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YOUR CANADIAN YOUTH SOCCER COACHING RESOURCE
Do You Know All of the Rules?
If you are new to the game you obviously don’t know all of the rules. If you are coaching younger children many of these rules are not applicable and you only need to receive a basic rule guide from your club before your season starts. For those of you coaching older kids, you likely are governed by the FIFA laws of the game and the below will apply.
It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position. A player is in an offside position if he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.
A player is not in an offside position if:
•he is in his own half of the field of play or
•he is level with the second-last opponent or
•he is level with the last two opponents
A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
•interfering with play or
•interfering with an opponent or
•gaining an advantage by being in that position
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
•a goal kick
•a corner kick
In the event of an offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.
Indirect or Direct Kick?
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
•kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
•trips or attempts to trip an opponent
•jumps at an opponent
•charges an opponent
•strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
•pushes an opponent
•tackles an opponent
•holds an opponent
•spits at an opponent
•handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
A direct free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred.
A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above ten offences are committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.
An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:
•controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession
•touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
•touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
•touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate
or if any player:
•plays in a dangerous manner
•impedes the progress of an opponent
•prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
•commits any other offence, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player
The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred.
Signal: The referee indicates an indirect free kick by raising his arm above his head. He maintains his arm in that position until the kick has been taken and the ball has touched another player or goes out of play.
Defending Free Kicks: All opponents must be at least 9.15 meters or 10 yards from the ball until the ball is in play.
Red or Yellow Card?
Yellow: A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences:
•dissent by word or action
•persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
•delaying the restart of play
•failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in
•entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
•deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission
Red: A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
•serious foul play
•spitting at an opponent or any other person
•denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
•denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
•using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
•receiving a second caution in the same match
Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration:
•the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
•the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
•the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement
•touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing, shinguard, etc.) counts as an infringement
•hitting the ball with a thrown object (boot, shinguard, etc.) counts as an
There are circumstances when a caution for unsporting behaviour is required when a player deliberately handles the ball, e.g. when a player:
•deliberately handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession
•attempts to score a goal by deliberately handling the ball
A player is sent off, however, if he prevents a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball. This punishment arises not from the act of the player deliberately handling the ball but from the unacceptable and unfair intervention that prevented a goal being scored.
Other Interesting Rules: