Frequently Asked Questions and
General Tips About Soccer
Did you know...the soccer field of play is referred to as "the pitch".
Did you know...the side lines of the field are refereed to as "touch lines".
Did you know...the end lines of the field are referred to as "goal lines".
Did you know...a ball kick over the touch line is referred to as being "kicked into touch".
Did you know...all free kicks (except penalty kicks and kick offs) can be taken in any direction.
Did you know...a goal is not a goal until the entire ball crosses the goal line. The keeper can even have part or all of his body in the net, holding the ball on or outside the goal line and it's not a goal.
Did you know...the ball is not out of play until the entire ball has crossed either touch line or the goal line.
Did you know...a regulation goal is 8' high by 24' wide.
Did you know...there is no offsides on a goal kick, throw-in or corner kick. Also, a player cannot be called for offsides in his/her team's end of the field.
Did you know...any player can take a goal kick. The goalkeeper is not required to take a goal kick.
Did you know...a goal kick is always taken from within the 6-yard box and must clear the 18-yard box before a player on either team can touch the ball. If the ball does not clear the 18-yard box before being touched, the goal kick is retaken.
Did you know...if during a throw-in the ball does not touch any player on the field and then goes out of play, possession remains with the team who had the throw-in and it is retaken.
Did you know...the referee may decline to call a foul, allowing play to continue, if the team that was fouled retains possession of the ball. This is often referred to as "playing advantage". The referee signals this by extending both arms at an angle to the ground. The referee may also say "play on" at this time.
Did you know...although a goalkeeper is the only one who can touch the ball with his/her hands, once the goalkeeper releases the ball, they may not pick it up again until it has been touched by another player.
Did you know...a player may not enter or leave the field of play during a game without the referee's permission.
Did you know...it is up to the referee to stop play for an injury. The referee's decision to halt play is based on his/her assesment of the severity of the injury and the current tactical situation on the field.
Did you know...a red card or send off is awarded for a serious infraction of the Laws of the Game. The player must be removed from the game and his team plays one player short. According to NYSL rules, the player given a Red Card and sent off must also sit out his next game.
Did you know...the offside rule in soccer is one of the most misunderstood rules in sport. The rule states that in order to be offside the following conditions must be met at the time the ball is passed to the player by a teamate: The player must be on the attacking half of the field, he must be closer to the goal that the second to last defender and he must be actively involved in the play. If any of these three conditions are not met, the player is not offside. Merely being in an "offside position" does not constitute an infraction.
Did you know...over 30 years ago, soccer referees did not use yellow or red cards to indicate infractions of the laws of the game. There was no approved method to indicate these infractions. A certain English referee, while driving home from a match, conceived of the idea of the cards when he pulled up to a traffic light and noticed how it changed from yellow to red. He suggested the use of cards to FIFA and it soon became the adopted standard.
Did you know...a referee can terminate a match for various reasons, including safety [bad weather, darkness, field condition], a serious infringement of the Laws, because a team does not appear or leaves before the completion of a game or because of interference of spectators.
Did you know...to be a foul, the action must be committed by a player while the ball is in play, against an opponent, and on the field of play. [Exception: handling the ball which is a foul against the opposing team]. If any of these requirements are not met, the action is not a foul; however, the action can still be considered as misconduct.
Did you know...that NYSL Playing Rules require a mouth guard if dental braces are worn. If eyeglasses are worn, the rules require a retainer to be used. Dangerous items such as belts, jewelry, watches, pins, hair clips and earrings are prohibited. Also prohibited are casts of any kind. It is the responsibility of the game officials to enforce these regulations. However, the player's coach can help by making sure their players are informed of the rules.