History & Object
2- The Essentials
3- Field Diagram and
of Soccer Terms
Field of Play
Soccer is played
on a large grass rectangular field
with goals on either end. The ball
is out of bounds when the entire soccer
ball has crossed the goal line or
touch line, whether on the ground
or in the air. Depending on where
it left the field and who touched
it last, the ball is put back into
play by a throw-in,
kick, or goal
kick. While soccer field dimensions
may vary slightly by level of play,
all fields have some common characteristics:
Midfield line: Line that
divides the field into equal halves.
Touch Line: The line that
defines the outer edge of the longer
sides of the field. When the ball
goes out of bounds over the touch
line, a throw in occurs. Also called
Goal lines: Lines that mark
out of bounds at either end of the
field. When the ball goes out of bounds
over the goal line, either a goal
kick or corner kick occurs, depending
on which team last touched the ball.
Also called end lines.
Penalty area: Arguably the
most important portion of the field,
because a foul inside the penalty
area results in a penalty
kick. Also called the penalty
Goal area: Goal kicks are
taken from the corners of this box.
Goal: Points are scored when
the ball passes through the 8-foot
Center circle: Opposing players
must stand outside the circle until
the ball is kicked to initiate the
game in a kickoff.
Center spot: A mark at the
center of the halfway line where the
ball is placed during kickoffs.
Corner kick quarter-circles:
Area where ball is placed on corner
kicks. A flag at least five feet high
stands at all four corners.
Players are divided into two basic
classifications: goalkeepers and field
players. Field players consist of
forwards, midfielders and fullbacks.
Coaches can mix and match the number
of players at each position, as long
as there are 11 players on the field.
Sample formations include 4-4-2, 3-5-2,
4-2-4, etc. and are listed fullback-midfielder-forward,
respectively (see diagram on other
Goalkeeper: Keeps the ball out
of the goal and organizes team defense.
Uses hands and arms within the penalty
area. Possesses sure hands to catch,
deflect, or punch shots away from
the goal. Also called goalie or keeper.
Forwards: Attack the opposition
to create scoring opportunities. Take
the majority of shots. Also called
Midfielders: Enable the transition
from the fullbacks to the forward.
Constantly in motion, both defending
and attacking. Also called halfbacks.
Fullbacks: Provide last line of
defense before the goalie. Stop the
opposition before a shot is taken.
Some coaches assign a single defender,
called a sweeper, who plays closest
to his own goal behind the fullbacks.
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