Basic Soccer Rules to Know Before You Watch a Match at a Stadium

Soccer Rules You Need to Know Before You Go to a Match

Over the years, soccer has become increasingly popular around the world – so much so, that some people would so far as to say that it’s become a cultural phenomenon. And that may seem like an overreaction, but the truth is, there’s nothing quite like a sports game to bring people together – whether it’s a FIFA World Cup Final or a friendly match between local teams! 

Attending a live soccer match is an exhilarating experience, whether you have a vested interest in one of the teams or not. You don’t need to be a die-hard fan to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and feel the camaraderie in the crowd. 

However, if you’re planning to watch a live soccer match at a stadium for the first time, there are some things you should know – both to heighten your experience, and to make sure you act in accordance with the unspoken rules of behaviour. We’re going to give you a quick overview of the most important rules of the game.

1. Fouls and Free Kicks

Fouls can be committed in many ways, but they’re normally due to tripping, pushing or dangerous play. If a foul is called, the opposition is awarded a free kick – that is, the ball is turned over and possession is given to the opposition. 

2. Substitutions 

Substitution rules tend to differ from one sport to the next. In some sports, you can substitute players as much as you like – that is, the same people can go on and off the field as much as you like. In other sports, there are finite limits to what you can do. 

In soccer, you have an unlimited number of substitutions, but even so, the way in which you “sub” players can be complicated and requires great strategy. 

3. Offside Rule

This is, arguably, one of the trickier rules of the game. Even though the principle seems quite simple, it can be a little more complicated to actually figure out in a proper match situation. 

The rules says that a player is offside if they’re nearer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender when the ball is passed to them.

4. Penalties

In soccer, a penalty – that is, a penalty kick – is awarded to a team if a serious foul is committed and if you enjoy sports betting, you need to keep a close eye on these as they can change the game in an instant. The caveat, however, is that the foul has to have been committed within the penalty area, which is a small-ish area near the goals. 

A penalty kick is when one player from the team that was awarded the penalty gets the opportunity to try and score a goal. That is, they enter a one-to-one “duel”, so to speak, with the goalkeeper, and nobody else on the field, from either team, is allowed to get involved.

5. Red and Yellow Cards

Cards are a punitive measure used to control the game when players commit fouls repeatedly or break any other rules. 

Yellow cards are a warning and receiving two results in a red card. A red card means the player is sent straight off the field. 

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