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Football (soccer)

Football Rules and Regulations 2017

A concise list of FIFA Football rules and regulations for football fans. This section helps you understand the basic laws of the beautiful game.

FOOTBALL REGULATION: Football is often called soccer outside the United Kingdom. But, FIFA English Football rules and regulations are synonymous with soccer. So the laws are the same.

These rule descriptions and regulatory explanations derive from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

FIFA is the international governing body of the laws of association football. They established their headquarters in Switzerland from 1904.

FIFA currently have more than 200 members around the world.

In 2013 the International Football Association Board (IFAB) comprised the updated 150-page rule book. It is the most recent version of the rules and regulations of football. Full definitions of the regulations are available on the FIFA website.

Our first goal is to shoot you through the most important and basic rules and regulations of football. Check out all the promoted football teams names A to Z and get match ready for the 2017/18 English Premier League (EPL) soccer season.

Basic Football Rules and Regulations of Playing English SoccerFIFA Regulations of Football 2017

Aim of the Game Football

There is one simple aim of football. The triumphant team is the one which scores most goals at the end of play. Players score goals by kicking or heading the football ball into the goal net of the opposite team.

Football Rules: FIFA Directives on Goal CelebrationsFootball Rules: Playing Surface

The field of play for soccer rules and regulations must be rectangular in shape.

The playing surface should have clear and marked boundary lines.

The playing field may be a natural or a green colored artificial surface.

The touchlines are the two longest sides of the rectangle and the goal lines are the two shorter sides. The halfway line divides the field into two same-sized halves.

Before the Football Match

Football Rules and Regulations for Equipment

There are many differences between the rules of American Football and English Football regulations. One of the biggest differences is the shape of the Ball. You play soccer with a spherical ball made from leather (or similar material).

The circumference of the ball for official sanctioned matches must be 27 - 28 inches. It must also be correctly inflated to an appropriate pressure before the game begins. Soccer youth leagues often use a smaller ball more appropriate for young children.

Players must wear a separate jersey and shorts (not one piece). They will wear socks, shin guards, and boots with studs or cleats for traction. Players' socks must completely cover their shin guards. The referee may send a player off if he deems the soccer equipment to be unsafe or unsatisfactory.

Football Referee Rules and Regulations

Periods of Play in Soccer Rules

The match gets played over two separate halves. Each half lasts 45 minutes of normal playing time with a 15 minute interval at half-time. The opposite team restarts the game with a kick-off taken at the center of the halfway line if a team scores a goal.

Extra playing time is usually imposed at the referee's discretion for time lost due to injuries and substitutions.

General FIFA Football Rules and Regulations

Football Fouls and Sanctions for Misconduct


A direct free kick gets awarded if a player commits any of these fouls:

The direct free kick results in a penalty kick if the offence gets committed by a player in their own penalty area.

An indirect free kick gets awarded if a player commits any of these fouls:

Rules and Regulations of Football Throw In

A throw-in gets awarded when the possessing team plays the ball out of bounds over the touchline.

While taking a throw-in, a player must release the ball with both hands simultaneously. They should keep both feet firmly planted on the ground to avoid making a 'foul throw'.

If these conditions are not met, play gets stopped and results with a throw-in to the opposing team. Players are not allowed to score directly off a throw-in.

The Goal Kick in Soccer Regulations

A goal kick gets awarded when the offensive team plays the ball out of bounds over the defensive team’s goal line. After the ball is out of play, the defender or goalkeeper may place the ball anywhere within the six-yard goal box to kick the ball back into play.

FIFA Football Rules: The Corner Kick

A corner kick gets awarded to the offensive team when the defensive team plays the ball out of bounds over its goal line. The ball gets placed within the corner area and kicked back into play by the offensive team. Players can score directly off a corner kick.

Scoring Goals in Soccer Rules

According to the simple rules of football UK, a goal results when the ball enters the goalmouth and crosses the goal line. FIFA Law 12 and goal rules directives on soccer govern team and player goal celebrations in the official rule book of football.

Winning a Game of English Football Rules

The team which has scored the most goals once the game is over gets declared the winner.

According to the basic rules and regulations for football if the scores are equal at the end of play then the match is a draw. Some football competition rules allow extra time (30 minutes) or a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner.

Advanced Rules and Regulations in Football

Also in this section...

A-Z List of Sports Rules: A detailed listing of popular indoor and outdoor sport categories.
10 Rules of Football: Get the essential start in soccer basics with these 10 football rules.
Back Pass Rule: Find out when and why the goalie cannot handle the ball in football.
Football FAQs: Find the answers to the most asked questions in football.
Football Teams Names A-Z: An up-to-date list of clubs names, stadiums, and ground capacity.
Goal Celebrations: FIFA directives on team and player goal celebrations under Law 12.
Caution Cards: FIFA referees use red and yellow caution cards to indicate ruling sanctions.
English Football Positions: Explaining all soccer team player positions and their roles on the field.
FA Offside Rule: Gain advantage and stay onside with a simple explanation of FIFA offside rules.
Football Equipment List: Find out what gear and accessories players need to play soccer football.
Football Penalty Rules: FIFA Law 14 regulates major foul infringements and the penalty spot kick.
FIFA Soccer Ball Specifications: Find out the regulations for ball size, material, and inflated pressure.
Handball in Football: FA rules on intentional or deliberate handling and accidental ball touching offences.
Kicking and Netting Penalties: How to master the tactics of taking and scoring soccer penalties.
Officials in Football: What are the roles and responsibilities of a football referee?
Soccer Equipment Facts: Find out when and how you can modify football equipment in application.
Terminologies of Football: FIFA terms word list definitions to help you speak the lingo and phraseology.
FIFA Rules 2017 PDF: [Portable Document File Download Option]


English Football in the News

In other sections...

Articles about Sports and Games: Get all the top news headlines on sport rules and regulations.
Arsenal Breach the Rules: Top club receives a £60,000 fine after breaching football agent regulations.
New FA Rules for 2017/18: Listing 9 new rule changes including ABBA penalties and diving bans.
Season Ticket Prices: 2017 Premier League tickets comparison chart for home and away matches.
FIFA Investigation Chelsea: Champions get investigated by FIFA for the 3rd time since 2009.
FIFA Poppies Ban: Why did FIFA ban the poppy and what are football shirt rules on poppies?
Poppy Penalties: Wales and Northern Ireland football clubs face penalties for crowd poppy signs.
FIFA Defends Lawsuit: The governing body of association football plays a defencive role in Switzerland.
FA Charge Manchester City: Manchester City 'club whereabouts' charge by the Football Association.
Euro 2016 Rule Changes: Football rule book sees a major update and a handful of regulation changes.
UEFA Rules on Doping: Wenger is gunning for tougher rules to discourage drug cheats in soccer.


FIFA Rules, Regulations and Legislation in Football