Soccer Rules


Association football, commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is the international governing body of association football.

The laws that govern football, known officially as the Laws of the Game


Every year FIFA awards the title of FIFA World Player of the Year to the top men's and women's players of the year.

Dimensions - there are two types of dimensions: International and North American:
  • International (by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) specifications):
    • 60 metres (197 ft) × 30 metres (98.4 ft) with a corner radius of 8.5 metres (28 ft);
    • The distance from the end boards to the nearest goal line is 4 metres (13 ft);
    • The distance from each goal line to the nearest blue line is 17 metres (56 ft);
    • The distance between the two blue lines is also 17 metres (56 ft).
  • North American (by the National Hockey League (NHL) specifications):
    • 61 metres (200 ft) × 26 metres (85 ft) with a corner radius of 8.5 metres (28 ft);
    • The distance from the end boards to the nearest goal line is 3.35 metres (11.0 ft);
    • The NHL attacking zones are expanded, with blue lines 19.5 metres (64 ft) from the goal line and 15.3 metres (50 ft) apart.


  • Lines - The center line divides the ice in half lengthwise. The center line is used to judge icing violations. It is known as "the red line", is 1 foot (30 centimeter) thick and runs directly across the middle of the rink. The other two lines are called the "goal lines", which are also red, but only 2 inches thick. They are located no less than 11.5 ft (3.5 meters) and no more than 15 feet (4.5 meter) from the end boards.
  • Zones - There are two thick blue lines that divide the rink into three parts, called zones.
    • defending zone - where players try to defend and protect their goal or net
    • the neutral zone - where is the center zone and players try to get the puck in the their opponent's defending zone which is also their attacking zone and where players get the puck out of their defending zone;
    • the attacking zone - where players try to get the puck in their opponent's goal or net.
  • Faceoff spots and circles - There are 9 faceoff spots on a hockey rink. All faceoffs take place at these spots. There are two spots in each end zone, two at each end of the neutral zone, and one in the centre of the rink. There are faceoff circles around the centre ice and end zone faceoff spots. There are hash marks painted on the ice near the end zone faceoff spots. The circles and hash marks show where players may legally position themselves during a faceoff or in game play.
  • Center - At the center of every rink is a face-off dot surrounded by a face-off circle. This dot is blue and 1 foot in diameter. For North American rinks, the face-off circle is 15 feet in radius. For IIHF rinks, the circle is 14.8 feet in radius.
  • Half boards - the half boards are the areas along the side boards half-way between the blue line and the goal line

  • Timing:
    A professional game consists of three periods of 20 min each. Between each period have 15 min break. During the breaks of the game, teams have 25 seconds to change except for interruptions for commercials. Commercial breaks are two minutes long and 3 in each part: the duration of interruptions period are approximately 6, 10 and 14 minutes, as long as there is no power play and goals scored. Various procedures are used if a game is tied.
    • North Americans favor sudden death overtime, in which the teams continue to play twenty minute periods until a goal is scored.
    • International play and several North American professional leagues, including the NHL (in the regular season), now use an overtime period followed by a penalty shootout.
    • The overtime mode for the NHL playoffs differ from the regular season. In the playoffs there are no shootouts and no ties. If a game is tied after regulation an additional 20 minutes 5 on 5 sudden death overtime will be added. In case of a tied game after the overtime additional 20 minute overtimes will be played until a team scores.
    For the second and for the third period, and again at the start of each overtime played, the teams change ends.
    Every hockey team has twenty players - eighteen skaters and two goalkeepers.
    Players /Skaters/:
    • At the beginning of each game, the Manager or Coach of each team shall list the players who shall be eligible to play in the game. Not more than eighteen (18) skaters shall be permitted.
    • One non-uniformed player shall be permitted on the players’ bench in a coaching capacity. He must be submitted by the Coach on the Roster Sheet to the Referee or Official Scorer prior to the start of the game. If an official notices that a player in uniform hasn't been included on the Official Game Report, the Referee shall bring this to the attention of the offending team so that the necessary correction.
    • A list of names and numbers of all eligible players must be handed to the Official Scorer before the game. Only players on the list submitted to the Official Scorer before the game may participate in the game.
    • If a goal is scored when an ineligible player is on the ice, it will be disallowed.
    Players /Goalkeepers/:
    • Each team shall be allowed one goalkeeper on the ice at one time. The goalkeeper may be removed and another skater substituted.
    • Each team shall have on its bench a substitute goalkeeper who shall be fully dressed and equipped ready to play.
    • If both goalkeepers are incapacitated, that team shall be entitled to dress and play any available goalkeeper who is eligible.
    Captain and Alternative Captain:
  • Captain:
    • There is only one captain for each team. During the game, only the Captain shall have the privilege of discussing with the Referee any questions relating to interpretation of rules which may arise.
    • No co-Captains are permitted.
    • Captain must wear the letter “C”
  • Alternative Captain:
    • Only two Altenative Captains shall be accorded the privileges of the Captain;
    • If the Captain is not in uniform, the Coach have the right to determine three Alternate Captains before the start of the game.
    • Alternate Captains must wear the letter “A”
    • All players of each team have to wear uniform with approved design and color of their helmets, sweaters, short pants, stockings and skates.
    • On the back of the sweater, each player have to wear his surname in full and an individual identifying number.
    • All the equipment worn by the goalkeeper, except the skates and stick, must be constructed of protecting the head or body, and he must not wear any garment or use any contrivance which would give him undue assistance in keeping goal.
    Sticks and Puck:
  • Puck:
    • Dimensions - A standard ice hockey puck is 1 inch thick (25.4 mm), 3 inches in diameter (76.2 mm), and weighs between 5.5 and 6 ounces (156-170 g).
    • Supply - The home team shall be responsible for providing official pucks. They shall be kept in a frozen condition.
  • Sticks: - The sticks shall be made of wood or other material approved by the League, and must not have any projections. For the purpose of reinforcement or to improve control of the puck, the adhesive tape of any color may be wrapped around the stick at any place.
  • Penalties: A penalty is a punishment for infractions of the rules. For most penalties, the offending player is sent to the "penalty box" and his team has to play without him for a short amount of time.
  • A referee makes most penalty calls. In the NHL, the linesman may call major intent-to-injure penalties that the referee may have missed.
  • Both the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) recognize the common penalty degrees of minor and major penalties.
  • Penalt minutes variate from two to ten.
  • Types of penalties:
  • Minor penalty - two minutes lenght. The offending player is sent to the penalty box.
    • bench minor penalty - assessed against the team, rather than an individual player;
    • double minor penalty - it's counted as two separate minor penalties;
    • coincidental minor penalties - at the same time are given a minor penalty for equal number of players from each team;
  • Major penalty - for more severe infraction of the rules or spearing, fighting, butt-ending, charging, and boarding. A player have to remain off the ice for five minutes of play;
  • Miscondust penalty - A player have to remain off the ice for ten minutes of play and may be substituted for on the ice;
  • Game miscondust penalty - A player have to quit the ice or the remainder of the game. He can be immediatly substituted for on the ice. An example is getting out of the penalty box before the penalty time is served;
  • Match penalty - A match penalty is imposed for attempting to injure another player, deliberately injuring another player, head-butting opponents, or a goaltender going to the penalty box. A player who receives a match penalty is ejected. Any player other than the goaltender serve a five minute major penalty during which he may not be substituted for on the ice.
  • An official is a person who has some responsibility in enforcing the rules and maintaining the order of the game. There are two types of an officials.
    On-ice officials - referees and linesmen who enforce the rules during game play on hockey rink. They traditionaly wear black hockey helmet, black trousers, a black-and-white striped shirt and black skates with white laces. To stop the Play, on-ice officials carring finger whistle.On-ice officials are:
  • Referees - A referee is responsible for the general supervision of the game. He is the only official who can assess penalties for violations of the rules. The referee also conducts the opening faceoff in each period and faceoffs that follow after a goal is scored. He can be identified by his red or orange armbands.
  • Assistant referees /Linesmen/ - Assistant referees or Linesman /in some leagues/ have more responsibility to stop play and to call penalties that the referee may not see. They are mainly responsible to watching for violations involving the center line and the blue line.
  • Off-ice officials - they have an administrative and advisory role rather than an enforcement role.
  • Goal judge - The main responsibility of The Goal judge is to decide whether the puck is entered in the net or not.
  • Video goal judge - The main decisions, that video judge takes are for disputed goals. His opinion is taken as final.
  • Other important off-ice officials are Official scorerPenalty timekeeper and Game timekeeper.
    Hockey is a contact sport and hard physical contact is commonplace. Penalties are usually called for unfairly impeding the progress on an opponent or if a play was dangerous
    Physical fouls
  • hooking (using stick to hold);
  • interference (checking opponent without the puck);
  • tripping;
  • holding;
  • dangerous plays
  • slashing (swinging the stick);
  • boarding (hitting into boards);
  • spearing (jabbing with stick);
  • cross checking (hitting with hands spread on stick);
  • roughing (excessive pushing or hitting);
  • Goal - A goal is scored when the puck completely crosses the goal line and enters the net. A goal may be disallowed under the following circumstances:
    • the scoring team takes a penalty;
    • the puck is directed in by an attacker's high stick or other than with a stick;
    • goaltender interference;
    • the puck goes in after the Referee intends to stop play;
    • the puck deflects off a referee or linesman and goes directly into the goal;
    • a goal was allowed at the other end;
    • if a linesman reports to the referee a double-minor for high-sticking, a major penalty, or a match penalty against the scoring team.