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Brick Twp. Soccer Association

Brick Twp. Soccer Association

Parent's Guide To The Basic Rules Of Soccer

The aim of the game is to score goals by getting the ball into the other team’s net. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins.

Players can score a goal from anywhere on the field, but there are some specific rules. For example, a goal cannot be scored from an indirect free kick.

During the kickoff:

  • All players (except the player taking the kickoff) must be in their half of the field
  • The ball must be stationary on the center spot
  • The kicker taking the kickoff must not touch the ball again until another player touches it
  • The opponents of the team taking the kickoff must be at least 9.15 meters (10 yards) away from the ball
  • The ball is considered "in play" when it is kicked and moves

Here are some other basic soccer rules (you'll find more specific categories and rules later in this guide):

  • No hands: The goalkeeper (goalie) is the only player on the field who can use their hands. All other players must use their feet, head, or chest to control the ball. If the player touches the ball, it’s considered a handball and a foul.
  • Throw-ins: When the ball goes out of bounds on the sidelines, the team who didn’t touch it last gets to throw the ball back into play.
  • Goal kicks and corner kicks: When the ball goes out of bounds behind the goal line (not resulting in a goal), the goalkeeper of the team who didn’t touch it last gets to kick the ball back into play. If the ball goes out of bounds on the sideline in front of the goal, the team who didn’t touch it last gets a corner kick.
  • Direct and indirect kicks: Players can score on a direct kick, which is a kick that goes directly into the goal without another player touching it. An indirect kick is when another player must touch the ball before it can go into the goal.
  • No time limit for possession: There is no time limit on how long a team can keep the ball.
  • The clock doesn't stop: The game clock does not stop, even if the ball goes out of bounds or there is an injury.
  • Stoppage time: If the referee deems it necessary, he may add extra time at the end of each half. This is called stoppage time or injury time.
  • Offside rule: The offside rule is one of the most misunderstood rules in soccer. The basic idea is that a player cannot be in an advantageous position when the ball is played to them. Being in an offside position is not in itself an offense. An offside offense occurs when a player is in the opponent’s half of the field and closer to their goal than both the ball and the second-to-last opponent. 

Soccer penalty card colors explained

A yellow card is shown to a player as a warning or caution. Two yellow cards in one game lead to a red card, and the player must leave the field.

A red card is given to a player who has committed a serious offense or accumulated two yellow cards. The player must leave the field and can't be replaced for the rest of the game.

The referee can choose to give a yellow card to a player for the following actions:

  • Excessive fouls
  • Unsportsmanlike behavior
  • Dissent by word or action
  • Delaying the game
  • Failing to respect the required distance on a free kick
  • Entering or reentering the field of play without the referee's permission
  • Leaving the playing field on purpose without the referee's approval
  • Arguing with the referee

The referee also has the power to give a player a red card, kicking them out of the game, for the following actions:

  • Serious foul play
  • Violent conduct
  • Using offensive, insulting, or abusive language
  • Receiving a second yellow card in one game


Brick Twp. Soccer Association
P.O. Box 1905 
Brick, New Jersey 08724

Phone: 732-684-2874
Email: [email protected]

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