SoccerPublished: | Updated:
Soccer, known as football in most parts of the world, is a sport that fascinates millions of fans across the globe. With its origins dating back over 2,000 years, soccer has grown to become the world’s most popular sport. Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league in the United States and Canada that has grown in popularity in recent years. In this article, we will explore the basics of soccer, its history, equipment, and time-related rules.
Essentially, soccer is a team sport where two teams of 11 players play against each other. The primary objective is to score more goals than the opposing team. The game is played on a rectangular field, typically measuring 100-110 meters long and 50-55 meters wide. The area is divided into two halves, each team defending its goal.
At each end of the field is a goal consisting of two vertical goalposts and a horizontal crossbar, forming an H-shaped structure. The goalposts and crossbar are 8 feet (2.44 meters) high and 8 yards (7.32 meters) apart.
The main objective of soccer is to get the ball into the opposing team’s net. Players can use any part of their body except their arms and hands to propel the ball. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. If both teams have scored an equal number of goals, the match may end in a draw or, depending on the competition, may proceed to extra time or penalty shootouts to determine the winner.
The modern form of soccer we know today originated in England. On October 26, 1863, the Football Association (FA) was founded in England to establish a standardized set of rules for the game. These rules, known as the Laws of the Game, are still followed today with some modifications over the years.
Soccer quickly gained popularity and spread to other parts of the world, including the United States. The first recorded soccer match in the US occurred on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton universities. The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), also known as US Soccer, was founded on April 5, 1913, to govern the sport in the country.
Players require minimal equipment to play soccer. The needed items include:
Soccer ball: The ball is spherical and made of leather or synthetic materials. It typically has a 27-28 inches circumference and weighs between 14-16 ounces.
Cleats: Soccer cleats or shoes provide players with the necessary traction on the field. They are studs or blades attached to the soles to improve grip and stability.
Shin guards: These protective guards help prevent injuries to the lower legs and go beneath socks.
Jerseys, shorts, and socks: Team uniforms usually consist of jerseys, shorts, and socks. Each team wears distinct colors to differentiate itself from its opponents.
Typically, goalkeepers require additional equipment, such as gloves and specialized jerseys, to protect themselves and enhance their grip on the ball.
Soccer Duration & Time Stoppages
A standard soccer match lasts for two 45-minute halves. There is a 15-minute halftime break, totaling 90 minutes of play. However, the game often extends beyond this due to stoppage time, which compensates for the time lost to substitutions, injuries, or other delays. The referee determines stoppage time at the end of each half, typically 1 to 5 minutes. Sometimes, a tied match may require extra time, consisting of two additional 15-minute periods, or even a penalty shootout to determine the winner, further extending the game’s length.
The main objective of soccer is to score more goals than the opposing team by getting the ball into their net using any body part except arms and hands.
A soccer team consists of 11 players, including a goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards, each with specific roles on the field.
A standard soccer match has two 45-minute halves, totaling 90 minutes, not including stoppage time added by the referee for delays or injuries.
Stoppage time, or injury time, is additional time added at the end of each half by the referee to account for time lost due to substitutions, injuries, or other delays during the game.
A soccer field is rectangular, typically measuring 100-110 meters in length and 50-55 meters in width, with variations depending on the specific venue.
Essential soccer equipment includes a soccer ball, cleats, shin guards, and team uniforms (jerseys, shorts, and socks). Goalkeepers require additional equipment, such as gloves and specialized jerseys.
The FA was founded in England on October 26, 1863, to establish a standardized set of rules for soccer, known as the Laws of the Game, which are still followed today with some modifications.
The first recorded soccer match in the US took place on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton universities.
The USSF, also known as US Soccer, was founded on April 5, 1913, and serves as the governing body for soccer in the United States, overseeing its growth and development at all levels.
A draw occurs when both teams have scored an equal number of goals at the end of the match. In some competitions, a tied match may proceed to extra time, consisting of two additional 15-minute periods. If the game remains tied after extra time, a penalty shootout is used to determine the winner.