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Football Rules and Regulations 2017

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

FOOTBALL REGULATIONS: Football is often called soccer outside the United Kingdom. But, English FIFA 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 association football. They established their headquarters in Switzerland from 1904. FIFA currently have over 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. That will help keep you match ready in the 2017 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.

FIFA Directives on Goal CelebrationsFootball Playing Surface

The field of play for soccer football must be rectangular-shaped.

The playing surface should have 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 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 and Official Assistants

Periods of Play in Soccer

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 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:

The 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

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.

The Football 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

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 Football

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 Regulations in Football

Soccer Players Also Ask About...

10 Basic Rules of Football: Get the essential start in soccer with these 10 football rules.
Football FAQs: Find the answers to the most asked questions in football.
Football Teams A-Z: An up-to-date list of teams names, stadium, and ground capacity.
Football Back Pass Rule: Find out when and why the goalie cannot handle the ball.
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.
FA Offside Rule: Gain advantage and stay onside with a simple explanation of FIFA offside rules.
Football Equipment List: Find out when and how you can modify football equipment in application.
FIFA Football Ball Specifications: Find out the regulations for ball size, material, and inflated pressure.
Football Player Positions: Explaining all soccer team player positions and their roles on the field.
Handball in Football: FA rules for intentional or deliberate handling and accidental ball touching offences.
Football Terminology: A concise word list of definitions will help you speak the lingo and phraseology.
Penalty Kicks: FIFA Law 14 regulates major foul infringements and penalties.
Kicking and Netting Penalties: How to master the tactics of taking and scoring soccer penalties.
Referee Rules in Football: What are the roles and responsibilities of a football referee?
FIFA Official Rules Book of Football: [PDF Download Option]

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FIFA Rules and Regulation of Football; UK Rules Updated 2017