FIFA 17 Laws of the Game (LOTG) define all the rules and regulations of football. This summarised list of soccer rules and regulation will help you understand the action.
Note: Most people call it 'soccer' outside of the United Kingdom. Even so, FIFA football rules and regulations are synonymous with soccer rules.
The laws of football (association football) are the same as those used in the game of soccer. This guide focuses on explaining FIFA rules 2022.
Where do the rule descriptions and regulatory explanations derive from? In fact, they come from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Let's take a closer look:
FIFA is the international governing body of the seventeen laws of association football - with their headquarters established in Switzerland since 1904.
There are more than 200 members of FIFA representing different countries. In 2013, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) comprised an updated 150-page rule book.
Full definitions of soccer regulations are available on the FIFA website. You can also read the unabridged version of FIFA rules and regulations PDF 2022/23 online.
So, here's the deal:
Our primary goal is to shoot you through the most important and basic rules and regulations in football. But, you might want to check out the promoted football teams names A to Z beforehand.
Familiarising yourself with all the clubs will ensure you are match ready for the 2022/23 English Premier League (EPL) soccer season.
There is one simple aim in football. The triumphant team will be 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.
A field of play for soccer rules and regulations needs to be rectangular in shape. A playing surface should have clear and continuous marked boundary lines.
The field surface may be completely natural (e.g. grass) or it can be a green colored artificial surface (e.g. AstroTurf).
Even so, some hybrid systems actually combine artificial and natural materials and still meet FIFA field of play regulation.
The touchlines make up the two longest boundary lines of the rectangle. Whereas, the goal lines will form the two shorter boundary lines. The halfway line divides the field into two same-sized halves.
Note: The touchline length for international matches measures 100-110 metres and 64-75 metres for the goal lines.
Most of the elite and competitive matches will use goal line technology. In this case, the organisers of the competitions must ensure the system meets the requirements and specifications of GLT.
FIFA football laws govern commercial advertising on the field of play. Further prohibitions also apply to logos and emblems.
There needs to be a video operation room and at least one referee review area in football matches that use a Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Note: The football equipment facts and facilities section has extra information. It overviews the rules on GLT, VAR, logos, and commercial advertising.
Note: Don't miss our comprehensive list of rules and regulations in sport (alphabetically from American Football to Yoga) in the master section.
The international standard on football ball weight and sizes comes from FIFA Law 2. Check the integrity required for all approved match balls used in association football games.
You play the modern game of soccer with a spherical ball made from synthetic leather (or some other composite material).
The circumference of a football ball used in official sanctioned matches must measure between 27 and 28 inches.
Furthermore, it must be correctly inflated to an appropriate pressure before the game begins (checked and confirmed by the 4th official).
Note: As a rule, soccer youth leagues would use a smaller ball being more appropriate for young children.
Players must wear a separate jersey and shorts (not one piece). They must also wear socks, shin guards, and boots (with studs or cleats for traction). Socks must completely cover the shin guards.
Important: The match referee can send a player off the pitch if they believe the soccer equipment they are wearing is unsafe or unsatisfactory.
Note: The short YouTube video [7:43 seconds] explains some of the new football rules introduced by IFAB starting from the 1st of June 2019.
A match is played over two separate halves. Each half lasts for 45 minutes of normal playing time with a fifteen (15) minute interval at half-time.
The opposing team will restart 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 player substitutions.
The referee can extend the half beyond 45 minutes if a player needs to take a penalty kick (or retake it). In most cases, an abandoned match would be rescheduled and replayed at a later date.
According to the rules of football UK, a goal results when the ball enters the goalmouth and 'completely' crosses the goal line.
Law 12 and the goal rules directives on soccer govern FIFA rules on goal celebrations according to the official rule book of football.
According to the rules and regulations for football, the team which has scored the most goals once the game is over (e.g. after the final whistle) will be declared as the winner.
But, 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 shootout competition to determine the winner.
The offside offence is a technical rule infraction in association football. A different section clarifies how the football offside rule ensures there are opponents between the attacking player receiving the ball and the goal.
The referee will award a direct free kick if a player commits any of these types of football fouls:
The direct free kick results in a penalty kick if the offence is committed by a player in their own penalty area.
An indirect free kick will be awarded if a player commits any of these fouls:
There are two categories of free kick - called 'direct' and 'indirect'. A player can take a direct free kick and aim it 'directly' into the opponent's goal.
Note: The ball is not required to make contact with another player beforehand with direct free kicks.
The referee will award a penalty kick if (either):
Note: According to football penalty rules players can score a direct goal when taking penalties as a spot kick.
A throw in is awarded when the team in possession of the ball plays it out of bounds (over a touchline). While taking a throw-in, a player must (both):
If these conditions are not met, play is stopped and would result in a throw-in awarded to the opposing team. Players are not allowed to score directly off a throw-in.
A goal kick is 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.
A corner kick will be awarded to the offensive team when the defensive team plays the ball out of bounds over their own goal line.
The ball is placed within the marked corner area and kicked back into play by the offensive team. Players may score directly from the taking of a corner kick.
FIFA Rules and Regulations of Football in the United Kingdom