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Soccer Field Diagram and Positions

1- History & Object
2- The Essentials
3- Field Diagram and Positions
4- Glossary 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, corner 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 the sideline.

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 box.

Goal area: Goal kicks are taken from the corners of this box.

Goal: Points are scored when the ball passes through the 8-foot tall goal.

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.

Soccer field diagramPositions

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 side). 


Goalkeeper 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 Forwards: Attack the opposition to create scoring opportunities. Take the majority of shots. Also called attackers.

Midfielders Midfielders: Enable the transition from the fullbacks to the forward. Constantly in motion, both defending and attacking. Also called halfbacks.

Fullbacks 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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