football for beginners?
football for beginners?

A lot of people around the world watch football, which is also called soccer in North America. Since its start in England in the 1800s, the sport has quickly spread and become a part of many countries. Some people play football all the time, but less than 200 years ago, no one played the controlled sport.

How to play football for beginners?
How to play football for beginners?

For fans, the sport always brings out strong feelings, zeal, and a never-ending dedication to a cause.

Also, football is one of the easiest games to play because all you need is something that looks like a ball and people to play. Cricket needs wickets, safety gear, and a bat, among other things. Soccer-style games, on the other hand, can happen almost anywhere, though the rules aren’t quite as clear.

Football has a lot of different formats and rules that are set by the different governing groups. People who are new to football may need some time to get used to the different formats and rules that are used in the sport’s many big competitions.

You can learn everything you need to know about the current version of the beautiful game, how it was made, and what might change in the future right here.

How soccer games are set up

Periods within fixturesLength
Standard time90 minutes
Half-time period15 minutes
Extra time30 minutes split into two halves

All soccer teams around the world follow the same rules for how games are played. This pattern changes sometimes based on whether the game is in the league or the cup. For instance, there will never be extra time in a league game; if the score stays close, the game ends in a tie.

If the score stays tied, some cup games can be played like league games, with no extra time or penalties. Depending on the rules of the game, they may even have extra time and penalties.

A win in a league game earns three points, a draw earns one point, and a loss earns none. In knockout games, points are not usually used in cup games. Teams either win and move on to the next round, or they lose and are out.

Here’s everything you need to know about how long a normal match lasts and what breaks are in a normal match plan. This will also talk about the different ways to break a tie that have happened often and rarely in sports history, as well as how stopping time works.

READ MORE: The Length of World Cup Soccer Matches Explained

Ninety-minute games

Ninety-minute games
Ninety-minute games

A normal soccer game lasts 90 minutes plus extra time. This is split into two 45-minute halves, with a 30-minute break in the middle. The game clock never stops, even when the ball is out of play or in some other way the play is stopped, like because someone got hurt. Any extra time can be added at the end of each half by the official, who can keep track of it.

As late as 2021, people like Florentino Perez, head of the Real Madrid club, have talked about changing the normal length of a football match.

The Spanish player suggested that games could be cut down to 60 minutes with a clock that stops every time a break is made. It works well in American sports, and it might be able to help make football even better around the world.

At the moment, football still uses a 90-minute clock that never stops. But in the future, football might be able to learn something from how its transatlantic neighbours keep time.

The half-time break

Football has two halves instead of four, which is how most American games are set up. There is only one break instead of the three that are popular across the Atlantic Ocean. The NBA, NHL, and NFL all use a four-quarter format.

The 15-minute half-time break is over. This is a break for the players to get some fresh air and maybe get some technical advice from their coaches. This 15-minute break between the two halves of the game can often make or break a match.

For the most part, the players and coaches go back to their locker rooms during this time. However, some substitutes stay on the pitch to warm up.

You can make substitutions after the break, and it’s also usual to change the way you play.

READ MORE: Major League Soccer (MLS)

Time to stop

There is a stoppage-time break at the end of each half. In this case, extra time can be added before the half-time or full-time bell. Extra time is given for injury breaks, time-wasting, and any other reason a game may have been stopped.

At the very least, the official time that the referee put on should be used. So, if there are breaks during the first added-on time, the referee can let the game go longer than the allowed time.

Soccer’s game clock is different from many American sports. To keep things fair, any major wasted time is added at the end of each half instead of pausing the clock all the time.

A lot of big events, like the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, have used accurate timekeeping. This has helped officials keep track of any wasted time to the exact minute and second. So, the official can make sure that injury stops or time-wasting don’t hurt the game’s integrity.

More time

When the game is over, there are times when more will happen after the whistle. In many cup events, if the scores are tied after 90 minutes plus stoppage time, the game goes into extra time.

It’s possible to compare this time to American sports overtime. However, there is only one period played, not two like in extra time when there is a long tie. In these kinds of games, you can often find a winner. Within the extra time, there are two more 15-minute halves. If the scores are still tied after that, a penalty shootout is used to decide the winner.

Penalty shootouts

Penalty shootouts
Penalty shootouts

Penalty shootouts might be the most intense and exciting part of a soccer game. After 120 minutes of hard work and commitment, the players have one last chance to score by shooting at the other team’s custodian from 12 yards out.

In this game, each team picks five players to shoot at the goalie from the penalty spot. The winner is the team with the most points out of five. If the scores are tied, the game goes to sudden death.

In some of the longer penalty shootouts, sudden death comes into play. For a team to win, they need to score on the same spot kick that the other team goes wide. Say Team A scores their sixth chance and Team B misses. Team A then wins. If both of them miss, though, there is another round until a winner is found.

In the annals of sports history, there have been some incredibly long penalty shootouts where it took a very long time to finally decide who won. In the English non-league in 2022, the world record was set. It took extra points for Washington to beat Bedlington 25–24 in the first round of the Memorial Cup, an amateur basketball tournament.

In the past, penalty kicks have also been used to decide a lot of major cup games. For example, Liverpool beat Chelsea 11–10 at Wembley Stadium in the 2022 Carabao Cup final.

The usual last option tiebreaker often separates teams quickly after 120 minutes of hard work, but sometimes it can make people even more excited about who might win.

READ MORE: The MLS Cup has been won by which sides and in what years?

Rare ways to break a tie in history

But there have been times in the past when different ways of breaking ties were used to decide the winner of soccer games. Italy and the then-USSR were tied at the end of extra time in the semi-final of the European Championship in 1968. At that time, there were no penalty shootouts. Instead, a coin toss was used, and Italy’s captain, Giacinto Facchetti, made sure that his team would have a lucky road to the final.

Also, there used to be a different way to win an international event knockout tie during extra time. The golden goal rule said that the game was over and the score was set as soon as one team scored in extra time.

Because of the “golden goal” rule, both teams often tried to win in extra time. In the modern game, on the other hand, there are usually two teams that play defensively in extra time and try to avoid giving up goals over getting a possible winner.

Guidelines for playing football

Guidelines for playing football
Guidelines for playing football

There are a few main rules that are always followed in every soccer game, no matter where it is played. These make sure that the game is fair in all leagues and events and punish players who play too quickly.

The rules change all the time, with small and sometimes big changes made to make the game better. In different parts of the world, different governing bodies are in charge of different aspects of football rules.

IFABFIFAContinental Federations and National Associations
Board of the International Football Association. It has FIFA and the four British FAs on it. The IFAB is in charge of soccer’s rules and formats at the top level.the governing group for football around the world, but it can only make laws with the IFAB’s help.It is up to continental federations and national associations to run their own events. However, they are not allowed to change the basic rules of the sport in their own countries.



Cards are an important part of every soccer game in the world. Referees have yellow and red cards that they can use to punish players for mistakes, handballs, and other rules violations. While a yellow card isn’t very bad, two of them will get a player kicked off the pitch for the rest of the game.

A red card, on the other hand, is only given for the worst fouls and means that the player is taken off the pitch for the rest of the game.

Type of cardThe result
Yellow cardA caution – but two yellow cards result in dismissal from the pitch.
Red cardOffending player is dismissed from the field of play, the team has to continue without that player for the rest of the game.

In either case, when a player gets a red card, their team has to play without that person. Not like in American sports, a player on the bench can’t take the place of a player who was taken off the pitch by the official.


Also see: What exactly is a white card? Why was it used?

Sending something off this quickly takes a lot of work…

One team of players

There are 11 people on each football team. One custodian and ten players on the pitch. Today’s games usually let five substitutions be made from a bench of up to 12 players, based on the game. There must be three breaks in the game for each team to make changes. The half-time break does not count as one of the breaks.

In other words, managers can’t make changes to their team more than three times outside of regular breaks. Between these three breaks, the manager can only make five changes. If they do more than that, they will lose the rest of their substitutions.

Outfielders can’t use their hands.

There is no way for outfielders to touch the ball without making a foul. Goalies are the only ones who can stop shots with their hands. It is against the rules for outfielders to touch the ball with any part of their arm or hand.

When players in the outfield touch the ball, they get free kicks and penalties if their arms are not by their sides in a normal position. The IFAB’s present rules also say that a handball won’t be given if the ball hits a player in the body and then hits their arm, but the ball is still not going towards the goal.

You can also be guilty of handball as a custodian in some cases. Goalkeepers can use their hands inside the box, but not when they’re not there. If they touch the ball outside the box, the other team will get a free kick.

Out of bounds

The spot where the ball leaves the pitchHow to start the play again
Along the sides of the fieldThe team that didn’t have the last touch on the ball before it went out of play gets a throw-in.
Behind the goal by a player attackingThe defensive team gets a goal kick to start the game over.
Behind the goal by way of a defenderThe attacking team gets a corner kick from either the left or right side of the field, based on where the ball left the field of play.

They get a throw-in when the ball goes out of bounds on the corner. They were the last team to touch the ball. A corner is given to the team that is advancing when the ball goes out of the other team’s hands and behind the byline, which is lined up with the goal. This lets the team that is attacking kick the ball in from the side of the pitch.

If the ball goes past the byline and the advancing player makes the last touch, the goal is scored.

There are also times when the game has to start over because the ball hit the judge and stopped the action. This happens when the referee’s touch changes the direction of the ball a lot. With a drop ball, the game starts over, and one player from each team tries to get their foot on the ball first.

The rule of “offside”

One of the most important rules in football is “offside.” Anyone who wants to strike must be behind or in line with at least two defenders, including the custodian, when the ball is passed to them. If that’s not the case, there will be a free kick and any goal that might have been scored will be thrown out. Their body must be behind at least two defence players, except for their arm, which they can’t use to score.

The attacker doesn’t have any room for mistake or benefit of the doubt in this case. Anytime the shooter is even slightly offside, they will be called for it and any possible goal will not count.

One time this rule is broken is when a player is given the ball by a teammate who is ahead of them on the game. No matter where the other team is, a player who has the ball and is next to or behind the person who has it will never be offside.

Related: MLS is making 24 rule changes, including adding a 10-second “shot clock” for substitutes.

This might change the game as we know it in the end…

Officials of the match

An official team of match officials is in charge of making decisions for each individual game. They know a lot about football laws, so they can follow the rules of the game whenever they need to.

Types of match officialTheir role
RefereeHas primary control over the decisions on the field of play.
Linesman OneChecks for offsides in their own half of the field. If a person is offside, they will raise their flag to stop the play.
Linesman Two
Fourth officialhelps the referee with extra tasks and talks to the coaches of both teams to explain choices that have been made.

There is a central judge who keeps an eye on the game and calls fouls, which lead to free kicks or penalties. If a foul happens outside the penalty area, you get a free kick, and if it happens inside, you get a penalty. The judge is in charge and can also record calls and issue cards.

One linesman stands on each side of the pitch to watch for offside calls. A fourth official is also set up on the sidelines between the managers’ technical areas. This official’s only job is to help the lead referee.

Video Referee Helper

In modern games, the usual four officials on the pitch are helped by a team of video assistant referees who work away from the pitch. They will talk to the referee about any choices made on the pitch that might be wrong.

Based on the different replay angles they have access to, they can tell the referee what choice to make. Or, if they’re still not sure, they can call for the judge to watch the replay on a screen next to the pitch and make a decision.

Soccer’s beginnings

The origins of soccer
The origins of soccer

The history of football: Association football, which is where the word “soccer” comes from, was created in 1863 with a standard set of rules by members of 12 teams in the UK who wanted to make a game that could be played all over the country.

Something or someone set off the meeting that led to the formation of the English Football Association and, later, the birth of football. Ebenezer Morley was a lawyer from Hull who made soccer into the sport we love today by combining his two loves: law and soccer.

Barnes Football Club was Morley’s first football club, which opened in 1862. Soon after his first public game, he sent a letter to a newspaper called “Bell’s Life” that set off the famous meeting in 1863. After that, a single set of rules for the game was announced. In 1886, the FA created the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which has since been in charge of overseeing soccer’s style and rules all over the world.

Football’s roots can be found in history that goes back thousands of years. But who came up with it in particular?

FIFA is a world organisation for football. It was started in 1904 in Paris, France, by representatives from Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Although it has always asked more countries to join over the course of its past.

Football has become more popular around the world thanks to FIFA, which also made it possible for the first foreign games to happen. In 1930, FIFA made football an Olympic sport and set up the World Cup.

This group became a part of IFAB in 1914. Since then, this has let it be a part of the constant changes to the sports format and rules, as well as the planning of soccer games and tournaments all over the world.

In more than 100 years, soccer’s laws have been made and decided by a group of people from around the world. These people have since worked together to make new rules that make the beautiful game better.

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