Football Rules: How To Play Football in Simple Steps

There is no secret that football is among the oldest sports in the world. It is also among the most recognizable sports of today. Many nations have clubs and national teams that play football leagues and cups. Italy, England, and Spain have the best domestic football leagues.

There are several football tournaments throughout the year. They include club level competitions, as well as international level competitions. The FIFA World Cup, Euro Champion Ship, Champions League, Premier League, etc. all combine to give the sport a grand uniqueness that not many sports have. Some people (mostly in America) refer to the sport as soccer.


Because of its popularity, more and more try to play football. However, not all of them are aware of the rules and how to play the game properly. There are some intricacies that make the game unique and difficult to play for some people. However, there is no need to worry as this article will cover all the necessary elements of football that will help you learn the sport and, possibly, play it regularly.

Football Overview

The purpose of football is to outscore your opponent in a match. Professional football matches are 90 minutes long. These 90 minutes are divided into two halves of 45 minutes. Players are given a 15-minute break once the first half ends. This resting period or break is called half time. The second half starts after the half time, and in case there is time wastage during the game, the referee provides the extra time or injury time once the 90 minutes end.


Equipment and Players

In professional football, each team has eleven players who go out on the field. 10 of these players are on the outfield, while the last player is the goalkeeper. Many football grounds have different dimensions. 75 yards width and 120 yards length are the usual dimensions of most football grounds.

The most important thing that you will need to play football is, obviously, a football. Unlike several other sports, there is no additional equipment necessary unless you play at a professional level.  You’ll need to buy a pair of shoes as well. If you plan to play on grass, you may need football cleats. Otherwise, normal sports shoes are fine as well. Goalkeepers require a pair of gloves, and in some cases, if the opposing team’s players are rough, you could protect your shins with a shin pad. Note that shin pads and gloves are mandatory for professional football players.

Scoring in Football Matches

Scoring is a pretty simple concept as all a player needs to do to score a goal is to kick the ball past the opponent’s goalkeeper inside the goal. A goal does not count if it touches the hands of any player in the scoring team. On the other hand, if the opposing team’s player contact’s the ball with his or her hand, the referee will penalize them by giving them a yellow or red card, depending on the foul’s severity. You can also head the ball past the goalkeeper to score.


Winning a Football Match

Besides the enjoyment, people play football to eventually play competitive matches and win. One team has to score more goals than the other before the final minute to attain victory. If a match ends in a draw it could on further for 30 minutes, which is called extra time. If a match remains drawn after the extra time, it goes to penalty shootouts. Each team gets 5 opportunities to shoot the ball past the other team’s goalkeeper. The team that concedes lesser penalties and scores more, wins.

In professional football, a match does not go to extra time for league games. Knockout matches, however, do employ the extra time and penalty shootout rule.

Football Summarized

  • A full field match with eleven people has a playing time of 90 minutes with two halves.
  • Natural or artificial grass is the go-to playing field type for most football matches. However, there is also another form of football known as futsal. It is an indoor sport.
  • There should be 7 substitutes in a professional football match. Substitutes are necessary to replace injured or tired outfield players at any time of the game. Only 3 people can be used out of the 7 substitutes.
  • A referee and 2 assistant referees are present in pro football matches to make sure that everybody, including the team’s manager, is following the rules. Players have to abide by any decision that the referee makes at all costs.

Follow these simple steps and rules if you want to learn the basics to play football. It is a healthy and entertaining sport that will keep you fit if you play it regularly. Otherwise, it can just be something fun to do on the weekends with your friends.