to make a right decision regarding handball, foul, etc.
7. Time Duration
Usually a standard match is played with the time duration of 90 minutes that is divided into two halves of 45 minutes. They also get a 15 minutes break in both halves of 45 minutes. The referee is allowed to add extra time to the match if there is any delay due to injury or any other stoppage.
The result is to come out after the match of 90 minutes. If the game ties, they are given extra 2 halves of 15 minutes each to play in order to get a winner. If the game still remains tied after playing extra time, the decision is made via a penalty shootout.
8. Start of the Kick Off
Before starting the match it has to be decided which team would kick off in the first half and second half. Although it is confirmed that both teams would have a chance to kick off in either, it is yet to decide who would start it in the first half. A coin is tossed in order to decide. You must remember that a kick takes place three times.
- When a goal is scored
- To begin second half
- To initiate the extra given half
9. Scoring System
Do you know how a team manages to score a goal? When the ball completely crosses over the goal line between the goal post and under the crossbar, a goal is scored. It can be from a free kick, action or penalty kick.
10. Ball In and Out System
When the whole ball completely crosses the goal line or touch line which marks the boundary of the field, it is considered an out ball. Other than this, the referee’s whistle can also announce the same. But these two situations aside, the ball is always in play.
11. Offside Rules
One of the trickiest rules mentioned in the laws of the game was introduced much later. If a player is caught near the opposite team’s goal line than the second last opponent player and the ball, he is considered to be in an offside area. Being offside is committed to be punished. Referee penalizes the player if he catches him offside. Offside does not matter only if the player receives the ball directly from a goal kick, corner kick or throw in.
12. Foul and Mis-Conduct
There used to be a time when kicking an opponent player was allowed in the game and considered fine. But now the same thing is called misconduct. A player can be penalized or terminated due to misconduct. A foul occurs when a player tries to snatch the ball from his opponent when the ball is in play.
The player is penalized by the referee for a foul or can get a yellow or red card for misbehavior. Yellow card given to a player by the referee allows him to continue the match but if a second yellow card is issued, it equates to the red card that sends him off. The player can also get the red card directly by the referee depending on the intensity of the foul.
13. Free Kick
Free kick is of two types- direct and indirect. The direct free kick is when a player kicks the ball to another player before moving towards a goal. On the other hand, indirect kick is when the player decides to send the ball towards goal directly without passing it to another Player.
14. Penalty Kick
A team is awarded a penalty when the opposition team commits a major foul or handles the ball except the goalkeeper in its own penalty area. Then the ball is placed on the penalty spot and only the goalkeeper and penalty taker is allowed to be in the box when penalty kick is taken.
A throw-in is awarded to a team when the ball is touched last time by its opponent team’s player before the ball crosses over the touchline and goes out of play. The correct position of throwing a ball suggests that the player’s feet should be on the ground, hands on the ball and he should throw the ball from behind over your head.
16. Goal Kick
A Goal Kick is awarded to a team when the opposition team kicks the ball and it crosses the goal line without scoring a goal. It’s similar to throw in but touchline is replaced by goalline in this case. The ball is kicked from any position within the goal by any defender. The ball must pass the penalty area and the kicker should not touch the ball before it is touched by any other player.
17. Corner Kick
A corner kick is awarded to the attacking team when the defending team puts the ball over the goal line without scoring a goal (i.e. pass the ball between the goal post and under the crossbar ). The ball is placed in the corner next to the flag and opposition players have to keep a distance of 9.15 metres from the corner arc until it’s back in play.