The rules and regulations governing football are observed and regulated every year by a body known as the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The Association Board comprises of 8 members, in which four comes from FIFA and the remaining 4 come from Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These were elected based on their huge contribution to the administration and development of football.

Now, the football rules from FIFA are contained in a large document which may be mountainous for a young referee aspiring to be very familiar with the game.

Nonetheless, a brilliant summary and editing have been made to simplify these rules to enable you learn the basic rules of football. Kindly note that though, FIFA regularly publish sets of rules, these rules are also simplified by national and local leagues. So, it is best you always consult your fellow players, coach or any sports administrator to know when the rules have changed.

Perhaps you are eager to know some of these rules, I will list and explain seventeen (17) laws of football you must be familiar with. If you are ready, let’s begin…

Law 1: The Ball

As collectively agreed, a football must be round in shape and made of leather. Its perimeter should be between twenty -seven and twenty -eight inches but this law applies to matches that are officially sanctioned because a younger league competition often uses small -sized football.

Law 2: The Play Field

Football would be preferably played on any artificial turf or just grass and the color must be green. The size of the field also, should be rectangular and given some gal lines alongside some long touch lines. Another line should also divide the field into two equal halves as the measurement of the touchline should be bigger than that of the goal line.

Law 3: The Referee

The referee is the symbol of power on the pitch. His decision must be obeyed and if you challenge it, you may be thoroughly disciplined.

Law 4: Players and their Number

Every football match is played by two teams which comprise of eleven players to each side. The goalkeeper is included in these eleven players. It should be noted that if a team cannot fill up to seven players in a match, then, they stand to forfeit the game. FIFA do sanction matches where more than three substitutions are carried out but this is allowed in friendly matches. Also, the goalkeeper may be substituted with any player with any eligible substitute either on the bench or on the pitch before the game ends.

Law 5: The Assistant Referees

The primary duty of assistant referees is to assist the referee in officiating a match. This can be in the areas of beckoning with a flag when a player is fouled, when the ball goes off play and when the player is in offside position.

Law 6: players’ Equipment

It is mandatory that all players should put on jerseys, shorts, shin guards, cleats and socks. As part of the dressing, the socks must completely cover the shin guards. If a player compromises on this rule, he is can be sent off the pitch by the referee.

Law 7: kick -off Time

A coin toss determines kick -off, in which the winning team can choose to start with the ball or optionally decide on the goal they would like to attack. Kick-off happens at the beginning of each half and when a goal is scored, the ball is taken to the center line on the halfway. If a particular team scores a goal, the other team is given the kick-off opportunity to restart the match.

Law 8: Match Duration

Every football match consists of 2 halves of forty -five minutes each, with an added extra time based on the referees’ discretion. The halves are usually divided by a fifteen minute of rest. The extra time depends on how much time was taken out during substitutions and possible injuries. Then, the amount of extra time is declared and displayed at the center line. Though, football does not have a specific time of play, the referee has the power to determine when to end the match.

Law 9: Offside

When an attacking player gets the ball while positioned on his challenger’s half, he must either be behind or at same level with the last defender, which is obviously before the goalkeeper.

Law 10: When the Ball is In and Out of Play

The ball can be said to be out of play when it completely crosses the goal line. Perhaps the ball strikes on the edge of the goal post and still remains within the goal area, then the game is still in play.

Law 11: The Method of Scoring

A goal scored is announced by the referee when the ball has completely crossed the goal line. At the end of the game, the team with the highest number of goals is declared winner.

Law 12: Penalty Kick

Penalty kick can be given when a player commits a handball or attacks the opposing player at the penalty area, close to the goal post. The ball is then placed at the penalty spot while the players remain outside the box of penalty before the shot is taken.

Law 13: Goal Kick

A goal kick is given when the attacking team shoots the ball out of the goal area. Then, the goalkeeper or defender places the ball within the goal box and shoots it into the play.