How to Play Soccer

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Soccer Overview

Soccer is an action packed, quick-moving sport. It is currently held as one of the most popular sports in the world. The technical name for soccer is association football and was once the only football type of game in the U.S. until the 1870s when American styled football became widespread. Today, soccer is a common inclusion in many school physical education programs. Soccer calls for players to be physically fit because the game includes a significant amount of running. A player’s legs, lungs, heart, and arms all receive a great workout with an average soccer game. The following are instructions on how to play soccer.

How to Play Soccer

In the game of soccer, points are gained by butting or kicking the ball into a goal net. Players are not permitted to carry or touch the ball. The goalie can use their hands only when in the penalty area. Soccer games are made up of two forty-five minute period in addition to one rest break at halftime. When a foul is committed by a soccer player, the opposite team is given a free kick. Things such as jumping an opponent, handling the ball with the hands, kicking an opponent, pushing, or striking an opponent are considered fouls.

The approximate size of a soccer playing field is 55-75 yards wide and 100-120 yards long. The goal net is 24 feet wide and 8 feet long.

Soccer Players

A soccer team is made up of eleven players. Each player is given a specific job to do and each job must be in step with other players' tasks.

  1. The Goalkeeper- The job of a goalkeeper is to remain near the net. They are the only players permitted to use their hands.
  2. The Two Backs- These players are positioned near the goal vicinity and they protect the goalkeeper.
  3. The Three Midfielders- This includes the left, right, and center. These players are in continuous motion during a game. They run up and down the field throughout the entire game.
  4. The Three Strikers- These players are thought to be the preeminent players of the game. They must possess precise shooting abilities in both feet as well as proficient passing.
  5. The Two Wingers- This includes the left and right outside forwards-They must be able to handle the ball to be able to score the greatest amounts of points.

Soccer Playing Techniques

One distinctive characteristic of the game of soccer is that it requires the entire body, except the hands and arms, to be involved in the game. Because the game of soccer is so physically demanding, it requires a player to put in significant amounts of practice. A soccer move that may be deemed simple by an onlooker may in fact be difficult to master. Even soccer players that are experienced practice considerably to maintain a high level of skill.

  • Kicking- Kicking is a crucial component to the game. This kick does not utilize a regular kicking motion that typically incorporates the toe. In soccer, the kick is comprised of an instep kick that can soar to speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.
  • Overhead Kick- The overhead kick is performed when a player wants to propel the ball in the reversed direction from which he/she is facing. An overhead kick can be performed on a ball that is bouncing or in flight. Coordination and timing are very important with this move.
  • Trapping- This means that a player tries to handle the ball by changing or stopping its direction. This can be done with any part of the body except the arms. When a ball is trapped, it then can be advanced to the field or passed to another player. A player can also try to make a goal with a trapped ball.
  • Heading- The use of this technique is when the ball is up too high and the player cannot reach it with any other body part. There are significant amounts of goals made with headshots. With this technique, timing is very important. The player must be able to reach the ball instead of waiting on the ball. The ball is hit with the flat section of the forehead.
  • Passing- This is the most vital move in the game of soccer. It requires a high level of teamwork coordination and is a great way to advance the ball. Something known as the “push-pass”, which is an inside-the-foot-pass, is the most popular of the passes and when properly performed can launch a ball up to 20 feet.
  • Dribbling- This move is used to pass the ball from one point to another. In the game of soccer, dribbling requires pushing or touching the ball with the outside and inside parts of the foot. The objective in dribbling is to move the ball 10-12 inches.


The game of soccer is a demanding physical sport that requires its player to have some level of physical endurance to master the game. It is a very popular sport worldwide and the above information was intended to focus on how to play soccer.


Physical Education Learning Packets #6 Soccer