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St. Kevin CYO, Springfield



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players, and is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world. It is a football variant played on a rectangular grass or artificial turf field, with a goal at each of the short ends. The object of the game is to score by manoeuvring the ball into the opposing goal. In general play, the goalkeepers are the only players allowed to use their hands or arms to propel the ball; the rest of the team usually use their feet to kick the ball into position, occasionally using their torso or head to intercept a ball in midair. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the format of the competition.

The modern game was codified in England following the formation of The Football Association, whose 1863 Laws of the Game created the foundations for the way the sport is played today.


There are seventeen laws in the official Laws of the Game. The same Laws are designed to apply to all levels of football, although certain modifications for groups such as juniors, seniors or women are permitted. The laws are often framed in broad terms, which allow flexibility in their application depending on the nature of the game. In addition to the seventeen laws, numerous IFAB decisions and other directives contribute to the regulation of football. The Laws of the Game are published by FIFA, but are maintained by the International Football Association Board, not FIFA itself.

Players, equipment and officials

Each team consists of a maximum of eleven players (excluding substitutes), one of whom must be the goalkeeper. Competition rules may state a minimum number of players required to constitute a team; this is usually seven. Goalkeepers are the only players allowed to play the ball with their hands or arms, provided they do so within the penalty area in front of their own goal. Though there are a variety of positions in which the outfield (non-goalkeeper) players are strategically placed by a coach, these positions are not defined or required by the Laws.

The basic equipment or kit players are required to wear includes a shirt, shorts, socks, footwear and adequate shin guards. Headgear is not a required piece of basic equipment, but players today may choose to wear it to protect themselves from head injury. Players are forbidden to wear or use anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player, such as jewellery or watches. The goalkeeper must wear clothing that is easily distinguishable from that worn by the other players and the match officials.

A number of players may be replaced by substitutes during the course of the game. The maximum number of substitutions permitted in most competitive international and domestic league games is three, though the permitted number may vary in other competitions or in friendly matches. Common reasons for a substitution include injury, tiredness, ineffectiveness, a tactical switch, or timewasting at the end of a finely poised game. In standard adult matches, a player who has been substituted may not take further part in a match.

A game is officiated by a referee, who has "full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed" (Law 5), and whose decisions are final. The referee is assisted by two assistant referees. In many high-level games there is also a fourth official who assists the referee and may replace another official should the need arise.

Duration and tie-breaking methods

A standard adult football match consists of two periods of 45 minutes each, known as halves. Each half runs continuously, meaning that the clock is not stopped when the ball is out of play. There is usually a 15-minute half-time break between halves. The end of the match is known as full-time.

In league competitions, games may end in a draw, but in some knockout competitions if a game is tied at the end of regulation time it may go into extra time, which consists of two further 15-minute periods. If the score is still tied after extra time, some competitions allow the use of penalty shootouts.

International competitions

The major international competition in football is the World Cup, organised by FIFA. This competition takes place over a four-year period. More than 190 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. The finals tournament, which is held every four years, involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period.


CYO Athletic Ministry Handbook 2007-2008.pdf 0 bytes - (Uploaded 08/17/2008)

Last Updated on 08/17/2008 by