Football, also known as soccer in some regions, is governed by 17 basic laws. In this blog post, I will explain the five fundamental Laws out of those 17 that are followed in every format of football, whether it’s futsal, beach football, or the standard version played on a rectangular surface measuring 100-130 yards in length and 50-100 yards in width.
1. The Ball
The ball must be spherical and made of leather or other suitable material. Its circumference should be within a specified range, and it should have a specific weight.
You can read more about the differences in balls used in football, futsal, and beach soccer football here.
2. The Referee
Every football match is officiated by a referee who enforces the Laws of the Game, maintains order, and makes decisions regarding fouls, goals, and other aspects of the match.
The offside rule is common to all formats of football. A player is in an offside position if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender (usually the last outfield player) at the moment when the ball is played to them.
Being in an offside position is not an offense in itself, but a player can be penalized for being actively involved in play from an offside position.
4. Fouls and Misconduct
The Laws of the Game outline various fouls and misconduct, including offenses like handling the ball (except for the goalkeeper within their own penalty area), dangerous play, and violent conduct.
Players can receive yellow and red cards for misconduct, and there are rules regarding free kicks, penalty kicks, and indirect free kicks as consequences of fouls.
5. Number of Players
While the specific number of players can vary by format, the concept of teams consisting of players on each side is common to all forms of football.
In traditional outdoor football, the standard is 11 players on each team. However, other formats, such as futsal and beach football, have different player numbers, typically fewer than 11.
These are the 5 fundamental rules that apply to football in all its formats. However, it’s worth noting that while these core rules are consistent, there may be variations and additional rules specific to each format (e.g., futsal and beach football) or specific competition rules that can apply.